Unlike the torturous battles our leaders faced in the Vietnam POW camps*, most of the battles we face as leaders aren’t physically painful. But the emotional and mental battles to get results may seem equally challenging. Want to know the guiding force that kept my comrades and me unified while the enemy was trying to systematically divide and disable us?
It was the bond brought by our efforts to live up to the Military Code of Conduct, six articles articulated on a single page. Though most of us had memorized this code in our early training, we couldn’t have imagined what a critical role it would later play in our daily lives. When we faced the cruelty of isolation, hunger, torture, and constant threats, this code was a powerful reminder to choose the harder right and serve with honor.
Over the years, I’ve created my personal honor code—a set of…
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