History in the Fleet

We learned about many civilizations within the West in the Premodern class so far this semester. Throughout our indulgence in knowledge of the history, I have learned the importance of taking care of your people as a leader. Ancient Sparta taught us the lesson that in order to have a respected military, the majority of the military must be respected by its leaders. Sparta was known for having an incredibly strong military, and they showed it on the ground when Greece was raided. They later showed it in the water with the formation of the Peloponnesian league, who would go to battle against Persia.

As an officer, I am expected to develop my subordinates into capable warfighters regardless of community selection. In order to do this, I must train them to the best of my ability, but I must also respect them as people. I must also respect that they made the decision on their own to be in the military. I must show respect to them and their family, and be an upstanding individual that people can look up to. The Spartans, in my opinion, were respected not only as soldiers on the battlefield, but were also respected as upstanding men back in Sparta. One of the sources from this respect of the people of Sparta stems from the male Spartan’s commitment to their craft of warfighting.

Spartans from the age of 7 adopted the warfighting culture, and from there on out trained their minds and bodies to become the sharpest spear that they could possibly become, and the people of Sparta knew that and respected them for that. The subordinates to Spartan leaders respected their leaders because they knew that the leaders shared the commitment to warfighting that the young people had. A lesson to be taken from this is that as an officer, I must be the most prepared person for anything in my unit. I must let no one below me out-prepare me for anything.

I believe that the two most important lessons we have learned from the West in the Premodern class about being officers, was to be an upstanding individual as a leader, and to also be the baddest dude around if you are in charge. Plain and simple. Alexander the Great was a scumbag who let his arrogance lead him to minting his own coins, and death came his way to getting stabbed in the back in a murderous way. Darius III, King of Persia, died while running away. King Leonidas, a Spartan, died in battle fighting along with his men in the face of defeat. People remember Leonidas for not only being a great war hero, but a good man.

Jackson Mitchell

Word Count – 452

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