We all face adversity in life. Success comes to those who overcome it. Given the nature of the work performed by those serving in the military, dealing with adversity often becomes second nature. A simple search online can yield hundreds of stories of those who have served and overcome tremendous adversity. One such story is that of Carlton W. Barrett. Born in 1919, he entered the Army in 1940 at the age of 20 years old. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his service on D-Day, June 6, 1944. He was one of only four awarded the Medal of Honor for action on D-Day. His citation is below and can be found many places, including here:
The President of the United States
in the name of
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
BARRETT, CARLTON W.
Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, 18th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. Place and date: Near St. Laurent-sur-Mer, France, 6 June 1944. Entered service at: Albany, N.Y. Birth: Fulton, N.Y. G.O. No.: 78, 2 October 1944.
For gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 6 June 1944, in the vicinity of St. Laurent-sur-Mer, France. On the morning of D-day Pvt. Barrett, landing in the face of extremely heavy enemy fire, was forced to wade ashore through neck-deep water. Disregarding the personal danger, he returned to the surf again and again to assist his floundering comrades and save them from drowning. Refusing to remain pinned down by the intense barrage of small-arms and mortar fire poured at the landing points, Pvt. Barrett, working with fierce determination, saved many lives by carrying casualties to an evacuation boat lying offshore. In addition to his assigned mission as guide, he carried dispatches the length of the fire-swept beach; he assisted the wounded; he calmed the shocked; he arose as a leader in the stress of the occasion. His coolness and his dauntless daring courage while constantly risking his life during a period of many hours had an inestimable effect on his comrades and is in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.
Nothing in the citation talks about him fighting or killing the enemy. He won the Medal of Honor by risking his own life so that others may live. He was willing to take the chance that he may not come back if it meant others he served with did. He saved countless lives as a result of his selfless actions. One could not find much more adversity in their work environment than Carlton found that day on a beach in France. He faced the adversity and triumphed over it. Not only did he win the Medal of Honor, he made it through the rest of the war and went on to serve 23 years in the Army before retiring in 1963.
Not everyone who serves in the military will display the bravery Carlton did so long ago. Many will never have the opportunity to do so but the same selfless service is woven throughout most all who do serve. Compare this to the culture you work in today. Do you have any Carlton’s working for you? In you don’t, why not? Could your company benefit from hiring more employees like Carlton? Employees who will carry on with a task no matter how arduous the journey is they most go on to complete it? When the numbers just don’t add up do they just give up and go home or do they press on until the problem is resolved? What would this kind of triumph over adversity mean to the customers you provide services too? What would it do for morale? Employee retention? Sales? Stock price?
Consider where your next Carlton is going to come from. If you don’t know or don’t have a plan on how to hire someone like Carlton, contact me, I would be happy to help you hire your next Carlton.
Dennis Davis, Chief Translation Officer