Lcpl Ayers, Anthony D.
19 March, 2012
A Message to Garcia
A Message to Garcia is an award winning essay written in 1899. It serves as an inspiration to some as well as a lesson. In the essay President McKinley needed to have a message delivered to Garcia in the jungles of Cuba, he trusted one man with this mission, Rowan. He gave Rowan clear instructions on what to do. He gave him no tips nor told him any way he could complete this mission, he simply trusted Rowan to get the job done with his skill alone. What I’ve taken from this is the leadership and trust that is put into action throughout a unit. The company commander passes down an order to the platoon commander who in turn passes it down to the platoon sergeant and then to the squad leaders and fire team leaders who are tasked with accomplishing the mission.
The trust that was put in Rowan is the same trust that is tasked throughout squads and fire teams. We have to be able to use the resources that we have on hand and the skills we learn throughout our training to be able to accomplish whatever mission and task is set before us. It gives examples at the end of the essay of different types of people who could be tasked out for missions but get lost along their way and lose sight of what needs to be done. It talks about people who need to do work when the “boss” is away and does work as well when he is at home. The man who when given an order doesn’t question it, but obeys without hesitation and does his job proficiently and thoroughly. The leaders who step up when it is needed and when it is not to be able to build trust in one another and earn the respect of his peers. A Message to Garcia highlights a prime example of the leadership that is need in a battalion, company, platoon and squad sized element, as well as the society we live in.