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I started my journey to become a leader at a young age. I grew up with a dream of leading soldiers in combat. And as I grew, I was haunted by the nightmare of failure. But I succeeded, sometimes struggling and always learning. My upbringing served me well; my father was a career Navy officer and Vietnam veteran. He taught me that leading meant first serving; never asking your troops to do what you were not willing to do. My mother also contributed to my success, teaching me that “it is not what happens, but how you handle it that counts”. I first served in the Virginia Army National Guard as a member of the famed “Blue and Gray” 29th Infantry Division. As an enlisted soldier, I learned valuable lessons about following which became the seeds for real-world effective leadership. I graduated from Old Dominion University in 2001 and earned a commission as a US Army infantry officer. I reported to Fort Benning on the eve of the 9/11 attack that drew our nation to war. During the invasion of Iraq, I led infantrymen into combat as a platoon leader in another famous unit, the 101st Airborne Division Screaming Eagles. In 2008, I was selected to train tactics to the first operational units of the Afghan National Civil Order Police. I later participated in high risk combat operations at their side, where they proved their mettle and professionalism under fire. When I left the Army, I embarked on a new journey in the civilian world, working in multiple industries as management with zero industry knowledge. My value was my leadership skills. This is what I want to teach you. I want you to become a leader, someone who can walk into any environment and empower others to achieve success. You are capable of leading, and The Rucksack of Leadership is your guide to achieving this power.