Roy Benavidez’s Leadership Legacy
SSG Gonzalez, Brandon
Non-Commissioned Officer Academy
Roy Benavidez’s Leadership Legacy The purpose of this paper is to professionally analyze a leader in order to identify how their attributes and competencies impacted their organization and affected my own leadership philosophy. Master Sergeant Retired Roy Benavidez is a leader whose actions positively influenced the United States Army and greatly influenced my leadership philosophy. Benavidez influenced the United States Army by aligning his core attributes, character, presence, and intellect and his core competencies, leads, develops, and achieves with Army doctrine before it existed. Benavidez’s leadership style and personal sacrifices…show more content… The leadership model in ADRP 6-22 (2012) shows that military and professional bearing, fitness, confidence, and resilience affect one’s presence (p. 1-5). Throughout Benavidez’s life, he created a presence that is still seen and felt today. During a speech given in 1991, long after his retirement, Benavidez showed his military and personal bearing. Benavidez said, “It makes me feel great when I put my uniform on. That’s the best piece of clothing I have ever owned. And hey I wear it all the time, I don’t care what other people think. They think I don’t have civilian clothes. I don’t care. It is great to be in uniform. . . And I get a haircut every Friday” (Losch & Kingsbury, 2017). Benavidez demonstrated his fitness, confidence, and resilience during his recovery from his first wound in Vietnam. In 1965, Benavidez stepped on a mine, which paralyzed him from the waist down (Benavidez, 1991, para. 7). Against his doctors’ wishes, Benavidez would “slip out of bed and crawl to a wall using my elbows and chin. My back would just be killing me and I’d be crying, but I get to the wall and I’d stand there like Kaw-Liga, the Indian. I’d stand and move my toes, right and left every single chance I got” (Benavidez, 1991, para. 7). Nine months later, Benavidez limped out of the hospital on his own (Benavidez, 1991, para. 9). Benavidez’s drive to walk again…show more content… Leaders do this by promoting a positive environment, preparing oneself, developing others, and being a steward of the profession (ADRP 6-22, 2012, p. 7-1). Benavidez successfully impacted the U.S. Army by developing many Soldiers and standing as a steward of his profession through the speeches he provided after receiving his Medal of Honor. Benavidez’s speeches affect people who watch them online today just as much as those present during their recordings years ago. Over one million people have viewed recordings of Benavidez’s speeches. He also tried to extend his influence to the development of kids. He conducted speeches at schools, youth groups, and counseling sessions with troubled kids, trying to encourage them to stay in school and off drugs (McCain, n.d). After receiving his Medal of Honor he took it upon himself to develop Soldiers and children, showing he was a dynamic leader.
I have mentioned Benavidez’s achievements throughout this paper. He selflessly saved eight men, his rise from a high school drop out to Medal of Honor recipient is amazing, and his drive to walk again is inspirational. He achieved more in his life than most could wish for. An important aspect of Benavidez’s achievements is how others saw his actions and rewarded them. To this day, Benavidez has three elementary schools, a youth boot camp, and a naval cargo ship named after