Before Damon ever enlists into the army, he already exhibits the qualities of a leader. While reading the first part, Orchard, in Once an Eagle, we find out that he works as night clerk at a hotel in town. We know that he is the oldest son in his family and that his father has passed. He works not only to make money, but also to make money to support his family. This shows his sense of Duty and Selfless-Service towards his family that we later see carry on into his military career. We also learn of his Personal Courage when being confronted with Riley who arrived at the hotel drunk, demanding to be served.
Damon did not run away when being threatened y a man so much bigger than himself. He is able to devise a plan to take out Riley, successfully executing it, earning himself a reputation as “The Night Clerk” that follows him through his military career. In this first part of the book alone Damon proves that he is a very capable leader, exhibiting Duty, Selfless-Service, Personal Courage, and adding on to the qualities already listed, Confidence, Resilience, showing Mental Agility, and being Physically Fit. Damon continuously presents all of these throughout the book.
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
Damon attempts to go to West Point to start his military career, but he could to wait another year for the position the Nebraskan congressman had promised (Damon proved himself by making an excellent score on the exam and impressing the congressman). He enlists despite the protests of his family. Damon sees action during World War l, and it is during this time that he fights a battle that is a great example of how he is meant to lead. Damon is separated from his platoon during a battle; finds one of his men (Brewster) and the two are on their way to meet up with the rest of their forces.
Along the way he encounters Devils, Airborne and Polite captured by two Germans and walking own a road. He displays Mental Agility when planning how to free his men from their captors. He quickly briefs Brewster, who is terrified, but Damon motivates him, telling him that he is absolutely capable of completing the plan (Developing Others and Interpersonal Tact). They are able to free their comrades and as they continue on they pick up two more soldiers from C Company. As they continue, they arrive at Briny-el-Thief, which Damon recognizes from a brief that was the German’s main objective.
Again exhibiting his Mental Agility, he creates a plan that he successfully executes, showing how Resilient he was n his attack despite them being outnumbered and ill equipped. He takes out the German force up in the farmhouse, showing to his mean his Confidence and ability to Lead by Example. As soon as the farmhouse is captured he places the men in positions to defend, using Sound Judgment and his experience as a night clerk at a hotel (the height being just right, as he reports to Major Caldwell) to keep watch and conduct an attack on approaching German forces.
As expected, the German force arrived, and maintaining his Confidence, Military Bearing, and Domain Knowledge in tactics, he waits till the Germans are barely one hundred awards from the farmhouse before he orders the men to fire. His actions win him the attention of Major Caldwell, who becomes a key figure in his life (he is also to be his father-in-law). Other battles such as these further illustrate Damson’s leadership, and despite hardships, he never quits. The book doesn’t mention anything about Courtney Manganese till later on in the story.
He ends up being the main character that clashes with Damon (there are others, but their lives in the story are short). Their first meeting starts off with tension. Manganese speaks to the men and to Damon as inferiors, showing lack of Respect and Interpersonal Tact, at least until he realizes who Damon is. Manganese is absent for most of the book, but whenever he appears, he has progressed in his career, becoming a higher-ranking officer than Damon. Though Manganese advances much further in his military career, it is apparent, even to Damon, that he lacks leadership (he never really leads any men).
He lacks Respect, Loyalty, Integrity, Honor, and Selfless-Service: all the traits that Damon maintains. Near the middle of the story, we learn more of Manganese’s personal history. His father was a military man who died in the Philippines during the Insurrection. Though from a rich family, they experienced a downfall with the Crash of 1907, resulting in pressure from his mother and aunt that he resurrect the family. He is an excellent student and athlete; he even attends West Point.
Manganese and Damon can actually be comparable in the fact that they both are Physically Fit, Confident, Resilient, and have Military Bearing, but the fact that Manganese has avoided combat for so long and lacks the experience that Damon does, he understands that he lacks something, and if he is able to make Damon his right hand man then his utter success is inevitable. However, as we continue on with he story, we know that Damon is not the same type of man that Manganese is: a power hungry individual bent on obtaining the highest position in his career possible. Damon demonstrates Integrity in a rather humorous situation.
Airborne and another member of the company dressed in French uniforms in order to sneak past the MSP in order to visit a whorehouse. He escorts them back in order to supervise their exchange of uniforms. Though amused, he lectures them on their actions. By the end of World War l, Damon becomes one of the most decorated men in the Army. While recovering from an injury he sustains near the end of the war, he tests his future wife, Tommy, the daughter of Caldwell. Tommy is not the biggest fan of the Army, so after the two are married she repeatedly tries to pull Damon away from further military service.
Damon wants to do what is best for his family, and does make a few attempts (worked a civilian job at one point). He is stilled pulled back into the army over a strong sense of Loyalty and Respect to the men that serve and to the ones that he served with that had died. He also believes that it is his destiny to be in the Army and lead. This becomes a continuous problem between him and Tommy, especially since Damon has no interest, like Manganese, to advance himself through his career and to utilize his rank to obtain things.
An example of such is when he and Tommy are assigned to live in a rather dilapidated house in which Damon restores, but only to have to give it up to an incoming captain (he is reduced to first lieutenant after the war). Tommy urges Damon to use his rank to assist them, but showing Integrity, he tells her that that is not the type of person he is. Damon yet again proves himself as a very capable leader when he is stationed in the Philippines as a captain who takes charge of a company whose previous meander had been relieved of his duty because he was a drunk. The company was in poor condition, lacking discipline and motivation.
He improves the horrible food being fed to the company, takes full command of the ball team and the ‘toothpick” (senior enlisted man), and drilled and hiked the company until they became the best in the regiment. Here Sam demonstrates his ability to Lead and Develop Others, not to mention his Innovation in improving the company and their morale (they later come to call themselves Damson’s Demons). Like every other situation he has encounter, he Gets Results (making the company the best in the regiment). It is also here in the Philippines that he makes the prediction that the next Great War would take place in Asia.
Damon begins to study materials related to Asia that would aid him as an officer, again demonstrating how he Prepares himself. Because of Damson’s reputation and for his ability to keep and open mind and study to prepare himself, a Cool. Metcalf chooses him to go to China to observe guerilla tactics of the Chinese against the Japanese. Though his assignment puts pressure on his marriage, his Loyalty to the army and Duty as a soldier prompts him to go. Here he becomes successful at learning from the Chinese, showing hat he Communicates well, is Confident, and is able to Get Results by developing a report, though Cool.
Metcalf dies in a plane crash while Damon is in China. His report is cast aside as the colonel’s replacement held no interest in it. Further on in the book, Damon is fighting in the Pacific during World War II. His enemy now is the Japanese. While he has made several unsuccessful attempts at assaulting the Japanese, during one assault he manages to gain some intelligence from the Japanese, diaries of the enemy combatants. He reads them and finds the contents useful (they included information on the low moral of the Japanese roofs). Damon at the same time devises a plan of assault involving the crossing of a river.
His plans seemed sound, but his commander Westfield becomes the main obstacle to conducting this plan. Westfield goes insane and this is the one time Damon breaks the rules, compromising his Integrity, but only to do what he had prepared himself and his men for. He pushes orders for the attack, saying that Westfield had approved. He was able to Get Results, being quite successful in his attack and being Resilient. With the end of World War II Damon is back home with Tommy. He retired and doesn’t get involved in the Korean War.
Damon and Manganese had to work with each other in the field, and during the battle of Palomino, they had a major fall out. Even though they didn’t like each other before, Damon is now enraged that Manganese’s command decisions ultimately lead to the death of his good friend, Ben. Now, after the Korean War, projections of a war in Keating have been put on the table. Manganese wants the war to happen in order to ascend to Chief of Staff, or else he would face retirement. Damon of course, has the men in his thoughts, and from all his past experiences, does not wish for another war to sake more lives.
Manganese and Damon are in a conference with the Undersecretary of Defense, going over the increasing conflict between Chinese Communists and the Keating people. Damon has spent time with them, seeing for himself what the situation was. Though Manganese believes an invasion is needed, and Damon opposes him, giving the Undersecretary the information he had gathered and presenting his case. He exhibits Sound Judgment in his report to the Undersecretary, and shows that he had Prepared himself to attempt to stifle Manganese’s plan for another war. Damon pleads to the Undersecretary to eject Manganese’s plan.
Manganese is enraged, and destroys Damson’s image to the Undersecretary. Again, a comparison of Manganese and Damon can be made based on the ensuing decision on whether or not to invade. Damon always demonstrated Loyalty to his men, Selfless-Service in the line of duty, Honor in everything he does, Integrity and Personal Courage in several challenging circumstances. Manganese’s motives for another war are all for the benefit of himself. Manganese lacks the leadership dimensions that Damon repeatedly exhibited as he fought in battles and led his men. Though Manganese, like
Damon exhibits a military Presence and Intellectual Capacity, when it comes to Leading and Developing the men, he falls far behind. Having never truly committed himself to the men fighting in all the wars and never experiencing the types of hardships that Damon had, losing men and especially those he cared for, Manganese has no concern for the costs of lives that would be the unavoidable result of another war. Even till the last moments before his death Damon tries to foil Manganese’s plan by telling Joey (Ben’s son) to continue to oppose Manganese, demonstrating his absolute commitment to the army and the men.