Lessons from History in 18 War Movies: A Memorial Day Tribute

Memorial Day Tribute

This Memorial Day, we pay tribute to the brave men and women who have served and sacrificed for our freedom. Join me as we uncover timeless leadership lessons from history through 18 war movies, celebrating their legacy and learning from their experiences.

As we honor their memory, let’s also learn from their experiences. The leadership and resilience displayed during these significant historical events provide us with timeless lessons that we can apply to all areas of life, including business. These are my all-time favorite movies that I have watched over the years, and I hope they inspire you as they have inspired me.

Personal Note:
I love watching movies, graphic design, and branding. This post combines all the things I love into one project. It’s about tapping into the fields of creativity in my own work and discovering the abundant resources available to me. By embracing and honoring my own gifts and talents, I can truly express myself and inspire others. Because of the sacrifices made by those who have served, I have the ability and freedom to hack away at my computer all day long so I can create the work I do.

Thank you.

U.S. Army

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Word: Sacrifice (1944)

Description: A squad of U.S. soldiers embarks on a mission to find and bring home Private James Ryan, whose brothers have been killed in action, sacrificing their safety for the mission.

Lesson: The value of sacrifice for the greater good. True leaders are willing to make personal sacrifices to ensure the success and safety of their team.

Band of Brothers (2001)

Word: Brotherhood (1944)

Description: Follows the journey of Easy Company from training through D-Day and the end of World War II, highlighting the strong bonds formed among the soldiers.

Lesson: The power of brotherhood and camaraderie. Building strong, trust-based relationships within a team can lead to extraordinary resilience and success.

Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

Word: Conviction (1945)

Description: Desmond Doss, a conscientious objector, serves as a medic in the Battle of Okinawa, saving numerous lives despite refusing to carry a weapon due to his strong personal beliefs.

Lesson: Standing firm on convictions. Strong leaders inspire others by upholding their principles and demonstrating unwavering commitment to their values, even under extreme pressure.

We Were Soldiers (2002)

Word: Leadership (1965)

Description: Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore leads his troops in the first major battle of the Vietnam War, staying with his men on the front lines.

Lesson: Leading from the front. Effective leaders lead by example, sharing risks and challenges with their team, and inspiring loyalty and commitment through their actions.

Black Hawk Down (2001)

Word: Teamwork (1993)

Description: U.S. soldiers are involved in a chaotic battle in Mogadishu, Somalia, relying on teamwork and trust to survive and complete their mission.

Lesson: The critical nature of teamwork and trust. Success in high-stakes situations depends on cohesive teamwork and mutual trust.

U.S. Navy

Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

Word: Vigilance (1941)

Description: The events leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor demonstrate the consequences of underestimating the enemy and the need for constant vigilance.

Lesson: The importance of vigilance and preparedness. Effective leaders anticipate and prepare for potential challenges and threats.

Midway (2019)

Word: Strategy (1942)

Description: The Battle of Midway shows how U.S. forces used intelligence and strategic planning to turn the tide against the Japanese Navy.

Lesson: Strategic use of intelligence. Utilizing accurate and timely information is crucial for making informed decisions and achieving strategic goals.

Crimson Tide (1995)

Word: Decisiveness (1995)

Description: A conflict aboard a U.S. nuclear submarine during a potential nuclear crisis highlights the need for decisive and confident leadership.

Lesson: Decisive leadership in crises. In times of crisis, leaders must make quick, confident decisions to steer their team through uncertainty.

U.S. Marine Corps

Flags of Our Fathers (2006)

Word: Humility (1945)

Description: The story behind the iconic photograph of the raising of the American flag on Iwo Jima explores the reality of heroism and the burden it carries.

Lesson: The complexity of heroism. True leadership acknowledges the nuanced nature of heroism and the importance of humility.

The Pacific (2010)

Word: Endurance (1942-1945)

Description: U.S. Marines endure brutal conditions in the Pacific Theater during WWII, facing relentless combat and harsh environments.

Lesson: Resilience and determination are crucial for overcoming adversity. Effective leaders inspire their teams to persist through extreme hardships, showing that enduring difficult conditions with courage and tenacity can lead to eventual success.

Jarhead (2005)

Word: Mental Fortitude (1990-1991)

Description: Follows the experiences of a Marine sniper during Operation Desert Storm, highlighting the psychological challenges faced by soldiers.

Lesson: The importance of mental fortitude. Leaders must cultivate mental resilience and strength to endure challenging and stressful environments.

Special Forces/Navy SEALs

Lone Survivor (2013)

Word: Resilience (2005)

Description: Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell and his team face overwhelming odds during a mission in Afghanistan, showcasing extraordinary resilience and perseverance.

Lesson: Resilience and perseverance. Leaders must demonstrate resilience and the ability to persevere through adversity.

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Word: Determination (2011)

Description: The decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden exemplifies relentless determination and the importance of intelligence and strategy.

Lesson: The relentless pursuit of goals. Effective leaders maintain focus and determination to achieve critical objectives, despite challenges.

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2016)

Word: Courage (2012)

Description: The security team defends the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, showing exceptional courage and composure under fire.

Lesson: Courage under fire. True leadership is exemplified by maintaining composure and courage in the face of extreme danger.

American Sniper (2014)

Word: Focus (2001-2009)

Description: The life of Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history, illustrates the intense focus required in his role.

Lesson: Maintaining focus and precision in high-stress environments is crucial. Effective leaders must stay concentrated on their objectives despite external pressures and distractions.

U.S. Air Force

The Tuskegee Airmen (1995)

Word: Pioneering (1941-1945)

Description: The story of the first African-American fighter pilots in the U.S. Army Air Corps, who overcame significant racial barriers and prejudice to serve their country during World War II.

Lesson: Breaking barriers. Effective leaders inspire by challenging the status quo and breaking down barriers, showing that courage and perseverance can lead to significant progress.

My Commitment

I am on a mission to strengthen the ability of manufacturing companies to communicate with clarity what they do and why they do it. Through the understanding of complex ideas and the application of modern, minimal, and effective design, in order to strengthen manufacturing efforts here in the US, support progress, and foster resourceful self reliance.