Tonight, I had the privilege of attending an opening showing of 12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers.  This movie is absolutely incredible!!!!  If you like tense battle scenes and incredible action, look no farther than this previously classified true story.  Jerry Bruckheimer has delivered another loud, explosive blockbuster!

12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers is based on Doug Stanton’s book Horse Soldiers.  This movie follows the journey of 12 special forces Green Berets dispatched to Afghanistan immediately after the 9-11 attacks.  This team of elite fighters must partner up with General Dustom, an Afghan warlord played by Navid Negahban, and utilize unconventional tactics to accomplish their mission.

I rarely, if ever, attend R-Rated movies.  The only exceptions I make are for films which honor those who protect America – see Lone Survivor, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Bengazi, and Patriots Day.  Each time I see any of these movies, I am completely overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude for the bravery and skill of those who protect our country and freedoms.

The R-Rating is for excessive language and violence as you would expect.  I will say this, the final battle scene is as exciting a 10 minutes of filmmaking as I have seen in a long, long time.  Incredible!

The following are 21 Leadership Quotes And Lessons From 12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers:

  1. The Families Of Great Leaders Pay A Great Price As Well – Early in the movie, the film does a great job showing the price the families of America’s elite special forces play.  Because of their responsibilities and demands on their time, families often pay a high leadership price as well.
  2. Children Can Easily Be Marginalized In A Leader’s Life – Green Beret Sam Diller’s wife said, “Spend time with the kids.  I know what I signed up for.  They don’t.”
  3. Captain Nelson, played by Chris Hemsworth, his wife said, “I’m a soldier’s wife.  I’m lucky... All I’ve had to worry about is malaria.”
  4. There Should Be Nothing Better For Leaders Than Coming Home – His wife added, “I don’t care how long you’ve gone as long as I know you’re coming back.”
  5. Calendars Can Create Urgency – When the team of Task Force Dagger arrived in Afghanistan, they were given six months to complete their mission.  Because of an incoming winter season, they were forced to complete it in three weeks.
  6. Leaders Are Forced To Make Hard Decisions – Nelson was asked, “How do you leave your family you love then go to war?”
  7. Leaders Start With Why – Colonel Mulholland told Nelson, “The most important thing a man can take into war is a reason why.”
  8. Leaders Keep Things Simple – Nelson was told by his troops, “Your only goal is keeping us alive.”
  9. “The only way home is winning.”
  10. Successful Leaders Have A Uniquely Positive Perspective On The Challenges They Face – When facing what appeared to be an insurmountable Al-Qaeda army, one soldier remarked, “Out-numbered 5000-to-1.  That’s a target rich environment.”
  11. Great Leaders Go First – Knowing they were the first ones into Afghanistan after 9-11, Nelson said, “We are the test flight.”
  12. Lasting Leaders Have Integrity – Nelson said, “I made her a promise I’m coming home.  I’m not writing her a letter telling her I broke it.”
  13. Great Leaders Are Bridge Builders – “It’s good to know the language of your enemies.”
  14. Trust Takes Time For Leaders To Build.  You Cannot Rush It. – It took several battles and many days for trust to be built between Captain Nelson and his fellow combatant General Dustom.
  15. Regarding their views of the quality of life compared to how Americans think, General Dustom said, “You live where your life looks better than your after-life.  For them the after-life looks better than their life.”  Wow!
  16. Regardless Of The Industry, Smart Leaders Trust Their Boots On The Ground – General Dustom said, “You have the sky but wars are won in the dirt.”
  17. If You Want To Get Results You Have Never Got, You Have To Do Things you Have Never Done – In order to conquer the Al-Qaeda forces, Nelson made a decision that his entire team could not approach the enemy through mountainous terrain.  He had a portion of his unit flank them through the desert.  Because of its harsh conditions and lack of food, no one would ever suspect them coming from that direction.
  18. Leaders Always Ask “What’s Next?” – Diller said, “We won the battle.  We’ve still got to win the war.”
  19. You Will Follow Great Leaders Anywhere – Diller asked Nelson, “Where are you taking us next?”  To which he replied, “Home.”  Diller replied, “I’ll follow you there.  I’ll follow you anywhere.”
  20. Crisis Brings People Together – The closing movie credits noted Captain Nelson and General Dustom are still friends to this very day.
  21. Last Impressions Last – Great moments always end well.  The thing I will remember from this movie is the amazing final battle.

Once again, 12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers is a story America needs to know.  Go see it this weekend just prepare yourself for the violence and language.


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