Duty First: A Year in the Life of West Point and the Making of American Leaders

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Ruggero details the struggles of young men and wom Duty First is a penetrating account of a year inside one of America's premier schools for leadership-the United States Military Academy at West Point. Ruggero details the struggles of young men and women who will lead the American soldiers of the future.

Writing with deep insight and superb narrative skill, he follows their tumultuous lives: Duty First also shows the role played by the majors, captains, and sergeants, who oversee everything that happens at this unique institution.

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Duty First - Ed Ruggero - E-book

By taking a close, critical look at the Academy's standards and traditions, Ruggero examines the changes in West Point's approach to leadership training that have sparked controversy among its alumni. While all West Pointers would agree with one graduate's claim that "steel is forged in fire," many worry that the fire has been allowed to cool too much. Does today's Academy produce leaders with the inner steel to fight and win the nation's wars, or are today's cadets being coddled in the interest of political correctness, retention, and diversity?

Above the Hudson River to the hot and humid barracks rooms where the nation's future captains struggle, Ruggero combines objective reporting with the emotional perspective of memoir to take readers on a guided tour through the jarring, overwhelming, inspiring leadership school that is West Point.

Duty First: West Point and the Making of American Leaders

The stories in Duty First widely reverberate far beyond West Point, because while the specific goals and methods of developing leaders differ, the fundamental values courage, commitment, selfless sacrifice - are the same for all leaders, from the parents of small children to the CEOs of major corporations. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Duty First , please sign up.

Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Jun 02, Jamon rated it liked it. Since I live within 30 minutes of west point and this book was recommended as a good book on business leadership I took a gander. The book details life of the cadets. An underlying theme is the change in West point from demeaning cadets to building them up to now motivating the cadets and giving micro responsibilities with open feedback.

The author to alumni who had the harsh treatment as cadets and they argue the cruel treatment prepared them for the stresses of battle.


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A second theme is the ba Since I live within 30 minutes of west point and this book was recommended as a good book on business leadership I took a gander. A second theme is the balance of enforcing the honor code while helping mold cadets. The book was challenging in trying to track a few students through the first year like trying to catch characters on 24, they are always doing something and I thought not well written, repetitive to the point that you can see the point the author is trying to make in 7 different ways.

Dec 26, Emilie rated it liked it Shelves: Ruggero looks into what a typical academic year is like at the United States Military Academy, also known as West Point. The book follows everyone from the first years to the seniors, to West Point grads who have returned to serve as Tacs for the next generation of West Point grads.

While neither glorifying or vilifying the institution, Ruggero provides what I have heard is an accurate portrayal of a year at the Academy. Sep 12, Bill Allen rated it really liked it Shelves: A good book that gives a look at the inside workings of West Point from the cadet's, TAC officer's, instructor's, and all the way to the Commandant and Superintendent's views. Good for anyone interested in the academy.. Apr 11, Shelley rated it it was amazing.

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Another good book about West Point. Jan 26, Ruth Ann rated it really liked it Shelves: Sometimes hilarious look at life at West Point. Aug 06, Caitlin Dooley rated it it was amazing. Sep 09, Kruggero added it. Valerie rated it liked it Apr 23, Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review.

Read reviews that mention west point leadership cadets military ruggero school young. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Ed did an excellent job on both. Duty First did not disappoint. My son went to West Point so I wanted an account of what he went through.

Book is good but so impressed with the school! Takes allot of dedication and fortitude by Takes allot of dedication and fortitude by these young cadets to successfully graduate from the point! Never having served in the military, it was revealing and interesting. Well worth the time. Pretty good read, not great though. Books about leadership are a publishing fad these days, from the "leadership secrets" of some historical figure to the experiences and opinions of industry bigwigs.

In most cases, these books seem to have the common approach of taking questionable insights and reducing them to trite slogans. This book isn't like that. As an in-depth view of "America's premier leadership school" if it does say so itself , this book not only contains valuable lessons on leadership, but was also about the best and most comprehensive book I've ever read on any of the federal service academies But "Duty First" is still head and shoulders above most of the rest.

When the Army prepared to write a report on how leaders are developed at the US Military Academy aka West Point , they discovered that, in fact, there wasn't any formal training doctrine at all. The lessons of leadership, and the means of transmitting them, had developed informally over time. As a result, West Point cadets are not spoon-fed maxims and "principles. Ed Ruggero follows the same course: In telling us the stories of a handful of cadets during their journey through the Academy, he doesn't bludgeon us with "The point of that was As I said, this book isn't just about leadership.

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It's also an extremely good guide to the life of a cadet at the USMA. Having not long before read Catherine Manegold's "In Glory's Shadow" about The Citadel, I was struck by the vast difference between that school's "adversarial" approach to cadet training, and West Point's team-based, but still rigorous, method. Of course, West Point used to be "adversarial" too. But, as Ruggero explains, that approach has been abandoned, in part because it was judged a failure in preparing cadets for the "real world" of commanding soldiers in the field.

This book doesn't settle the Old Way Versus New Way debate by any means, but is a strong argument in favor of a training regime based on a desire to succeed, instead of fear of failure and what some would call abuse. I would strongly encourage any young person interested in attending a service academy, or any parent of a current or prospective cadet, to buy this book and read it closely. MBA students and business leaders looking for leadership lessons from a school that has been training leaders for two centuries will find a lot to profit from too.

Ruggero's book is an entertaining read and probably manages to catch some of the essence of a service academy. And it is a BIG but. He doesn't show you the whole picture. It seems that cadets are mostly on O-courses, leading other cadets, and generally undertaking physical activities. I suspect that somewhere in those grey buildings at West Point there are class rooms. And they are probably used for teaching cadets!!! But none of that in Ruggero's book.

Therefore, Ruggero does not manage to portray the entire academy experience. Which, by my experience having attended another military college, is spent in huge amounts hunkered over books!