In part one of second episode of the interview series on the Task Force Tribute project, Christian Anschuetz, Principal Advisor and Consultant, SFDigital LLC, chat with Colonel Cole C. Kingseed, Ph.D., (Ret.) on his service, background, and involvement in sharing the stories of veterans.
01:26 — Kingseed is a retired Army officer who served for 30 years and commanded at the platoon, company, and battalion levels. During his career, he served in the infantry in a variety of assignments. After serving, Kingseed became a professor of history and chief of Military History at the U.S.Military Academy at West Point. Kingseed holds a Ph.D. from Ohio State University and a master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College. He has written several published books and is a New York Times best-selling author.
05:43 — After leaving the military in 2001, Kingseed started his own company. The purpose of his company was to take leaders of all sorts to battlegrounds — the focus was not on what happened, but rather, the ‘how’ and ‘why’ it happened. For Kingseed, the most effective way to do this was through storytelling, because “facts tell, but stories sell.” Through his storytelling, Kingseed was able to impart the importance of character-based leadership and leading with ambiguity.
09:09 — Kingseed was able to deliver effective stories because he knew many of the veterans whose stories he was sharing. As a young boy, Kingseed met President Dwight Eisenhower, which had a profound impact on him. Additionally, he shares that he met Major Richard “Dick” Winters, Joe Dawson, First Sergeant Leonard “Bud” Lomell, and General James Gavin.
12:20 — Anschuetz shares that the purpose of the Task Force Tribute series is to capture more veterans’ stories, particularly as it relates to more recent wars.
13:46 — Many veterans with combat experience “do it as a job to be done, but really do it for the soldiers on their left and right.” Kingseed’s father was a sailor on the USS MacDonough on December 7, 1941 — he did not speak about Pearl Harbor for 30 years. Why? “They did not talk about it to glorify themselves, but their buddies were dying at a rapid rate…they wanted their buddies’ stories to be told,” shares Kingseed.
15:50 — It is incumbent upon the current generation to tell all the stories as much as possible, says Kingseed. He adds that “the bonds that bring those who serve in uniform transcend generations and sometimes nationalities.”
16:58 — To honor the service men and women lost after 9/11, Anschuetz shares that “we covered one mile” for each service member, for a total of 7,054 miles in 22 days. The objective behind this trek was to capture the stories of those who had passed — Anschuetz found that this was an effective means of “getting people to talk.”
18:50 — Why is it important that these stories are collected and do more than just exist? Kingseed says that firstly, these stories must be shared so as not to forget the importance of their deeds, which will inspire other generations. Kingseed has found that most veterans want to share the stories of men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
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