The Character Building Project

Michael J. Kerrigan



Josh Burnette, SFC (R)

The last of the birds left in the few moments leading up to this one and now all that remained was the glass-like tone of the seemingly empty water. After chasing many pods of birds and feeding fish before this one we decided to keep fishing anyway. We all kept throwing cast after cast in separate directions off the boat and continued to keep high hopes of a bite even though it seemed the odds have stacked against us. I had just thrown one more and was letting it sink a little when from behind me I heard Josh shout “Bobby! Bobby! I got one! I got one!” Turning around to find him with his rod nearly doubled in half and the sound of the drag being forcefully taken out. I was overtaken with so much excitement that I struggled to focus enough to even… Continue reading




This review is from: The Death of Character: Moral Education in an Age Without Good or Evil 
Imagine my surprise to find out that Professor James Davison Hunter, a gifted and first class professor, the author of The Death of Character… Moral Education in an Age Without Good or Evil resides in my adopted hometown of left-leaning Charlottesville, Virginia. I had read and enjoyed Professor Hunter’s earlier work on the Culture Wars and should have been prepared for his own strength of character in boldly criticizing the psychology regime’s domination and weakening of moral commitment of today’s educational gatekeepers.

The Death of Character is an important read, if you believe as I do, that character really matters. For Hunter… “Character was always related to an explicitly moral standard of conduct, oriented toward work, building, expanding, achieving, and sacrifice on behalf of a larger good.” Hunter contrast… Continue reading



Recently, I asked my friend and author of The Heroic Heart, Tod Lindberg,  how the study of heroism might lead to the development of character, leadership and other virtues? Here is Tod’s answer…

I think one of he most useful aspects of the lens of heroism is that it draws people in to broader topics. For instance, it’s one thing to hear a lecture on how Rome established a Republic. It’s another thing altogether, far more vivid, to tell the story of Lucretia and her suicide to prove her accusation of rape against the son of the Roman king, leading to the fall of the monarchy. Likewise, in discussing political order and the danger of disruption, the personal story of Julius Caesar, or of the row between Agamemnon and Achilles, brings the subject to life, especially for students, who are often the victims these days of very dry,… Continue reading


Thanks to my good friend, United States Marine Aviator (Retired), combat veteran, successful Arizona banker and supporter of The Character Building Project, Randy Hammond for sharing the excellent BBC documentary by David Botti.

Please take the time to view the BBC’s David Botti’s full documentary which can be seen…

US military veterans are often called “heroes” and thanked for their service — so why are some veterans pushing back against this, and does it reveal a disconnect between civilians and veterans?

I am very fortunate to have pals like Randy adding to the knowledge base of The Character Building Project. Please remember all our veterans not just tomorrow but throughout the year so they will know we got their six.

Happy 240th birthday Randy and all you Marines!


4.0 out of 5 stars Adam I Surrenders to Adam II, November 7, 2015
This review is from: The Road to Character (Hardcover)

David Brooks, The Road to Character, in my view, ranks four stars but more important than my ranking, Brooks book profoundly influenced my thinking of my past and present life. First let me explain the ranking then how the book impacted my thinking.

His book takes on not only an important discussion of character but also the challenging topic of sin, redemption and the inner life. It is well crafted, beginning with the distinction between resume virtues (Adam I) and eulogy virtues (Adam II) and concludes with an excellent summation of the “humility code.”

At the outset and throughout this well written book, Brooks explains a vocation is not a career but a calling. Like Plutarch and other moralists, Brooks describes the lives… Continue reading

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Mottoes & Quotes

“In War: Resolution, In Defeat: Defiance, In Victory: Magnanimity,In Peace: Good Will.”

— Winston S. Churchill

For the Visually Impaired

Courage in America has been aurally transcribed for the visually impaired, thanks to Volunteers of Vacaville, California. Tel: 704.448.6841 ext 2044.