The Character Building Project

Michael J. Kerrigan



Hopefully, all the readers of The Character Building Project will have time to read, The Meaning of Their Service in today’s WSJ. For those who cannot make time, I offer a few excerpts from the article by General Mattis, a retired four-star (U.S. Marine Corps) and former commander of U.S. Central Command, and a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution.

General Mattis call to revive the American spirit is reminiscent of scene from Shakespeare, Henry V (“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers…”) a speech to rally the warriors in the English camp.

Here follow a few excerpts from, The Meaning of Their Service, General Mattis explanation of how veterans can help revive American optimism.

So long as you maintain that same commitment to others and that same enthusiasm for life’s challenges that you felt in yourself, your shipmates, your comrades and buddies, you will never… Continue reading

Greg Saathoff, M.D. of ParadeRest

Greg Saathoff, M.D. of ParadeRest



By Martin Kuz

Stars and Stripes

Running bombing missions over Germany in the last months of World War II provoked a fight or flight dilemma for young Jim Kavanaugh.

“Sometimes over a target you’d think, ‘I don’t like this. I don’t think I’ll do anymore,’” said Kavanaugh, who in 1945, at 19, served as a radio operator on a B-17 Flying Fortress.

His was a natural reaction to the perils posed by German anti-aircraft fire and fighter planes. At the time, U.S. crews volunteered for missions and, in theory, could choose to ground themselves. But to drop out of the flight rotation was to risk ridicule and ostracism from fellow airmen, a fate most of them considered worse than getting shot down.

So by the time his bomber landed safely at its base in England, Kavanaugh found his reluctance dissolving, his resolve returning.… Continue reading


Posted on Apr 7, 2015 
by Kristen Davis

Oakland University professor and director of journalism Garry Gilbert will be recognized at the Media Orthopedic Reporting Excellence (MORE) awards held by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons at their conference in Washington, D.C. on April 30.

The award is for Gilbert’s story on Luke Fleer, the current regional director of development at OU, which was published as the cover story of Hour Detroit’s Health Guide magazine in March 2014.

Titled “Trauma and Triumph”, the long-text article tells the inspirational story of Fleer, a Rochester College graduate whose college basketball career abruptly ended after a near-fatal car accident his senior year.

The article isn’t as much about the accident as it is about the post-traumatic growth Fleer experienced as a result. It highlights how his attitude and spirit changed for the better, despite the unfortunate fate he was faced with.… Continue reading


I have been thinking about why some people, whether they are corporate executives, professional athletes or wounded warriors are so much better under pressure than other people.

In his book, Clutch: Why Some People Excel Under Pressure and Others Don’t, New York Times columnist Paul Sullivan argues that under extreme pressure, these business titans didn’t crack. In fact, they excelled. Sullivan makes the point that clutch is not luck. It is the ability to do what you can do under normal conditions but under extreme pressure. He defines clutch as a combination of focus, discipline, adaptability, being present, and a balance of fear and desire.

Sullivan also says being great under pressure is something that you can lose. It was clear that Tiger Woods was on top of his game and one of the greatest athletes of all time in the clutch. But that didn’t mean he’d be great… Continue reading

1 2 3 116

Sign Up for Updates


For a limited time, grab a FREE copy of the book, Courage in America: Warriors with Character

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.