America's Best Leaders: U.S. Junior Officers, Military

Rising in the military ranks with a wisdom forged by war.

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U.S. junior officers serving in war zones

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To say that, Fick adds, he had two litmus tests. He had to know that whatever he asked his troops to do was morally right. "Not the justice of the Iraq war, but our big slice of the pie had to be morally justifiable." Second, he had to know that if any of his troops were killed, he "would be able to stand in their parents' living room and explain to them honestly why their son died working for me and why I thought it was worth it. That raises the bar very, very high," he adds. "But we cleared it every day."

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