Like any man, he had his strengths and weaknesses, his triumphs and failures. Over the next few days all this will be examined for noble and decent purposes as well as for petty and vindictive ones. Such is the nature of our society. I never knew the man or worked for him, but he was the speaker at my MOTC graduation dinner in 1988. I didn't hear a word he said. I was "all likkered up" and far too cynical at the time to pay attention. I didn't even remember he was there until someone reminded me several years later.
However, one particular incident in his career is enough to show me he was an honorable man and an officer worthy of those he commanded and the nation he served. This occurred in 1970 while serving as a battalion commander during his second tour in Viet Nam.
"One of the most remarkable incidents in a distinguished career happened on this tour. When Colonel Schwarzkopf received word that men under his command had encountered a minefield, he rushed to the scene in his helicopter. He found several soldiers still trapped in the minefield. Schwarzkopf urged them to retrace their steps slowly. Still, one man tripped a mine and was severely injured but remained conscious. As the wounded man flailed in agony, the soldiers around him feared that he would set off another mine. Schwarzkopf, also injured by the explosion, crawled across the minefield to the wounded man and held him down so another could splint his shattered leg. One soldier stepped away to break a branch from a nearby tree to make the splint. In doing so, he too hit a mine, killing himself and the two men closest to him, and blowing the leg off of Schwarzkopf's liaison officer. Eventually, Colonel Schwarzkopf led his surviving men to safety. He was awarded the Silver Star for his bravery but, more importantly to Norman Schwarzkopf, he cemented his reputation as an officer who would risk anything for the soldiers under his command." (Academy of Achievement)