The Army has taught me how to be resourceful.
Col. Douglas Wheelock walks you through how he had to use the problem-solving skills he gained in the Army during a recent spacewalk.
As you're coming up through the Army whether you're in the enlisted ranks or a warrant officer and commissioned officer ranks you're exposed to a lot of different leadership types. The thing that West Point taught me was that all different types of leadership styles can be effective in their own, in their own right and the most important thing was to be the type of leader that you're wired to be.
I'll be launching next May, May 30th of 2010 and I'll be the commander of Expedition 25 aboard the International Space Station. And I'll have a team of six and so probably the two most important things that the Army has taught me is small unit leadership. How to be a leader in a small unit setting and then coupled with that the other thing that the Army has taught me is how to be resourceful when it comes to problem solving.
I got a chance to fly on the space shuttle, and on my second space walk as the array was coming out, one of the array panels tore. So we were in danger of sending the space station out of control and tumbling. So we built these things, and we took them outside and we crawled up on that solar ray and we sewed it up.
But all of that, I learned all that problem solving and going out and tackling the task, which seemed impossible just hours prior to that, was much like the situations I'd seen in the small units in the Army and I was thankful for the greatest gift that the Army had given me, a problem-solving mind, and how to take limited resources and just my small team and come up with a very elegant, eloquent solution.
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