Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Happy Birthday, Baron von Steuben
Friedrich Wilhelm Augustus von Steubenwas born 28- years ago in Madgeburg, Germany. Though he served in the armies of Frederick the Great, he was not, as he claimed to Goerge Washington, a former brigadier general—he never reached a rank higher than captain. He was, however, a superior troop trainer. When he arrived in Valley Forge in 1778, Washington put him in charge of training his soldiers. Steuben set to work training 100 carefully selected men and trained them to, in turn, be trainers. After they’d completed Steuben’s program, each of them was assigned 100 men, and by the springtime, the Continental Army was a completely different organization than it had been in the fall. The moral of the story (as I’m sure a friend of mine who’s a retired Marine D.I., whill appreciate), is never underestimate the impact of what one good drill instructor can accomplish.