An LDS Medal of Honor recipient spoke about leadership at the BYU Varsity Theater on Thursday, Sept 5.
Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha defined leadership as “making the most out of the least amount possible.”
At the lecture, Romesha spoke of his modest beginnings that eventually led him to receive the highest honor awarded in the United States for military service. He introduced himself as a “regular, average, ordinary guy” who joined the army after looking at his high school grades.
Romesha is one of 12 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to receive the Medal of Honor for going above and beyond the call of duty.
“I was just doing my job,” Romesha said.
On Oct. 9, 2009, Romesha led a section of the Bravo Troop in a counter attack against a large force of Taliban fighters at Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan, saving several lives at the risk of his own.
In his address, Romesha described the events of that day. His troop woke to a surprise attack by the Taliban, with no troop commander and a new platoon leader.
“That’s how fast it is,” Romesha said, referring to the sudden leadership responsibilities thrust upon the platoon leader. “That’s all it took, just being there, and what you do with it.”
During the attack, Romesha rallied five volunteers to take back critical positions and rescued wounded comrades.
In his remarks to the Brigham Young and Utah Valley University ROTC cadets, Romesha credited his success to listening and committing to the training he received in the military. He encouraged cadets to gain muscle memory from their training, and to seek advice from those with experience overseas.
Romesha also connected leadership to loyalty.
“Duty will get you a mission accomplished, but loyalty will get so much farther. Each one of you has greatness inside … are you going to sit down and let is pass you by, or stand up?” he asked.
In his concluding remarks, Romesha touched on humility.
“Don’t talk about how cool you are … your actions will say that,” he said.
Romesha also gave credit to his family for serving with him for 12 years.
“Being in the military is a family business – your parents, spouse and kids serve along with you.”
In addition to receiving the Medal of Honor, Romesha was named the George Q. Cannon Honoree by the ROTC at the BYU football game on Saturday, Sept. 7.