On August 5, 1864, Admiral David Farragut defiantly ordered his ships, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” which led to victory at Mobile Bay!  Farragut’s inspirational leadership epitomized: 

  • PATRIOTIC TEAMWORK:  A southerner, born in Tennessee, he was stationed in Norfolk, VA at the outbreak of the Civil War.  He opposed the South’s cause, and once Virginia seceded, he moved his family to New York and remained loyal to the Union.
  • HISTORIC TONE:  “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” has since become a metaphor for courage in the face of adversity. 
  • INCREDIBLE TENACITY:  Farragut joined the Navy as a Midshipman at age nine during the War of 1812 and fought in every U.S. Navy action for the next half century!

I grew up across the street from ADM Farragut’s eternal resting place: Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, NY.  Today, I’m motivated every time I visit the Army Navy Club, on “Farragut Square” in Washington, DC, where there is a magnificent bronze stature of this American hero.

– Rear Admiral Paul Becker, USN (Ret) is a motivational and national security keynote speaker.  He is a leadership professor at the U.S. Naval Academy and the CEO of The Becker T3 Group. In 2016, The Naval Intelligence Community established “The Rear Admiral Becker ‘Teamwork, Tone, Tenacity’ Award for Leadership” in his honor.  To connect with Paul, visit his website:

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