Jun 21 2023
Legal Grounds | Robin Bartlett
There are some leadership experiences that most of us will never find ourselves in. And often, it’s those experiences that can provide the most valuable lessons a leader could ask for…and never wanted to learn. In 1968, at the age of 22, Robin Bartlett assumed the leadership of the 1st Platoon, A Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) during the height of the Vietnam War.A distinguished military graduate, Robin turned down an opportunity to attend West Point, opting to go to Ranger school, which he calls the best insurance policy he ever took out on himself. For 50 years, Robin rarely shared his experiences, until, in his words, things started to leak out. What would result is one of the best pieces of non-fiction I've read in years: Vietnam Combat: Firefights & Writing History.As fate would have it, his mother had saved every single one of the 100+ letters he’d sent home, and thanks to an enduring friendship with his Medic, he also had pictures with which to retrace his steps during the most pivotal time of his life. Robin and I discuss what it means to grow up in an environment that places a premium on leadership, what it’s like to lead and lose a team, and we even manage to squeeze in a couple laughs. I couldn’t have asked for a better conversation to come back from our break. Enjoy the show!