In a new interview with Eagles’ Call magazine, Distinguished Eagle Scout and former defense secretary Dr. Robert M. Gates shares his thoughts on leadership and the value of Scouting.
Read the full interview in the Fall 2016 issue of Eagles’ Call, the official magazine of the National Eagle Scout Association. The magazine is available to anyone — not just Eagle Scouts. (Use promo code EGCBLG16 to save 50 percent on your subscription.)
Read an excerpt and see the video highlights from our chat with Dr. Gates below.
Real American Hero: An excerpt from our interview with Dr. Gates
After addressing the newest Green Berets at Fort Bragg last year, former Defense Secretary Dr. Robert M. Gates toured the North Carolina Army base with one of the men who trains the soldiers.
Gates turned to the instructor with a question.
“Can you tell the difference between a kid who was in the Boy Scouts and one who wasn’t?” Gates asked.
The man looked at Gates like he’d lost his mind.
“Of course,” the instructor said. “They know how to do most of this stuff already.”
Gates wasn’t surprised. As a Distinguished Eagle Scout, he knows how Scouting changes a man in ways you can see (he still bears a scar from Philmont) and ways you cannot.
He credits his time in Boy Scout Troop 522 of Wichita, Kan., for giving him leadership skills, a sense of service before self and the ability to compromise.
“Nothing teaches leadership skills like being in charge of a bunch of 12- and 13-year-old kids and trying to get them to do what they don’t want to do,” Gates says. “It was a lot like dealing with Congress.”
Dr. Gates: A video interview