Donald E. Purdy was a Command Sergeant Major (CSM) in the United States Army. The second highest enlisted noncommissioned officer (NCO)rank in the army. The only NCO rank higher being Sergeant Major of the Army (SMA).

And as command sergeant majors go, Don Purdy wasn’t one to sit as a staff CSM, in an office working on plans and strategy for war, no sir, Don Purdy was a CSM who worked with “the troops”. Preparing soldiers to be warriors!

CSM Purdy held NCOs, as the Army’s “frontline managers” in high regard but also responsible for quite a lot. Rules about what training should be executed, how it should be done, in a no-nonsense winner take all method of fighting.

Fighting to win attitude! So CSM Don Purdy made a list of 69 “rules to live by”. Now most of these rules were maxims about Small Units Tactics and patrolling, other parts are things just about every crusty senior NCO in an infantry unit yells about several times a day.

Others are distinctly Purdy. But CSM Purdy also included some well thought out rules for any ‘manager’ to live by, whether a manager for a major corporation, a family owned store or a family. Allow me to share with some of these rules as seen by CSM Donald Purdy.

21. Silence is golden. Learn to whisper. Even on radios. (phones)

22.When in the heat of battle leaders talk others listen.

34. Discipline, discipline, discipline. It’s too late when the fighting begins.

35. Drill and Ceremony is important. Do it right.

37. If you think something is wrong it is.

44. Keep the plan simple…

53. Never reduce standards of discipline when in a hostile environment. Be ruthless.

54. Leading from the rear is like pushing spaghetti up hill.

56. Improvise when necessary. Don’t reinvent the wheel. And…

69. Complicated plans don’t work out well.

CSM Don Purdy concluded his list with these two comments, “Be hard but fair. Never forget where you came from”.

CSM Donald Purdy is a legend in the army for his fourth rightness, his never cutting corners short way of doing things and for preparing some of the best fighting soldiers in the U. S. Army.

But he is also noted for how he loved his soldiers (in his own way) and for prepared them the best he knew how for some of hardest times in their lives… being good employees/employers, loving spouses and loving and preparing their children for life.

I pray you consider these “rules to live by” over the coming days, weeks and months and that you work to implement all or some of them in your life. Let it be so!

Written and submitted by Rodney Griffith, Community UMC, Pickaway Ministerial Association

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