VP to Naval Academy Grads: ‘Discipline Is the Foundation of Leadership’

By Melanie Arter | May 26, 2017 | 12:26pm EDT
Vice President Mike Pence (Screenshot of C-SPAN video)

(CNSNews.com) – Vice President Mike Pence told graduates of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., on Friday that they must cultivate the qualities of humility, orientation to authority and self-control to be successful leaders.

“I encourage you to continue to practice the discipline of self-control. There’s an old proverb that says, ‘Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.’ I truly believe that commanding others first begins with being able to command yourself. Discipline is the foundation of leadership,” Pence said, quoting Proverbs 25:28.

 



“Remember that character is destiny. Be men and women of integrity. People follow people they trust. I truly believe that among the most important qualities of leadership whether it’s in the armed forces or any other endeavor are humility, orientation to authority and self-control, and I encourage you to cultivate these qualities as leaders in increasing measure every day from this day forward,” he said.

“With humility, consider others to be more important than yourselves. Be servant leaders. Approach every challenge as a learner and a listener first. In multiple counselors, there’s wisdom, and the best decisions by the best leaders come from counsel and collaboration,” the vice president said.

“Next is orientation to authority, nothing I have to explain to those of you sitting before me today. Follow the chain of command without exception. Submit yourselves as the saying goes to the authorities that have been placed above you. Trust your superiors. Trust your orders, and you’ll serve and lead well,” he said.

“And lastly, as arduous as it has been – the training in this place – I encourage you to continue to practice the discipline of self-control. There’s an old proverb that says, ‘Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.’ I truly believe that commanding others first begins with being able to command yourself. Discipline is the foundation of leadership,” Pence said.

“Integrity, humility, orientation through authority, and self-control are my admonition to you today. I truly believe that as you pursue these qualities of character you will lead with distinction, and as you’ve done to this moment in your life, you’ll prove yourself worthy of the trust that your commander-in-chief has placed in you today to be faithful defenders of our nation and our way of life,” he added.

Pence promised that he and Trump will always support the military.

“And as you prepare to assume your duties, I want to say to new officers and to your families, President Donald Trump is the best friend the armed forces of the United States will ever have. And I’ll make you a promise. No matter where you’re called to serve, no matter what the mission, this commander-in-chief will always have your back,” the vice president said.

He also pledged that he and the president would “not relent” until the military has the resources it needs to accomplish its mission “and come home safe.”

“And to the families who are gathered here today and all these rising officers, I say President Donald Trump and I will not rest, we will not relent until we rebuild our military, restore the arsenal of democracy and ensure that our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guard have all the resources that you need to accomplish your mission and come home safe. That is our pledge to each of you,” Pence said.

He touted the president signing a $21 billion increase in funding for the military as part of the FY 2017 budget and his FY 2018 budget request, which calls for “the largest increases in defense spending since the days of President Ronald Reagan.”

“Earlier this month, Trump signed a $21 billion increase in funding for our armed forces – the largest investment in military readiness in nearly a decade, and earlier this week in his very first budget, your commander-in-chief laid out one of the largest increases in defense spending since the days of President Ronald Reagan,” the vice president said.

“Let me be clear: the era of budget cuts of the Armed forces of the United States is over,” Pence pledged.

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