In this episode, Brian Beckcom speaks with Colonel John Gallemore about the invaluable leadership lessons that he’s learned throughout his remarkable military career.
Colonel Gallemore is a Combat Pilot for the United States Air Force with over 3,900 flight hours, including 200 combat flight hours. Colonel Gallemore is a former Thunderbirds pilot and is currently an active-duty Colonel for the 57th Adversary Tactics Group (ATG). Colonel Gallemore is an outstanding fighter pilot, a true American patriot, and an extraordinary leader.
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Brian and Colonel Gallemore discuss:
- His background and the value of living a purpose-driven life
- The importance of being a well-rounded individual
- The leadership philosophies he learned working under four-star General Joseph Votel, who was Commander of the United States Central Command
- What it’s like sitting in the cockpit of an F-16 Fighting Falcon flying at speeds of over 1,500 miles per hour
- His experience as a pilot for the United States Air Force Thunderbirds
- How Colonel Gallemore earned the nickname “Nuke” and the power of persistence
- What it’s like engaging in aerial combat
- Cyber-aggressors, Reaper Drones, and the advancement of “deep learning”
- The value of “strategic patience”
- And other topics
Colonel John B. Gallemore was born in Louisiana, but his family “got to Texas as fast as they could,” as he puts it. As a child, John worked through the Boy Scouts’ ranks, earning the status of Eagle Scout. In his formative years, John joined the Texas A&M Army Corps of Cadets before joining the family business: military and aviation. John was the Deputy Executive Officer to the Commander of the United States Central Command, a position that oversees the combatant command in the most volatile areas of the world, including the Middle East and parts of Africa and Asia. Today, John Gallemore is stationed in Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, where he serves as the Colonel for the 57th Adversary Tactics Group (ATG). To learn more about Colonel Gallemore, visit his biography on the Nellis Air Force Base website.
Read the show notes!
Brian Beckcom: Welcome to the Lessons from Leaders' Podcasts; I am your host, Brian Beckcom. Before we get into the next episode, please do me a favor, if you do not mind. Please like, share, comment, or rate the Podcast. The more interaction it generates, the higher the algorithm ranks it. The higher it ranks, the more visibility it will get, and more people will tune in. My guest and I do not get paid for this Podcast, so please show support by liking, sharing, or leaving a comment or rating if you enjoy it.
My next guest is the Commander of Operations and Close Air Support Integrations for the 57th Wing at the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. I am talking about Colonel John B Gallemore. Colonel Gallemore is an American war hero; he has flown F-16's in multiple combat tours and was also a Thunderbirds pilot. The United States Air Force Thunderbirds perform air shows worldwide to demonstrate our many different aircraft's capabilities. The squadron of eight elite pilots is known to fly in formation, 18 inches apart while traveling at 550 knots. Some of the things that Thunderbirds do will just blow your mind.
Colonel Gallemore comes from a military family, and his dad was a combat pilot in Vietnam. Although his dad passed away in the summer, between Colonel Gallimore's senior year in high school and his freshman year of college, John talks a lot about how his dad was his hero and how he wanted to follow in his footsteps.
Colonel Gallemore is just dripping with leadership; he's got leadership coming out of his pores. It is incredible to listen to Colonel Gallemore's talk about positive leadership, servant-based leadership, and how he motivates the people he works with. In this episode, we talk about trusting your instincts, patient leadership, testing yourself, pushing yourself, and having a purpose in life.
It's a masterclass in leadership, and I was blown away listening to Colonel Gallemore. There were multiple times where I got chills down my spine because I just could not believe how great some of the comments and some of the thoughts Colonel Gallemore has.
If you're a fan of Top Gun like I was. This is that guy; he is the best of the best. Frankly, it is comforting for me, knowing that leaders like Colonel Gallemore are protecting our country. Colonel Gallemore and I had an extensive conversation in which we talked a lot about how he became a fighter pilot, the Thunderbirds, his ideas about leadership, and drone technology, AI, and other things.
It's just a wide-ranging and fascinating conversation with a fascinating individual. I know you're going to love it and get a lot out of this episode featuring Colonel John B Gallemore.
Welcoming Colonel John Gallemore
Brian Beckcom: Welcome to the show, Colonel Gallemore; how are you doing, man?
John Gallemore: I'm doing Brian. How are you? It's great to see you.
Brian Beckcom: I'm doing well, and I got to tell you, Colonel. I am as excited about this Podcast as I have been about any other podcast for many reasons. As a young boy, it was my dream to be a pilot like you. Still to this day, being a Thunderbirds pilot is the coolest thing I can imagine. But before we get into that and other topics, Colonel Gallemore, how the heck you are doing, man.
John Gallemore: I'm doing good, Brian. It is kind of goes without saying that we live in some challenging times right now with COVID and everything else that is going on. But overall, things are about as good as they can be given the circumstances. I'm living the dream, flying an F-16 for a living out at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. With that said, I'm in a good place right now, my friend.
Brian Beckcom: For those who grew up with Top Gun or aspirations to be a pilot, I can't imagine having a cooler job. But Colonel, I started this podcast because I wanted to feature incredibly positive, inspirational, and national leaders. Essentially, you've been a leader for nearly your entire life. You were an Eagle Scout, a leader in the Corps of Cadets at A&M, and a military leader.
I want to ask you a question right out of the gate. Where do you think your passion and drive to succeed as a leader come from fundamentally?
John Gallemore: For me, I was fortunate as my dad was also a fighter pilot. Like your dad, he was at the very end of his career and retired from the military. Growing up, he instilled the importance of leading a purpose-driven life based on a strict code of ethics and morals.
Most kids' heroes are either basketball, baseball, or football players, you name it. But for me, my hero was my dad. Who I am today, I can trace back to how he raised me as a young man.
Unfortunately, he passed away in the summer in between my senior year in high school and my freshman year at Texas A&M. Still, I credit him and obviously my mom as who fostered my drive, and this what I would call a purpose-driven life.
My dad would wake up every day and say, "each day is a day in which to excel." My mom and I still joke about all the little saying and colloquialisms he had. That was my dad, and I've used that as my guiding light throughout my life, and It's worked out so far.
Brian Beckcom: Colonel, I'm the same way. My dad has always been my hero, as well. My mom died when I was 10, and he was a major in the Air Force at the time. He practically set his career aside as certain military things could not be done because he would be away from his two boys too long. As a single father, he raised my younger brother, my adopted older brother, and me while also serving in the military for 20 years.
However, with your dad being a former combat pilot in Vietnam, you literally followed in his footsteps. What kind of planes did he fly over there?
John Gallemore: Yeah, that's exactly right. He was significantly older and flew the F-86's at the very end of the Korean War.
He went on to do two tours in Vietnam as an OV-10 pilot. His aircraft's primary mission set was the forward air controller mission that entailed calling in the fast movers' close air support strikes.
As the initial stages of Vietnam continued to mature, the Air Force started taking older, more experienced combat aviators like the Korean War to pilot those missions. The OV-10 is the predecessor to today's A-10 Thunderbolt, also known as the tank killer.
Now that I know about fighter aviation and flying in combat, there are so many questions that I would love to go back and ask him. We probably share some similar experiences that nobody else in the family could relate to.
Maybe my family's unique, but my brother-in-law was a fighter pilot as well. He was an F-15C, and my dad's brother was also a Marine Corps fighter pilot. We have many aviators in my family. Yeah, so here I am.
Brian Beckcom: It's almost a family business of flying fighter jets, and I have a similar family story.
I didn't even see my father until I was six months old. When I was born, he was stationed on Guam Island as a strategic air command. He flew the B-52 Navigator/Bombardier in over 200 combat missions during the Vietnam war.
A few of my family members served in the Air Force. My mother was a nurse, my grandfather was a Lieutenant Colonel, and my uncle was a Chief Master Sergeant. My uncle worked in the Air Force intelligence, and he would write letters or call my mother to let her know that my dad returned safely from missions over Vietnam. I've still got copies of those letters, and It's incredible to look back and imagine what it was like.
You served multiple combat tours as a fighter pilot, so I want to hear about that. Before we get into your military experience as a combat pilot and Thunderbird experience, tell us about your background so people can get to know you better.
John Gallemore: I was born in Louisiana, and my family got to Texas as fast as possible.
Brian Beckcom: Really quick, did you happen to be born at the Barksdale Air Force Base?
John Gallemore: I was born in Bowser city.
Brian Beckcom: Yeah! I was born in Bowser city too. I was born in Barksdale. Wow, what a small world. Sorry to interrupt you.
John Gallemore: Yeah, after I was born, my family relocated to Texas. I completed my freshman and sophomore years at Spring High School and my junior and senior years at Conroe High School.
As you alluded to earlier, I was a boy scout, and then I finished that pretty early in my high school career.
Brian Beckcom: You were not just a boy scout, you were an Eagle Scout.
John Gallemore: Yeah. I then transitioned to athletics as most folks do as you get older. I played football, ran some track, and had a good time. As I was getting towards the end of my junior year and into my senior year in high school, my dad would always talk about Texas A&M. Being an instructor pilot at the Old Bryan Airfield, he learned about the Corps of Cadets.
Around that time, The Corps was so big that freshmen cadets lived at the Bryan airfield. He would always talk about how respectful the cadets were and how they would hitchhike a ride into town from my dad and his fighter pilot buddies. That was how I was introduced to Texas A&M, and the rest is history.
Brian Beckcom: Nice. As a business owner, there are certain things I look for on a resume during the hiring process. Applicants who were an Eagle Scout or played any competitive sports have a huge leg up getting an interview.
Colonel, give us the timeframe when you attended A&M.
John Gallemore: I was there from 94 to 98.
Brian Beckcom: I was there from 91 to 96, so we crossed paths. I was the Wing Commander during my senior year in the Corps, and even though I did not end up taking an Air Force contract, a lot of my friends did.
Back at the time, they weren't handing out pilot slots in the Air Force. It was not a foregone conclusion that you would get a pilot slot by any stretch of the imagination. When you went to A&M Colonel, did you already know that you wanted to fly jets?
John Gallemore: I did, and I was lucky in the sense that I applied for and received the Air Force ROTC scholarship. With that scholarship, you go to a whole litany of school. I ended up choosing Texas A&M. I went into the Corps knowing that I wanted to be in the Air Force and knew that I wanted to be a fighter pilot. I wanted to follow in my dad's footsteps and my goals set on accomplishing that.
As you alluded to, I knew that the pilot slots at the time, in general, were very few and far between.
Brian Beckcom: Exactly.
John Gallemore: I got lucky, though, because, in 97 and 98, they started opening up the number of slots again. For individuals who were graduating in 94, 95, and even your timeframe in 96, they were very few and far between. But they opened up a few more during my junior and senior years, which was nice.
The Path to the Cockpit
Brian Beckcom: Colonel, for the young people interested in being pilots, and in particular being fighter pilots, could you give us advice on what your path was into the cockpit of an F-16?
How do you recommend young kids either in high school, middle school, or college should go about preparing themselves for that career?
John Gallemore: That's a phenomenal question, there's not necessarily an exact answer, but there are things that you can do to set yourself apart.
That's the key, and you've alluded to it already regarding that well-rounded person concept.
Whether you're an Eagle Scout or a Girl Scout, it's a way to demonstrate you can set a goal and then achieve it. Or if you're a member of a sports team or the debate club, you don't have to be an athlete necessarily. You can be a mathlete and still be a phenomenal fighter pilot.
Brian Beckcom: Absolutely.
John Gallemore: There's no prescription other than my recommendation. I've always told people that you want to be the most well-rounded individual you can be. It's not all about academics, the social dynamic, or straight pilot skills. It is a merging of all of those skillsets to make yourself more competitive.
There are certain things that you have to have completed, such as a college degree. Whether you go through a commissioning source, like the reserve officer training Corps at A&M, one of the many service academies, or complete the Officer Candidate School as well. Those are the three ways with which you can get a commission.
Then it comes down to what your ranking is when they are racking and stacking. If you're number one on the list, you get the number one choice. It's kind of the way it goes, and it's a lot of that way in life too.
Being a commissioned officer is the first step to getting your foot in the door. The pilot training slots are handed out based on where you rack and stack amongst your peers. If you get a pilot training slot, it's almost like starting over again as a freshman in the Corps.
It's kind of comical because you might think you were done with all the shenanigans, but here you are again, working 12-hour days, every day. You're also on formal release, you have to get permission to leave, and it really is like being a freshman in the Corps. The same kind of principles applies in the sense of following some type of ruleset, having a strict regimen, and that everybody gets in trouble if one person screws up.
Making yourself competitive, standing out amongst your peers is key. The whole, well-rounded person concept applies here as well. The focus should be on graduating from college and figuring out whatever commissioning source enroll in to become an officer. Whether you want to be an officer in the United States Air Force, a Marine Corps Aviator, or a Naval Aviator, all the requirements are the same. You have to have a college degree. Other than that, some of its luck, some of its timing, and some straight skill.
Brian Beckcom: I'm glad you brought that up because I was going to mention that for people who may not be as familiar with the military as you and I do. There are aviators in all the military branches. You don't necessarily have to join the United States Air Force to be an aviator. You could be a pilot in the Army, Navy, or the Marines. There are many different ways to do it. You don't have to go to the Air Force Academy or a Military Academy. You can get a pilot slot through other mechanisms.
Do you think it's fair to say that someone might be better prepared if they have gone through a program like the Air Force Academy, The Corps of Cadets, or West Point? Versus somebody who hasn't experienced that type of lifestyle.
John Gallemore: I don't know if it helps you be better prepared. Because again, day one of pilot training is like day one of boot camp. You're broken down, and everybody's the same. I will say that when you graduate from the Air Force Academy, you are guaranteed a pilot slot.
Brian Beckcom: Wow.
John Gallemore: If you graduate from other major commissioning sources, like the Citadel or BMI or Texas A&M, or these large ROTC programs. You are also guaranteed a pilot slot if you want it. Like officer candidate school, the other commissioning sources have a certain number of pilot slots they can give out. If you want the highest chance of procuring a pilot slot, you should attend the United States Air Force Academy.
Brian Beckcom: Nice. Frankly, it's fair to say that the United States Air Force Academy is tough to get accepted to, as I recall. Don't you still have to obtain a recommendation from your state, Senator?
John Gallemore: Yes, you do. Either a Senator or a representative, one or the other. Each of them has a limited amount of appointments they can hand out. You will not get into the service Academy without an appointment from a sitting representative or a senator.
Brian Beckcom: Colonel, you said something earlier I want to emphasize. You talked about being well-rounded, and I read a book a couple of years ago that had this idea of what they called the talent stack.
The idea was, you may not be the smartest mathematician, the best football player, or you may not be the best at whatever it is you do. But, if you're well-rounded and can do several different things, the combination makes you a much more effective pilot, lawyer, or businessmen. Much more than having real narrow expertise in one real narrow field.
So, when you're talking about being well-rounded, what are the aspects of people's personalities, or what are you looking for as a colonel in the United States Air Force? What skills and talents do you look for, precisely when you say somebody is well rounded?
John Gallemore: Yeah, so as the saying goes, nobody wants a one-trick pony. A lot of what defines a person is how they react to a stressful situation or a conflict in your life. It's not the problem that defines the person. It's how the person handles or responds to the problem. That is what sets individuals apart from each other. I would honestly say that almost anybody can fly a fighter aircraft. It is not that difficult to fly. It's much more challenging to put that aircraft into a specific set of parameters to employ weapons, which a fighter aircraft is for at the end of the day.
But just because you get 1600 on your SAT doesn't mean that you're going to be a phenomenal fighter pilot, nor does it mean that you're going to be an exceptional lawyer or outstanding businessman.
Now it does say that you have a too high intellect and can take tests, which is excellent. When you look at the well-rounded person, you look at how they handle adversity, a highly stressful situation, or how they work as a team.
Because I can tell you now, there is no successful business leader, civic leader, or military officer who isn't surrounded by a phenomenal team. If you highlight yourself as being good by yourself, but the minute you're put inside this team dynamic, you fall on your face; you are not the type of person we want. Because you're only as strong as your weakest link.
Brian Beckcom: You can't fly those jets by yourself. You got to have a team.
John Gallemore: Absolutely. In our fighting force, there are four F-16's, employing as a team. Every once in a while, you'll go down to two F-16's, but you are never by yourself. You take it to a different level when you're employed in combat and relying on that person who's flying a couple of miles away from you to keep you safe, and vice versa.
So, you can't take somebody who's selfish, not team focused, or not goal oriented. You want someone who wants to make sure that the team wins. Because if you win by yourself, and the team doesn't win, the mission is a loss.
Brian Beckcom: That's right. In the business world, I've found that you tend to be a little more successful as a team when you do not care about who gets the credit. That's hard, and sometimes people want to get credit when they do a good job. But, if that's what you're looking for, then maybe you're not the best teammate.
Before getting into your aircraft experience, I want to ask you about racking and stacking. You mentioned earlier the number one person gets the number one choice, and on down the list.
So what things, are they looking for in a pilot school to rank your abilities? Is it the schoolwork, the classwork, or is there a physical component to it?
John Gallemore: At the Air Force pilot training, there is no physical component per se. Besides an annual physical fitness test, the physical part has no bearing on how you rack and stack when you graduate from the actual pilot training course.
The vast majority of it is your flying aptitude, and you take tests in the air known as check rides. You're graded on every single event that you do, whether it's a quiz in the classroom, a test at the school, every single ride that you have in pilot training is a grade sheet. It's a graded event, every single one, and then at the end of a block of instruction, you have a semester exam, so to speak.
You have to pass that, and that happens at the end of every block. The constant competition is grueling, long hours, and high stress, and it wears on you.
Brian Beckcom: I bet you're going up against the best of the best. You're competing against highly competent people that are there for a reason.
John Gallemore: Oh yeah, for sure. Everybody's super Type A; if you do not have a Type A personality, you instantly weed yourself out.
Another 25 to 30% of your overall ranking is subjective grading by the squadron instructors as you're going through pilot training.
So, you could say that 70% is made up of academics and flying skills. The other 30% are essentially the instructors evaluating you as individuals and where they think you would be most beneficial to the Air Force.
It comes down to who they think would be a good fighter pilot, a good tanker pilot, a helicopter pilot, and the best as an instructor pilot in the pilot training program. I was an instructor pilot before I flew the F-16's.
So, they place you by attempting to match you as close as they can to what fits your personality as well. Now is it a perfect system? Absolutely, nothing ever is. But it works pretty well.
Brian Beckcom: Pretty darn good based on the results.
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Trusting your instincts
Brian Beckcom: Well, you brought up something that I want to flag here for a second. You have been on both ends of the deal. Not only have you been evaluated, but you've done the evaluating as well.
What kind of characteristics do you look for Colonel, that makes somebody a good fighter pilot?
John Gallemore: That is a tough question to put some type of objectivity and solid points towards. But it is an equal balance of being a team player, having charisma, and being a hard worker.
The devil is really in the details, and it doesn't matter what business you're in. But in the flying industry and the fast jet business, it's the details that kill. You must be able to trust the individual who's on your left or right-wing with your life. Because every time you walk out the door, you're trusting them with your life.
With that said, it's a hard answer to package up. But you know it when you see it. I'm sure it is similar when you're litigating or meeting another lawyer you haven't worked with before. You can tell the difference between some that are good and some that are great.
Does that work every single time? It doesn't, and you will make mistakes. We all make bad judgments on someone's character. I have found the best mental recipe for someone wanting to be a fighter pilot is to be highly detailed oriented, a team player, overly aggressive, charismatic, and cares about the people around them.
Brian Beckcom: Colonel, I talked to Bucky Richardson last week on the Podcast. One of the things he said was about judgment and trusting your instinct.
It wasn't until I was maybe in my early forties that I started paying attention to my gut and instincts. Looking back on my life, when I ignored my instinct, I usually made a wrong decision. And there's a lot of research on this.
For example, there's a guy named Gavin de Becker, an international security expert who wrote a book about personal safety. One of the things he talks about is about keeping yourself safe and trusting your instincts.
As you said at the beginning of this conversation, it is really hard to put into words. However, when you've been doing something long enough, you develop this sense of judgment and instinct on who will and will not be good at a specific job or task.
If you don't mind, speak to the value of developing judgment and the importance of trusting your instincts.
John Gallemore: That's a fascinating point to bring up. As much as I love flying jets, the Air Force takes you out of your comfort zone.
They put you through professional military education, similar to obtaining a master's essentially. Then you have to do a staff job at some point.
For example, I was the deputy executive officer to the United States central command commander at six geographic combat and command centers worldwide.
I learned more about myself and about being an officer in the United States military in the 18 months that I served under him than I had in my 18 and a half years of service leading up to that point. It was a phenomenal life experience, and one of his four tenets was to trust your instincts.
When he would speak with his other commanders, he would tell them to trust their instincts. Because your instincts are what brought you here, and they haven't failed you so far. Now, if you blindly trust anything, then that's a mistake in and of itself. But I am a firm believer that is trusting your instincts. Whether that be in a dangerous situation, or whether that be judging somebody. 99% of the time, your instincts are correct.
Brian Beckcom: No doubt about it. When I talked about it with Bucky, he spoke about it in the context of choosing between going to LSU or A&M to play football.
He was from Louisiana, and they don't let kids get out of Louisiana. So, it was a tough decision for a guy like him. He said that after doing all the research and homework about it, his instincts told him it was the right place at the end of the day. He said it was probably one of the best decisions he ever made in his life.
Colonel, I used to get hung up about having an engineering degree. I like math and tend to be analytical. But sometimes, I tend to be over-analytical and overanalyze stuff. You can research things up, down left, and right, but you have to decide at some point. Sometimes, the decision will not be black and white, and you have to trust your instincts.
Let me ask you, Colonel, I noticed on your resume that you worked for combat command. What's the proper military term for that?
John Gallemore: Yes, I worked directly for General Joseph Votel, who is now retired. The answer to your question, the official term is the United States, central command.
Brian Beckcom: Okay. Earlier, you talked about how you learned more in 18 months than you learned in your previous 18 years. You also mentioned that one of his rules was trusting your instinct and your gut. Tell us more about what else you learned serving in that position.
John Gallemore: So, the area of the world where I served under General Joseph Votel is an extremely volatile place. It is all about relationships. What was fascinating about General Votel was how he was the true definition of popular Texas A&M phrase. He was the soldier, the statesmen, and the nightly gentlemen all simultaneously. Not only was he the senior military officer, but he was also the senior American statesman and had to play both sides of the coin. He had to be a politician; a state department representative while carrying the hammer on the military side.
It was really unique to experience. He would give the senior leader engagement to his commanders, and one of his principles was developing relationships. It sounds super easy, but part of developing relationships is listening first.
Especially in my career field, we are very apt to respond first and not so much listening. But the key is to understand the problem being presented to you by listening first and responding last. Sometimes silence is good, and establishing a relationship or a dialogue, doesn't even require a response.
The other piece of that puzzle is not all relationships are positive. Often, we think we have a good relationship, but in fact, it might not be as you think. You may be jovial with somebody, or you may be on friendly terms, but that doesn't mean you have an excellent operational working relationship. I'm taking this more from a military perspective than anything. Still, it applies as a broad brush across basically anything that you would do in your life.
As you know, the military is full of hierarchy, but things can still get lost. It's what we refer to as the frozen middleman, and it where communication can die. General Votel was very much about communicating early, often, and keeping it as flat as you can. So as the four-star general, he wanted to talk to his commanders on the ground, and it didn't matter if that was a Captain or a Lieutenant.
In his 40-year career, he found that folks in that frozen middle may have a good idea, but he knew that officers on the ground and in the trenches knew best.
Brian Beckcom: What a brilliant man and a brilliant way of leading.
One of the patterns I've noticed in these podcasts is that the best leaders I've talked to don't think they know everything. They don't assume they know everything, but they know whom to ask and where to get the info. And that is excellent leadership advice.
John Gallemore: Yeah, it all goes back to the team concept. I can personally tell you that you will fail as a leader if you believe that you know the answer to every question, No matter if you're in the military, a businessman, or a civic leader.
Nobody has the bandwidth to understand all of the finite data that's going on. The larger the organization, the larger the pull of information you need to understand. So bottom line, you can't physically keep your arms or mind wrapped around it all.
The other piece of communication is being able to effectively communicate the good and the bad. We all want to tell a good story, but there are also bad things that need to be expressed in life. Whether you are the leader or the highest in an organization, bad news doesn't get better with time.
Brian Beckcom: That is great advice.
John Gallemore: No doubt. I think we've all experienced that in one way or another.
The other piece of the puzzle is knowing yourself and knowing how you communicate. More importantly, learning how other leaders or your peers receive your communication. Because the way I receive info and how you receive information could be completely different. As a leader, I need to understand how to communicate with you, so the message, the intent, and the mission are clear.
Brian Beckcom: I'm getting chills down my spine, and my head feels like it's about to explode from all the good points you touched on. You have leadership coming out of your pores! Let me try to break down a couple of those things if you don't mind.
One of the things you said about the general you worked for was a soldier, statesman, and nightly gentlemen for people who didn't go to A&M or are not familiar with that saying, it's related to the idea or concept of a perfect military person. It's all about he or she embodies the combination of a soldier, a statesman, and nightly gentlemen or gentlewoman. It is similar to what we talked about earlier regarding being well-rounded and doing many different things well.
You also talked about listening. For instance, I tell my clients before they go in and give sworn testimony to listen to the question. I also tell them not to listen to the question the same way I listen to my wife, where I'm shaking my head, but I'm not really paying attention.
Genuinely listening to people is a skill, and It takes work to be a good listener. You have to be willing to shut up and, indeed, pay careful attention to what the other person is saying. We all have experienced this sometimes, where you'll be hearing something. Instead of listening, you're already formulating your response in your head.
The final thing you said, which is an essential point, is about leaders knowing who or where to get information from and not presuming that they know everything. It's a true testament and an excellent description of leadership skills.
I want to switch topics now if you don't mind, and I want to talk about it what it is like to be sitting in the cockpit of an F-16. For the vast majority of people in the world, we will never experience that.
What was it like the first time you were in that plane by yourself and hammered that throttle forward? What's that feel like?
What It's Like to Fly An F-16
John Gallemore: I will say this, and hopefully, no A-10 drivers get their feelings hurt.
Brian Beckcom: Is that because A-10's is a super slow plane?
John Gallemore: Yes, exactly. When I went to pilot training, I wanted to fly the A-10 since my old man flew the OV-10.
Brian Beckcom: The Warthog, they called it right?
John Gallemore: That's right! So, if you're going to fly fighters, the second stage of pilot training is to fly the T-38. That was the first time I lit the afterburner on a fighter jet. It was a small fighter, nonetheless.
Brian Beckcom: I'm getting butterflies in my stomach now.
John Gallemore: I'll tell you, the T-38 is a phenomenal training platform, but then you go to the F-16. It's hard to explain, but the amount of power in the F-16 is jolting. It's not even the premier fighter anymore. Now, it's the F-35.
Still, it never ceases to amaze me. For example, when I'm on the ground watching the maintenance crew running the afterburner on an engine, it shakes the breath right out of your chest. It's insane, almost euphoric, and I love it. I try to fly twice a week or as much as I can. Honestly, I'm living my boyhood dream is the bottom line. I'm lucky, I'm extremely lucky.
Brian Beckcom: Let me ask you, when you hammer that throttle forward, how many G'S are do you experience when you're taking off?
John Gallemore: You don't get a lot of G's on takeoff. It's similar to accelerating on a rollercoaster. It's not really any different than getting pinned back in the seat in a fast race car. The performance of the aircraft is not felt until you're in the air.
The F-16 is a nine G capable aircraft. It's a fantastic feeling and is very taxing on the body initially, but anything your body gets used to it
Brian Beckcom: So, while taking off, that's more of a lateral force, but when we're talking about G's, that's a force of gravity interacting with the pilot's body. Essentially, these forces impacting your body can knock you out.
John Gallemore: Yeah, it's called a G induced loss of consciousness.
We call it a G lock, but that's precisely what it is. Based on an aircraft's performance capabilities, and the acceleration is what causes that G onset. The better performing the aircraft is, the higher G'S that you can pull. You wear this anti-exposure suit, which looks like a pair of chaps that plug into the aircraft. It fills up with air, and it squeezes your abdomen and your legs to try and keep as much blood up in your brain as you can. You can sustain G's for a while, but at some point, you have to relax the G to maintain consciousness.
Brian Beckcom: Give us a couple of examples of the real performance the aircraft is capable of while in the air. What are some super cool things that an F-16 can do that most aircraft cannot?
John Gallemore: For most listeners or readers, they aren't ever going to be able to see what a fighter jet does unless they are on the receiving end of the bomb.
Brian Beckcom: In that case, you're not going to see them for very long!
Show Casings the Power
John Gallemore: Probably the best descriptor you can relate to is by watching the Thunderbirds or the Blue Angels perform. Those teams demonstrate the power of what these fighter aircraft are capable of. The United States Air Force Thunderbirds demonstrate the F-16, and the Blue Angels fly the F-18.
The Thunderbirds make a loop on takeoff, known as the diamond. As soon as they lift off and bring the gear up, they immediately start a pull. The jet is accelerating so fast that if the gear doesn't come up in time, you can Overspeed the aircraft.
As you continue to make this loop on takeoff, you still not even utilizing full power. What it demonstrates is that your thrust to weight ratio is better than one-to-one. In other words, your power exceeds the weight with which the aircraft weighs by more than a factor of one if that makes sense.
Brian Beckcom: Wow! That does make sense and is the perfect segue into your experience with the Thunderbirds. You've been a Thunderbirds pilot for a while now, and I want you to talk about how you became a Thunderbirds pilot. Before we get into that, I have a question that's been on my mind for a while now that I want to ask you.
I understand that sometimes the Thunderbirds fly more than 550 knots as close as 18 inches apart. How is that even possible? How do you fly those Jets at that speed with that much precision?
John Gallemore: Trust and teamwork, my friend.
Brian Beckcom: Oh my God yeah.
John Gallemore: I do have to clarify one thing you mentioned. When you are selected for a Thunderbird, you typically only perform for two shows seasons. That equates to about three years, which includes about six to seven months of training. After those two-show seasons, you train your replacement. I finished my tour on the Thunderbirds after the 2011 show season and then went back to the combat Air Forces.
To get back to your original question, the Thunderbirds have 12 officers. In a typical year, they'll replace about half of the officers to maintain some continuity. Out of the twelve officers, six flies in the demonstration. Four of them make up the diamond, and the other two Thunderbirds are solo performers. You have various support officers, such as a narrator, an operations officer, a flight doc, public affairs, and an executive officer.
It's quite an undertaking. You're on the road in roughly 260 days a year, from mid-March to mid-November. Initially, they are interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them for a lack of a better term. Because you make sure, it's something that you want to do as it is quite taxing.
Brian Beckcom: Tons of travel, tons of travel.
John Gallemore: Exactly, in an average week, you would leave on Thursday, come back Monday, practice on Tuesday, take off Wednesday, and then you're back on the road.
Brian Beckcom: When you're traveling, do you fly your jet from place to place? You're still away from your family a lot but getting there in an F-16 is about as cool as I can imagine.
John Gallemore: Yeah, it was great. Honestly, it was one of the unique experiences that I've had as a fighter pilot. The whole purpose behind the Thunderbirds and the Blue Angels is to represent the pride, the precision, and the professionalism of the United States Armed Forces. And we're doing that through showcasing combat airpower using frontline combat fighter aircraft.
Brian Beckcom: I'm surprised by your answer regarding flying so close. I thought maybe there would be buttons you could push or something that would help you maintain that distance. But you're saying it's all from practice.
John Gallemore: Thunderbird one is the commander leader, and essentially in constant communications over the radio. He or she is communicating over the radio if they're moving into power, or if they're adjusting the pull, et cetera. Essentially, its voice inflection on how much power they're pulling back or adding in, or how much force they're putting on the aircraft.
The 18 inches formation is the closest that you'll get. Some formations are further out, but your months into the show season before you get into that close. It takes repetition and doing the same thing over and over and over.
It's like your golf game. Each day is different. The environmental conditions are different, and some days you're better than others. It was a unique opportunity. You get to travel to places that you would never probably go in the continental United States. You're able to meet amazing people who love this country, and they support the military. Now you're able to showcase to them what their tax dollars are paying for.
Simultaneously, some of it is selfish because the United States military is an all-volunteer force. We rely upon a steady pull of recruitment, and you always need newly enlisted personal. There is no better way than to recruit some new airmen.
It was a phenomenal opportunity to meet some fantastic people. My favorite part was every Friday; we would do a practice air show for some special needs’ groups. It may be for a group of terminally ill children or those who have been stuck in a hospital for a long time.
To be able to put a smile on a child's face that potentially won't be there the next week was probably the most moving piece of my entire tenure on the Thunderbirds.
Brian Beckcom: I'm getting chills again, that's so cool.
I want to talk about your combat experience, but before that, I want to know where you got the nickname nuke. You got it on your uniform now, so tell us about that.
John Gallemore: This story will not instill a lot of faith or confidence in me as a combat aviator. When I showed up to my first operational F-16 assignment, we completed an exercise known as strafing. It's essentially shooting the gun at the ground, and I was not good; I could not hit the broad side of a barn.
After the third or fourth time, my instructors looked at me during our debriefing. They said, "we're going to call you to nuke because you need a nuclear weapon to destroy the target." Typically, your call sign is not something you're proud of per se, but you earn it for sure.
Brian Beckcom: I had a couple of nicknames when I was playing basketball at A&M, and let's say that my buddies gave me nicknames that we're not supposed to be that complimentary at first.
John Gallemore: That's exactly right. The more you dislike it, then the better it is.
Brian Beckcom: That reminds me, I'm a massive fan of British Naval history, and I've read a lot of books, both fiction and nonfiction. The most famous British Admiral ever, the man who won the Battle of Trafalgar, Horatio Nelson, would get violently seasick when he first started going on shifts. So, your story reminds me of that.
But you have to be persistent, and you must stick with it. Eventually, you'll learn. It's a good story because it shows that even somebody with your skill ability and precision, you weren't perfect when you first started. Still, you worked at it to get better.
The Difference Between Training and Real-World Applications
Brian Beckcom: Let's talk about combat and how it is different qualitatively between all the training you're doing. You do tons of training, tons of practice, you prepare, but once you're in combat, how is it different?
The other thing I've asked several of the other military combat veterans on the show is when you're first going to combat, what's going through your mind? What are you thinking?
John Gallemore: I will honestly say that the experience you have on the ground in combat is drastically different from the experience you have during air combat.
Brian Beckcom: My father says the same thing. He said it was a different Vietnam experience for me than for Mike Baggott, a grunt on the ground.
John Gallemore: Yeah. I mean mixing apples and oranges, and my hats off to the soldiers who have done it, who are doing it now, and to the ones who will continue to enlist. It's an amazing act of selflessness to support and defend the United States' constitution in ground combat.
As far as training is concerned, you want your training to be as close to real combat as it can be in a perfect world. That's one thing that we do really well in the United States Air Force, especially from a fighter side of the house.
At Nellis Air Force Base, we perform the world's premier combat training exercises known as exercise red flag. It is supposed to emulate the first ten combat sorties you have. In theory, your first couple of flights in this red flag exercise should be more complicated than your first ten real-world combat sorties. The training is more for what we would call a major combat operation or a near-peer Force on Force.
What was happening in Iraq and Afghanistan is an entirely different fight. You're talking about Fallujah and the urban house to house fighting. It was a completely different training set than what we had trained for leading up to 2000-2002 operations into Afghanistan.
Brian Beckcom: Was that your first combat deployment?
John Gallemore: No, mine was in Iraq. We had not necessarily been trained for a close-quarters urban fight, where everybody looks the same. It's a completely different problem set to focus on. Although our training was good, it was more for a high-end threat than for this close air support. And as such, there was a lot of figuring it out on the fly.
The enemy always has a vote number one. Number two, no matter how good of planned training or otherwise you have, it's like stepping into the boxing ring. You may have the best game plan in the world, but as soon as you get hit in the mouth, all bets are off, and it's gone time.
Brian Beckcom: That is such a great saying. You can train all you want, but once you step in the ring and get punched in the face, all bets are off.
John Gallemore: Yeah, the enemy always has a vote, and no plan survives first contact. Thing's change, and you have to adapt. It's amazing what can happen when you're forced to figure out a way to win or when you are forced to adapt and overcome.
It is phenomenal to watch the United States come together in a consolidated effort to get better as a military-industrial complex. We completely changed how we prepared for combat and how we executed new tactics, techniques, procedures, and weaponry
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Brian Beckcom: It was Blake that told me it was either Blake, Toby, or Nick Kalt the told me their first deployment was completely different from their second deployment.
They were rushing towards Baghdad in their first deployment, but then the second deployment, they're fighting in catacombs. Not hand to hand combat, but pretty close, and they had to adapt to that strategy.
We basically had to reinvent our approach to this war because the enemy wasn't doing predictable things. They had taken a different approach with us, so we had to take a different approach. That requires the very important skill of mental flexibility. When you're flying combat operations, the most important thing is making sure you don't hit our people. They're down there, and they're mixed up with many enemy combatants, so that would probably be tricky, wouldn't it?
John Gallemore: Oh, absolutely. The fog and friction of the war are real. Clausewitz talked about it. Figuring out who is who can be difficult in the zoo. Especially when the enemy would procure us military uniforms.
Fewer things are worse in combat than having what's called a fratricide. That's where you kill your troops on the ground. And it's probably one of the biggest fears or concerns you have in the back of your brain. You want to make sure that when you hit the button and that weapon is coming off the aircraft, you know exactly your intended target.
Combat agility is critical. If you are wedded to the plan, you are destined for failure.
Brian Beckcom: You have to have a plan, and you have to be prepared. But you got to be willing to toss a plan in the garbage can if it's not working and try something
Let me ask you this question, Colonel Gallemore. You're currently the commander of the 57th operation group in Nevada. Tell us how many people are in the 57th operations group and how many people are you in charge of?
John Gallemore: Yeah, Brian. I'm the commander of the 57th operations group. I've got ten squadrons and three detachments. They are spread out between Nellis, Fort Polk, Louisiana, Fort Irwin, California, Camp Bullis, San Antonio, Davis Monthan in Tucson, Arizona, and finally, in Oklahoma City. So, I've got about 900 personnel, 32 F-16's. And a team of cyber aggressors.
Brian Beckcom: What's a Cyber Aggressor?
John Gallemore: Think about all of the things you've seen in the news about North Korea or China, or Russia is doing to attack cyber networks and cyber systems. I have a team that emulates that on the Blue Forces.
Brian Beckcom: Not to interrupted Colonel, but as a computer science guy for a very long time and as somebody interested in technology, I have been overly concerned about cyberwar.
For instance, two or three weeks ago, very prominent people had their Twitter account accounts hacked. I remember thinking, what if somebody hacked a prominent politician's account and tweeted something out that wasn't true? It could have real-world ramifications.
Back when I was in computer science, nobody cared about cyberwarfare because all it did was destroy your hard drive. Still, nowadays, stuff that's going on online can have real-world consequences.
I also wanted to ask you about the use of Drones and how they fit in with the Air Force.
Cyberwarfare & Drones
John Gallemore: Are you talking about large-scale drones?
Brian Beckcom: I am talking about The Reaper and other similar drones.
John Gallemore: Yes, they are absolutely part of the Air Force.
I do not have any in the 57th operations group. However, the Creech Air Force base, up the road from Nellis, is the unmanned aerial vehicle mecca and is where it all started. They're based all over now, but they are indeed involved in any combat plan and combat operation. They provide a unique skill set that manned aircraft or piloted aircraft can't necessarily do, especially for the sensors and other equipment they can put on those drone aircraft. It's an impressive enterprise that the Air Force developed to preserve the fighter fleet.
Brian Beckcom: I got to sit in a drone simulator a couple of weeks ago, and they were showing me how detailed you could get with some of the camera technology. For example, you can see if somebody has a mustache or not. The technology is amazing.
I didn't think we would talk about this, but I'm curious to ask where you feel the interplay between unmanned aircraft and human-crewed aircraft are headed. Are we going to a point eventually where we won't have any human-crewed aircraft, or is there always going to be a need for man manned aircraft? What do you see as the future of airpower for the United States?
John Gallemore: You may have heard about this before, but DARPA has been doing some testing with AI, and they built an AI simulator that fought with an F-16 pilot a couple of weeks ago.
Brian Beckcom: Really? I did not see that.
John Gallemore: Yeah. The AI simulator one hands down every time. So, I do believe that at some point, technology will allow where you no longer have to have a pilot physically sitting in the aircraft. We're still ways out from that, but I think it's feasible towards the end of our lifetime. I believe that there is a high probability that you could potentially see an initial wave of combat aircraft that are all remotely piloted in our children's lifetimes.
The other thing that you alluded to is the interoperability between the systems is absolutely the way forward. The more connected you can be in the battlespace, the more situational awareness you have to continue to prosecute the enemy.
Brian Beckcom: I'm so interested in AI, and I'm such a nerd that I watched the three-hour technical presentation on Tesla's self-driving technology and how they all their own technology.
The advantage that Tesla has now is the cars they have on the road are all talking to each other. They're using deep learning is what they call it. But one of the things that I've noticed, because I use autopilot in my Tesla when I can, is it's going to be awhile.
The technology is not full proof, and I don't know when we will get there. Eventually, we're going to get there, but it's not that advanced yet. I am interested in it because there are now AI's that read Radiograms & MRI's better than a radiologist.
We all know that humans will never beat a computer in chess for the rest of history. Now they're beating humans in games like Go where they don't even give them the rules ahead of time.
The other thing we've got to think about is AI safety. If we deploy a bunch of AI drones, we have to be extremely clear about their mission. We have to ensure that they don't start doing things that we don't anticipate.
John Gallemore: Yeah. That's the moral dilemma now
Brian Beckcom: It's an ethical question, not a technical problem.
John Gallemore: To have a person being in the loop is where the technology is now. But I believe that with more research and development, we will produce an AI system that can autonomously operate, make decisions, and be presented with ethical and moral dilemmas.
Brian Beckcom: These are really important questions. I talked to Representative Will Heard about 5g technology and AI. He's a computer science guy as well.
These are technical questions, of course, but they're really ethical questions or moral questions at the end of the day.
For instance, with a self-driving car, what are you going to tell the car to do when it's driving down the road, and a four-year-old girl runs out to pick up a soccer ball, but there are four kids on the side of the street. What would you program the car to do?
The point is, we have to think about these things because the machine will do what we program it to do. Let's build in some ethical restrictions and some moral restrictions. That'll be good, but there's going to be instances where we can't foresee things. So how do you build judgment into a smart machine?
Let me switch topics really quick. I usually would not ask you this, but this has been all over the news. I wanted to know if you have any thoughts on the videos that they've been releasing. Some Naval aviators saw these odd shapes and stuff moving around.
I'm always extremely skeptical of these things, but I'm curious to know what you, as a pilot, think about all this stuff.
John Gallemore: I have 3,900 flight hours, and I have never seen an object that I couldn't identify. Many things are flying around just outside of the lower atmospheres. When you put on night vision goggles, you can see more things you wouldn't usually see on the naked eye. But my personal opinion is no, I have never experienced that. I remain 100% skeptical.
Brian Beckcom: I'm still very skeptical and always ask myself if these aliens are so smart, why do they let us even see them? For example, if their technology were that good, we would never even see them, to begin with. Why would they mess around with us? It doesn't make any sense.
I know we're bumping up against our time. Still, I wanted to ask one or two more questions as somebody in a leadership position, who's been a leader their entire life, who leads 900 plus men and women for our country.
What are you telling people? What are your thoughts on how we get through this very difficult time in our country with the pandemic, ongoing race relations, and politics? What are you telling folks, your family, and the people that you work with?
John Gallemore: I'm glad you asked that? This is an excellent way to kind of to conclude. I've got several things to talk about, so feel free to stop me and expand, or I'll keep going.
But for me, one of the funniest memes I've seen thus far is that 2020 is what Y2K was supposed to be. I don't think there is any way you could probably put it any more concise.
But the first thing that I like to tell folks is to test yourself. Whether physically, mentally, spiritually, you have to push yourself. I truly believe it makes you a better person.
I know that you started Brazilian jujitsu.
Brian Beckcom: I started in January, and it is addictive. But man, it's not easy, and it was even harder walking in there as a 47-year-old man.
John Gallemore: Yeah. I've been in mats for about 11 years.
Brian Beckcom: That'd be awesome. Oh, it so cool. Isn't it? I love it.
John Gallemore: Yeah, I love it. It's all about testing yourself. When we were younger, I was more into pushing myself against somebody else. But now I want to see where I'm at mentally; what is my mental state? I genuinely believe it builds a stronger person.
Testing yourself, meaningful dialogue, or debating somebody on a topic. That's something that's gone by the wayside is the man. It is okay to have differing opinions, come in and talk about it, and be open to listening. Who knows, maybe you learn something.
Brian Beckcom: Love that.
John Gallemore: I also believe that is forcing yourself to do something that you don't like to do is healthy. Experience discomfort, whether that's jumping into a cold swimming pool or just other unpleasant experiences.
Brian Beckcom: Did you jump in my brain a couple of weeks ago and steal all my thoughts?
John Gallemore: I tell you, being a 47-year-old man and walking into a Brazilian jujitsu gym is an experience in discomfort.
Brian Beckcom: I got my butt so severely whipped the first time by a guy that I outweighed. He probably weighed 150; I didn't have any chance, no chance.
John Gallemore: It is the most humbling experience that you can have.
Brian Beckcom: So, humbling.
John Gallemore: You think to yourself that you've got it licked, and then you get smoked. So that's kind of the first thing. I've started to talk to folk, especially at work, about strategic patients. We, as a society, have become impatient. I think to make substantive change, it takes time. Look back to when our country was founded. July 4th, 1776, we declared independence. It was not until January of 1791 before we ratified the entire constitution.
Brian Beckcom: Wow. I'm a lawyer, and I did not know that. That's a good story.
John Gallemore: We were in a provisional government at the time. It took a long time before we got to this thing that we call the constitution, the oldest surviving written charter of government, since recorded history. It's survived a civil war, economic depressions, assassinations by presidents, and terrorist attacks.
But it's that we, the people. Those first three words are powerful.
You look at Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan; I've had the opportunity to visit all these places on the ground and get to know the culture. I've lived in South Korea and lived in Germany, and I'll tell you that there is no other country like ours on the planet period.
We are not without our problems or flaws, but if you believe in the constitution and be a guide and a protector, then I think we are in the right spot. That's part of my strategic patient speech. When it comes to leadership, we lost Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She genuinely believed in it and was an amazing American hero. A champion of all.
Brian Beckcom: One thing I want to interject because many people don't know that her and Antonin Scalia, who was on entirely different sides of the political spectrum, were great friends. And, I've been wondering, when did it become the rule in the country that if I disagree with you on something politically, all of a sudden you become my enemy?
John Gallemore: That goes back to that meaningful dialogue and debate, and it's okay to have differing opinions; it's healthy.
Brian Beckcom: One of my favorite things is to find out I was wrong about something. Because I feel like if I changed my mind about it, maybe I can get a little closer to being better about the way I think. I like to be told I am wrong about something and then finding out the right way.
John Gallemore: Yeah, test my hypothesis, my assumptions. What Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, was "Fight for the things that you care about but do it in a way that will lead others to join you." I had a chance to talk with Justice Scalia when I was going through the Marine Corps command and staff college; what a fascinating individual.
Brian Beckcom: Yeah, he is a fascinating guy, and I got a chance to meet him a couple of times. A friend of mine told me a funny story about him. Justice Scalia was sitting around a table with nine law students. When he pulled out a cigarette to smoke, all nine people immediately pulled out a lighter to light a cigarette first. He was such an icon, and probably none of those people smoke; they brought it cigarette lighter specifically for him. But he is a true Titan.
Strategic Patience & Power of Positive Thinking
John Gallemore: I think if you look at Justice Scalia, and you look at Justice Ginsburg, they were willing to challenge assumptions. Still, they also had strategic patients and the championed causes in a way that made people want to join that cause with them. That's the key; instead of ostracizing and alienating people, they've championed causes in a way that fomented this support. They are special people, both of them are very special.
The other piece of that puzzle is the power of positive thinking, and I can't say it enough. Be realistic but be optimistic. There is enough negativity floating around in this society. That's the last thing we need more of. Surround yourself with people who are willing to challenge your assumptions and test your hypothesis. They make you grow as a person.
Being able to say that "wow, I learned something," that's key. It goes back to the first thing that we talked about, developing relationships, and communicating effectively. There is no better way than to realize that you were proven wrong.
Brian Beckcom: one of my favorite sayings about that is that I have strong opinions loosely held.
John Gallemore: Absolutely. I love it when people prove me wrong. Then I go back and look at what made me believe my incorrect opinion before. How did I get to that assumption?
Brian Beckcom: You're talking about being positive. I wrote an article several years ago about having a positive mindset versus a negative mindset. I try to have a real positive mindset about things. The article's point was, why would you want to have a negative mindset about things? That doesn't seem like an enjoyable way to live your life. At the very least, if you have a positive but realistic attitude, it's a much more pleasant way to go about life.
John Gallemore: I couldn't agree more. I believe that the world is vast. It's full of amazingly smart individuals who only want the best for themselves, their countries, and their families. I encourage everybody to live abroad if you can, at least once. I want my daughters to study abroad, as well. To be able to open the lens with which you view the world more broadly allows true freedom of thought. I believe it provides a more purposeful meaning in life.
Brian Beckcom: Nice. Well, Colonel John B "Nuke" Gallemore, you have leadership coming out of every single pore in your body. You are one of the perfect guests I could imagine. Listening and talking to you gives me a certain feeling of trust and faith in our country, our military. We have such high caliber people with such good morals and ethics who have devoted their entire adult life to serving and protecting our country. You are the epitome of what my idea of leadership is. You're also an American Patriot. You're a war hero, and you're a great guy.
Colonel Gallemore, I appreciate all your time. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed you being on the Podcast. I cannot tell you how much I look up to you as a leader. Thank you for your time and thank you for your service. Next time you're in Texas, or I'm in Nevada. Let's try to get together if we have some time.
John Gallemore: I appreciate it and appreciate you taking the time and allowing me to say a few things. It's an honor and a privilege to wear this uniform now for 21, and thanks for what you do. I appreciate you allowing me to communicate the story.
I look forward to catching up at some point, maybe at an Aggie football game. With that said, man, gig em!
Brian Beckcom: There you go, gig em! Right back at your Colonel.
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