Gold Star Dads to present the Esprit de corps Award

What is “esprit de corps?

Webster’s defines “esprit de corp” as an intangible term used to describe the capacity of people to maintain belief in an institution or a goal.

I personally think it is something much deeper than that.

When applied to military personnel we are all familiar with terms such as ”Sempre fi” and “No man left behind.” esprit de corps is the willpower and self-discipline exemplified every day on the battlefield in far off places like Haditha, Iraq & Kabul Afghanistan. By the squad or fire team tasked with holding a position when they are out gunned and outnumbered, by the chopper pilot who zooms into a hot LZ in the dark of night to extract a SPEC OPS team or by the Navy corpsman who braves enemy fire to tend to a wounded army private and then carries him to safety putting his own life at risk.

Some would confuse those acts with heroism, I won’t argue, they are also heroic. But the men doing those acts would tell you simply, “its my job, he’s my team mate, he would do the same for me. I say that is “esprit de corps”

At the 5th Annual Mountain Man Memorial  there will be no enemy fire, no one’s life is on the line. That day “esprit de corps” will best be described simply as, “the capacity of a group of people to pull together persistently in pursuit of a common purpose or goal, crossing that finish line together, as a team. No one man or women better than the other.”

As judges Gold Star Dads of America will be charged with choosing the team that BEST exemplified those traits. The winner will be picked from all the entries, from 10k family teams to full rucksack marathon squads.

Everyone will be judged with the same goal, pick the team that best exemplifies “esprit de corps”

Mountain Man Memorial “Esprit de Corps Award” renamed in Christopher’s Honor