Leadership Lessons from the Battlefield to the Boardroom: The John Wayne Troxell Story

In a powerful episode of the Veteran Led Podcast, hosted by John S. Berry, listeners are treated to a masterclass in leadership and resilience, courtesy of one of the most distinguished figures in military history, John Wayne Troxell. 

As the third Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (SEAC), Troxell brings a wealth of experience from his storied career, offering profound insights into leadership, mental health, and transitioning from military to civilian life.

A Philosophy Carved in the Crucibles of Leadership

Troxell’s leadership philosophy is deeply rooted in his extensive military career, emphasizing presence, performance, and persistence. 

These pillars have shaped Troxell and countless individuals under his command. 

His story underscores the tangible impact of leading from the front, embodying the mission, and sustaining morale through genuine engagement and unwavering commitment.

The Power of Presence

Troxell’s recount of leaders who epitomized the essence of presence, such as Roger Blackwood, highlights the magnetic effect of a leader who, through their sheer force of character and dedication, can inspire and galvanize their troops. 

This quality, as Troxell illustrates, transcends the battlefield and is equally applicable in any leadership scenario where the goal is to inspire trust, create and strengthen loyalty, and drive collective success.

Performance Through Example

General Joe Dunford’s influence on Troxell exemplifies how performance and leading by example serve as the backbone of effective leadership. 

The shared physical endeavors between Troxell and Dunford weren’t just about physical fitness but symbolized a deeper commitment to the standards they set for those they led. 

This principle of embodying the values and standards one expects of others is a universal tenet of leadership that resonates across all spheres of influence.

Persistence Amidst Adversity

Troxell’s emphasis on persistence speaks to the heart of leadership challenges; maintaining discipline, accountability, and the drive to achieve excellence even in the face of adversity. 

His experiences highlight the delicate balance leaders must navigate between the humanity inherent in their teams and the unyielding demands of their missions. 

Troxell’s story serves as a poignant reminder that true leadership endurance is forged in the crucible of perseverance.

Confronting the Shadows: Mental Health and Leadership

Perhaps one of the most impactful aspects of Troxell’s journey is his candid discussion on confronting PTSD and the stigma surrounding mental health in the military. 

His decision to seek therapy and openly address his struggles marks a significant step forward in normalizing mental health care among military personnel and veterans. 

Troxell’s story is a beacon for leaders everywhere, demonstrating that acknowledging and addressing one’s vulnerabilities is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Bridging Worlds: Military Precision in Civilian Ventures

The transition from a high-profile military career to founding PME Hard and E-tool Nation reflects Troxell’s seamless application of military leadership principles in civilian entrepreneurship. 

His endeavors post-service are testament to the adaptability and relevance of military-derived leadership skills in the civilian sector. 

Troxell’s efforts in supporting veterans, mentoring young leaders, and championing physical, mental, and emotional toughness underscore the enduring value of disciplined, principled leadership.

A Call to Leadership

John Wayne Troxell’s story, as shared on the Veteran Led Podcast, transcends the conventional boundaries of military and civilian leadership. 

It is a compelling story that calls upon current and aspiring leaders to reflect on the core principles that define effective leadership: the courage to lead by example, the resilience to persist through challenges, and the humility to confront personal battles.

Listeners and readers are encouraged to draw upon Troxell’s insights and experiences as a wellspring of inspiration for their own leadership journeys. 

Whether in the boardroom, at the frontline, or within the community, the principles of presence, performance, and persistence serve as guiding lights on the path to impactful, transformational leadership.

About the Veteran Led Podcast

The Veteran Led Podcast is dedicated to exploring the powerful leadership lessons learned in the military and how they apply to business, entrepreneurship, and community leadership. 

Hosted by John S. Berry, CEO of Berry Law and a former active-duty Infantry Officer in the U.S. Army, this podcast draws from the depth of military experience to offer insights into building successful teams, executing effective strategies, and achieving excellence in various endeavors.

The Veteran Led Podcast is a resource for anyone interested in understanding the impact of military leadership principles in the civilian world. It offers a straightforward look at how discipline, teamwork, and strategic thinking learned in the armed forces can lead to success in business and beyond.

Listeners can find the Veteran Led Podcast on major platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, Podtail, and YouTube

For more information about the podcast, Berry Law, and the veterans who make up their team, visit

Berry Law

The attorneys at Berry Law are dedicated to helping injured Veterans. With extensive experience working with VA disability claims, Berry Law can help you with your disability appeals.

This material is for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship between the Firm and the reader, and does not constitute legal advice. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and the contents of this blog are not a substitute for legal counsel.

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