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BATTLEFIELD TO BUSINESS: One Marine's Inner Voyage of Ethical Leadership

Joseph Medina



BATTLEFIELD TO BUSINESS addresses how the author applied the lessons learned during his military career to leadership situations as a leader in the corporate world.  Joseph Medina is a retired senior U.S. Marine Corps Officer who commanded at every level. As a General Officer, he was the Commander for Expeditionary Strike Group THREE, he commanded all Marine Corps bases and air stations in Asia, and later was the Commanding General of 3rd MEB and led the effort for several humanitarian and disaster relief operations in the Asia Pacific Region. After leaving active duty for the private sector,  he had a successful corporate career leading large, diverse teams overseeing technical engineering field services worldwide. This included leading large multi-million dollar projects in India, China, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates,  as well as across Europe and the United States.  This book includes several vignettes that illustrate the lessons learned in the military environment and their application to the private sector business community to address potential ethical dilemmas your may face as a business leader. 


Master the art of leadership while staying true to your ideals.

Are you looking for a way to hone your leadership skills? 

Do you find ethical concerns troubling when dealing with challenging business situations? 

Do you want to build a healthy, productive work community?

Written by a former Marine General Officer and successful entrepreneur, this book will help you achieve your goals and become a modern servant-leader.

You'll learn about all the essential skills required to lead your company to success while maintaining a productive relationship with your customers and employees.


The corporate world is a battlefield of its own.

It requires a solid organizational structure with experienced, transformational leaders. Sometimes you need to act quickly to stay ahead of your opponent (competitor). Other times, everyone will look for you in a crisis for calm, rational direction and decision.


Teach and Mentor

"When you’re the bull elephant, teach the youngins to waltz!"

The Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) Landing

Mindoro Island, Philippines

I was aboard the MEB (Marine Expeditionary Brigade) flagship USS Tarawa in the South China Sea. The rest of the battalion was scattered around other amphibious ships. My company alone was on the flagship separated from the rest of the battalion.

This sizable gathering of ships was ready to commence a large MEB exercise with the entire Fourth Marine Regiment afloat, which included Battlefield to Business 145 multiple battalions and a Marine air group. (An interesting epilogue to this story is that two decades later, I commanded this same MEB and conducted multiple exercises and humanitarian disaster relief operations throughout the Philippines.)

The exercise kickoff was the amphibious assault. The reason my company was separated from our battalion and aboard the flagship instead was because we were designated to conduct a prelanding heliborne assault to secure two critical areas. They would serve as “choke points,” preventing any enemy reinforcement. In turn, this would allow the MEB assault forces to land on the beach safely.

The day before, we rehearsed the exercise. The timing and the sequence were both perfect—two waves, no issues.

On the day of the actual landing and at the designated time, I climbed into the helicopter along with my command and communications team. The engines started, and I could see the other aircraft lifting off and departing the flight deck, all on time.

All except one.

On my helicopter, the rotors stopped, and the engine shut down. My entire company was heading straight to the beach, except the command team on my helicopter. We were still on the flight deck but clearly not departing anytime soon. My company was now headed to the objective, on time but without me and the command team. Not good!

We had completed our study of the area predominantly through map studies. We did not have current satellite imagery, and no recon teams were reporting from that specific area. So, I expected adjustments based on the actual ground would be required.

Every passing minute was a disadvantage. I knew that this helo was out and that any possible repairs would take hours. I had to think fast. 146 Joseph V. Medina All the helos had launched except the regimental commander’s command and control (C&C) bird.

I started running.

Interrupting the Elephants

I ran up three decks into the Landing Force Operations Center’s (LFOC) briefing area. The regimental commander, the MEB commanding general, and several lieutenant colonels and majors were grouped around the main map display board. I moved rapidly toward them despite my lower rank (remember that even though I was a company commander, I was still a first lieutenant).

I still had my combat gear and full camo paint on.

One of the majors stopped me immediately.

“Whoa, now! The CO and CG are in discussion and can’t be interrupted,” he told me.

“This is urgent, and I will speak to the Colonel now,” I said loudly as I brushed his hand aside and pushed my way through.

As I walked in, the regimental commander looked my way with visible annoyance. But when he recognized me, his expression darkened.

“What the f* are you doing here and not on your way ashore?” he almost screamed.



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