The best way to understand the value of Breaching the Summit in your life as a leader is to view this leadership anthology through the eyes of the 16th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, as written in his book foreword.

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“Whatever success I achieved throughout my career has been in no small part to the senior enlisted leaders at every duty station, taking me under their wing, advising me in ways that made me a better leader, and more importantly, making the organization better.”


This book is written by six senior enlisted advisors who served similar roles for their respective service chiefs. Each shares his or her personal journey of hard work, sacrifice, and what can only be described as incredible success, but more importantly, the opportunity to lead others to success. Their “highlight reels” provide great examples to follow, but they have the humility to include the not-so-good decisions they made, and important lessons they learned along the way. We hear what drew them to the military, and after a lifetime of service in uniform, what struggles they faced as they transitioned following retirement. We have the opportunity to learn their lessons vicariously and apply them to our own circumstances, regardless of rank or position, in or out of the military.

This book is for junior service members new to the military who want a career path to emulate and solid advice about being an authentic leader, which requires more than just telling someone to get a haircut.

It is for senior enlisted leaders who want to compare notes, especially on how to best lead up, to help young officers understand what is expected of them, and to help senior leaders think through the challenges the organization will face.

It is a book for officers, to help them gain a better perspective on the vital role of the senior enlisted leaders in the organization. Early on in our careers, officers often focus on “who’s senior.” Over time, we learn to LEARN from everyone in our orbit, not just those who outrank us. This book demonstrates, early and often, this opportunity for growth and development learned from our senior enlisted.

This book is for families of our military as well. As service members, we often try to keep our warrior life separate from our home life; we don’t want to over-share or burden our devoted family members with details that will cause additional concern. When we are home, we want to focus on family, and rightly so. But sometimes in our efforts to protect, we ask for buy-in and support without giving our families the opportunity to fully appreciate just what it is we do for a living. This book raises that curtain a bit, and lets our families see the other side. It also provides strong examples of the sacrifice, teamwork, and plain hard work required in any successful military family.

And finally, this book is for those who have no connection to the military whatsoever. Regardless of walk of life or current position—bottom of the ladder, top of the heap, or somewhere in mid-management—everyone can benefit from some candid advice from a battle buddy, such as those who wrote this book!

— Gen. Peter Pace, U.S. Marine Corps (retired) and 16th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff