In my current course from Liberty, EDUC 604 (Foundations of Education), we're reading about the ancients, or fathers (and mothers) of education. Something struck me as I read about Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi. I don't agree with much of what he believed about education. There isn't enough room on this blog to really go into that, and this post certainly isn't the place. However, I did read one thing that piqued my interest:
"A gentle man by nature, Pestalozzi wanted to preside over his educational family as a father figure rather than as a pedantic taskmaster." A History of the Western Educational Experience, 1995, pg 223.
This has always been my philosophy in military leadership as well. I would much rather lead a young man towards a better career than simply demand it from him. Ironically, in the end, the demand is the same. However, some of these guys have never had a father figure, or perhaps they had a poor one growing up. Just the same, a good Navy mentor, who provides that sort of fatherly guidance, can mean the world for a young Sailor.
Just my two cents.