Your presence on stage immediately engaged the audience as you began to talk about boya!ty, Duty, Respect, and Teamwork. Addressing the audience in a casual manner, describing your career, and detailing the numerous challenges of a career in the Army allowed the many non-military attendees to clearly comprehend the points of your talk. Your speech was perfect for this conference.
Col. Greg Gadson
Finding Waypoints: A Warrior's Journey Toward Peace and Purpose
by Col. Greg Gadson
He had been through hell―his own and the devil's―and had emerged free of hate, free of encumbrance. If the person who had laid the bomb that took his legs were standing before him, Greg knew he would lay down his own weapon in forgiveness. The waypoints were becoming clearer. He would recover his body as well as his soul.
In military jargon, the word “waypoints” refers to guideposts on a map used to direct soldiers in or out of a location like a rendezvous point. For Colonel Greg Gadson― a battalion commander and former West Point football player― who lost both legs as a result of an IED attack in Iraq in 2007, these waypoints were to change drastically, and inform his future life through his long, painful recovery and emergence as a spiritual guide and assistant coach to the NY Giants during their own trials of fire in the 2007 season that took them from last place to a Super Bowl championship in 2008. Soon after, Gadson also starred in a major motion picture (“Battleship”) and since then has become a motivational speaker for thousands of individuals, both civilian and military, and leader for veterans’ programs and outdoor experiential healing expeditions. This honest and deeply personal story of transformation from battlefield leader to speaker and life coach, will inspire readers to consider their own waypoints towards their own life’s betterment and the lives of those around them.
Col. Greg Gadson
Featured Keynote Programs
Overcoming Organizational Adversity
"You don't get to pick your circumstances." This, according to Greg Gadson, is the lesson that he had to learn anew when he faced the toughest circumstances of his life. With unprecedented events affecting organizations all over the country and the world, Gadson imparts not only an inspirational message but he also shows how his real-life Army training and leadership experience can help organizations overcome their biggest challenges. Through personal anecdotes from his career and his own challenges, he shows organizations that hurdles and obstacles are placed in front of us everyday, but we do not have to be defined by them.
Circumstances Don't Define Us
Gadson speaks with clarity and emotion about everyone's capacity to get back up after a fall. He explains, through the example of his personal experience, that we have no vote in the circumstances which befall us, but we do have a choice in how we will overcome those circumstances. He speaks to the interplay of an assertive self-reliance and the importance of teamwork, which was crucial in his own survival: "You are in control of your own destiny, but you need to figure out how to work together to protect yourself and the people close to you." Gadson shows how the careful organization and training of his infantry battalion resulted in his own life-saving rescue, and he relates how these principles of preparation and trust can be implemented to calm the storm of the ever-changing workplace.
Pride, Poise, and Team
Greg Gadson inspires audiences to overcome adversity by telling his unique and remarkable story. He relates how he used the core principle of "Pride, Poise, and Team" to rise above his injuries and how he still lives by this motto today to succeed in his family, career, and life. This fundamental of organization was instilled in Gadson at West Point, by Army football coach Jim Young, and he has never forgotten it. Whether commanding the only battalion in the 4th Infantry Brigade not to suffer a single fatality in Iraq, or giving a pre-game speech to the 2008 Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, Colonel Greg Gadson's every word is infused with courage, consistency, and the ethics of teamwork. He truly defines "grace under fire."
Global Security Perspectives From A Combat Veteran
An experienced combat veteran serving in full-spectrum operations, Col. Gadson walks the audience through the three main types of conflict, high-intensity combat, stability operations, and counterinsurgencies. Col. Gadson shows how they each can affect a region and the world. As a 1989 USMA graduate and middle east history major, he uses historical examples and how they relate to current conflicts. Col. Gadson''s significant experience working with inter-agency, joint and Multi-National partners and operations gives him a unique insight that he is able to pass along to his audiences.
Your insights, experiences, and dialogue with our cadets and staff are what make NCLS valuable! The tremendous success of this year's program is a direct result of your willingness to give of your time and to challenge our audience to aspire to excellence. This year's theme, "Warrior Ethos and the American Airman," was certainly demonstrated by your remarks and made a difference, not only in the Air Force Academy Cadet Wing, but also in the future of our Air Force
The moment you began speaking, the audience was captivated, and as you painted the vivid and honest portrait of your life story, you took us on that journey with you. This speaks not only to your talent as a stellar public speaker, but also to the powerful story you tell and the passion with which you tell it
Your remarks and presence inspired each of us to become better leaders, and to not only appreciate but embrace every day. The experiences that you shared are a great testament to your courage and perseverance ... and the incomparable value of teamwork. I am very appreciative that you joined us, and remain humbled by your extraordinary service and commitment to our country and the principles of freedom we hold so dearly
Col. Gadson's message of perseverance, teamwork, and a relentless spirit touched every member of the audience. His story connected the importance of determination in the face of adversity with humor and an honesty that we have never experienced with other speakers. His opening remarks left the audience inspired, and set the tone for a fantastic conference. He would be a fantastic addition to any program.