Okay, so this is not a special operations-, or SEAL-, or CIA-specific article, nor does it apply to current events, political intrigue, or international affairs.  It has nothing to do with terrorism, or the rise of China, or the re-emergence of Russia.

This is a much more important subject.

This article is about how to mold a boy into a man. Whether you currently have a son, or might have one in the future, you have an awesome responsibility ahead of you. You have to raise a responsible, contributing, successful member of society. You have to teach a boy how to take care of himself and his family, to be a husband and a father. You have to teach him how to lead, and follow, and love, and respect others. You may even be teaching him one day to defend our country, or possibly even play a part in leading it.

Now, do not misunderstand me, all you people with daughters. You have an equally awesome duty to your beautiful girls. You probably have an even harder job, I am willing to wager, in raising them. I honestly haven’t the slightest idea, because I was not blessed with a daughter. I am pretty sure I am not cut out for one, so God probably spared all of us the trouble. Who knows? At any rate, do not take as an insult my focus on boys. I am simply unqualified to provide you with any thoughts on raising a daughter. I wish you all the luck in the world, though, in doing so.

Some might also—rightly—point out that I am not qualified to offer advice on raising sons, either. I have had no professional training, nor have I read a bunch of books on the subject, admittedly. I probably should have done so, and could surely use some advice on the subject. I can only offer what I know, most of which I learned from my own father, who I personally think did a great job—definitely the best that he could. Any of my own failings as a man—and there are many—are no doubt of my own doing, and not owing to any lack of example or teaching by my own father.

So, having put all of those caveats out there, and without further ado, I humbly offer for your consideration the lessons I teach my sons to help them become men. Please add your own input into the comments section below, as I am sure there are many more lessons worth teaching.

1.  Take care of your siblings. This is rule one. If you cannot stand up for your brothers and sisters, you have failed. There is no way around this fact. You should die fighting for your family, if it is so required. It would scarcely be worth living with the shame of failing in this duty. Your friends will come and go, but your family remains forever.

2.  Do not hit a woman. Unless she is threatening your life in an immediate manner (i.e., she is about to kill you), striking a woman can never be justified. Treat women with respect. Open doors, be polite, and always remember, they have fathers.