Interview with Francis McVey, Vietnam Veterans of America
As the tactician and leader of his close-knit crew, Francis McVey experienced first hand how much the atmosphere of a team can influence an experience. Despite him being inexperienced, his crew stayed by his side throughout all their missions. He deeply appreciated the way his crew accepted him and built trust with his crew members. When members from another squadron joined theirs, Francis and his buddies were bumped down in rank. The new lieutenant criticized Francis, saying that Francis didn’t have any respect of the men and that the crew never calls him sir or lieutenant. What the new lieutenant didn’t understand was that Francis's crew calls him by his nicknames because they accepted him as part of the group. Francis knows that what his crew shows him is true respect, and that the polite titles that officers so desire show nothing in terms of recognition. He believes that a leader must perform the job but not at the expense of his/her people. No one who worked for him would get a good performance rating if they could not demonstrate that every person who worked for them was better for that experience. He says that growing people is the greatest responsibility and the greatest honor one will have when he/she is in a role of having influence over others.