MADISON, Wis. – Members of the Leinenkugel brewing family visited the 115th Fighter Wing May 3.
During the Saturday morning commander’s call with 115th Fighter Wing leadership, Dick and CJ Leinenkugel, Leinenkugel’s business development manager and product merchant, provided valuable insight on how their military experiences have helped them become successful businessmen.
“I run the risk of being around the Air Force and talking about the Marine Corps, but my experiences as a Marine helped me get to where I am today,” Dick said.
Dick and CJ – who is Dick’s nephew – both shared stories from their Marine Corps days. They spoke about the leadership responsibilities they were given at the start of their military careers, the places they were able to see during their enlistments, and the valuable lessons they took away with them.
CJ even joked about the fact the Marine Corps prepared him for everything except becoming a parent. As the father of a 7-month-old baby girl, he’s now been tested to his limit.
“In all seriousness though, the military teaches young people to be responsible for not only the equipment and money they are in charge of, but for the uniform and for our country,” CJ said. “Honor, courage and commitment are attributes I can carry with me the rest of my life.”
“The leadership lesson I’d like to share with you is recognizing your people, but I already witnessed that you do that here,” Dick said. “Everyone needs to know what their people plan is. Focus on the things your people need from you.”
Dick continued to discuss the importance of having the support of their employees, and how that support and continued dedication has allowed them to become successful.
During the family’s base tour, they gained insight on some things they could improve on as well. Following a briefing with Maj. John T. Sacia, 115th Fighter Wing pilot, they learned about the processes pilots go through before and after they fly their missions. The key idea he picked up was the fact that pilots at the 115th Fighter Wing spend hours on their after-action reports.
“That’s something we don’t spend near enough time on,” Dick said. “We’re going to bring that concept back with us.”