By MAX FILBY
The Joe show.
It’s the name retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Joseph T. Anderson jokingly gave to his presentation on leadership Tuesday at the University of Findlay. The “show” covered topics ranging from community service to sexual assault to politics. “I like to talk about all of them,” Anderson said. “I don’t think they can solve themselves.”
About 50 people gathered in the university’s Alumni Memorial Union to hear the retired Marine and former associate director of the Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum. Those are just two of more than a dozen titles Anderson has held in his life.
He kicked off his speech by thanking people who serve in the military, and said everyone should serve the United States through military or community service. Anderson said he supports the idea of requiring people to serve at least two years through the military or a form of community service.
“This is a great country,” he said. “It shouldn’t be free to live here. It’s a privilege to serve the country.”
During his speech, Anderson talked about sexual assault in the military, an issue that has received national attention. Throughout his speech, he condemned sexual assault in the military.
“They’re supposed to be your teammate,” Anderson said. “You don’t do that to your teammate and you don’t let that happen to your teammate.”
While Anderson said reform is needed to try to end sexual assault in the military, he is against removing the disciplinary responsibilities of the military in favor of a system that would address such cases in civilian courts.
“I think that would undermine the military,” he said.
Although Anderson said he didn’t want to make his speech a political one, he did say the United States needs to stop threatening action in international conflicts without taking any. It’s a reference to the Obama administration’s approach in dealing with Syria and Russia, he said.
“We need to stop drawing red lines if we aren’t going to back them up,” Anderson said.
Anderson’s speech touched on several topics, but he said he wanted Findlay students to take just one thing away from his presentation — understanding. Anderson said there is a “chasm” of perception that exists between the military and civilians.
“There’s a divide, and the way you overcome it is by having things like this,” he said.
Katie Mehlow, a junior in animal science and biology, agreed there is often a misunderstanding of the military.
“We don’t all have a lot of exposure to this … it really makes you think,” Mehlow said. “Getting involved in the community like Joe is huge. It shows that people in the military are just like us.”