By U.S. ArmyJuly 25, 2012
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- Soldiers of the 5th Engineer Battalion spent their afternoon with the "Voice of the Chiefs Radio Network" as he spoke about resiliency in Abrams Theater July 18.
Mitch Holthus, an 18-year, play-by-play broadcaster for the Kansas City Chiefs professional football team, first spoke with the "Fightin' Fifth" in 2008 as they prepared for the battalion's third deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"The battalion was facing some rather difficult challenges during that time," recalled Holthus.
"Sometimes the root of a problem lies within the way a person; football player, Soldier… doesn't matter… looks at life," he said. "I'm here to reinforce a positive approach to life."
Holthus spoke with the Soldiers about what he called "counter culture messages" such as focusing on the process rather than the reward, horizontal accountability of others, what one truly leaves behind and earning the legacy of one's predecessor.
"This battalion has a tremendous legacy," said Holthus. "You should know that history and be proud of all that it encompasses."
The 5th En. Bn. has participated in nearly every combined arms conflict since the Civil War.
Holthus explained that the history of the battalion was built upon hard working Soldiers who were not without sacrifice on their road to the Fighter's motto "victory".
During his message, Holthus spoke about Kansas City Chief's linebacker, Derrick Johnson, who despite being chosen as a first pick in the 2005 NFL Draft (15th overall), had a difficult transition from college to professional football.
Holthus said that Johnson had to learn the same "counter culture messages" in order to become the standout player he is today… just like Soldiers today are learning what it takes to succeed in life.
"Mitch provided the Fighters with an inspirational and motivational message about winning...not on the battlefield, but in life," said Lt. Col. Chris McGowan, 5th Engineer Battalion commander.
"What it takes to build a great sports team that is resilient and selfless is very similar to what it takes to build winning Army Teams," he said.
Holthus said that his message of resiliency is echoed throughout the players of the Kansas City Chiefs and that he would take the Fighters story with him to the Chief's summer training camp in St. Joseph, Mo. slated to begin July 27.