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Innovations
Pvt. Jefferson White landed at Safi with 2nd Armored Division shortly after midnight on November 8. His tank platoon cleared mines on the way to Casablanca and then saw ...

Innovations

Pvt. Jefferson White landed at Safi with 2nd Armored Division shortly after midnight on November 8. His tank platoon cleared mines on the way to Casablanca and then saw action in Algeria and Tunisia. Based on his experiences, he had some interesting observations on American and German soldiers:

The Germans I saw were good soldiers. But they needed somebody to tell ’em what to do, how to do it—and when. The Americans—we were mostly farm boys. If we couldn’t whip you one way, we’d whip you another. We had guys inventing things and coming up with practical ideas. One soldier invented a gadget that mounted on the front of tanks to clear mines. One of our machine-gunners switched out the rounds in the belts of .50 cal. ammunition so that one round was standard ball, the next was armor piercing, then a tracer. That way we could shoot by eyesight, not by gunsight. Those kinds of innovations kept a lot of American soldiers alive.

American soldiers, past and present, have been credited for their ingenuity. In fact, innovation and “out of the box” thinking are hallmarks of Americans in general. Freedom and independence seem to foster a mind-set that is uncomfortable with doing anything simply because it’s the way it has been done before. Even though this attitude can be misdirected, it can and has contributed to the greatest achievements. I believe that this trait has specific biblical roots.

In his parable of the talents, Jesus praised the two servants who did something with the talents given them. Even though they started on unequal footing and achieved unequal results, both were declared “good and faithful servants.” The servant who hid his talent lost what little he had.

Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance.

—Matthew 25:28–29


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