Skip to main content
Coaches Corner

Message to Garcia

When a young boy/girl steps on the grounds of the Naval Academy to begin their journey toward becoming a naval officer there are many lessons to be learned.

Some of them are simple and binary.

When someone asks you a questions you can only respond with predetermined answers.

Some of the lessons are far more complicated and require ingenuity and imagination.

This begins the process of developing both the ability to lead and follow for a youn leader

These lessons are the ones that shape you as a person and create a resourceful thinking leader.

“Message to Garcia” is one of those lessons.

It is one of the tougher lessons to learn because nothing more is provided in the context of the statement other than the statement.

If a plebe is having trouble with a situation or finding something all that would be said is “Message to Garcia”.

This leads to a wild goose chase just to figure out what that even means before being able to apply it to the situation at hand.

This lesson is uniquely valuable during the plebe summer setting because nobody has access to the internet so it has to be done the old fashioned way.

And everything during plebe summer is time constrained.

It forces initiative and staying on task.

The story is from the Spanish American Revolution when the United States President McKinley gave one of his Lieutenants Andrew Rowan a task to get a “Message to Garcia”.

That was the only tasking given.

The rest is now history.