Episode 9

Backbone of the Army with Dan Cormier

In this episode Phil and Greg are joined by Dan Cormier, a former U.S. Army Colonel. Dan shares his experience in leadership roles in various organizations and how he developed his leadership skills. He believes that leadership can be developed through training and observing other leaders. This episode provides useful insights and tips on leadership skills development from the experts.


  • Dan Cormier, a former U.S. Army Colonel, is highly skilled at developing leaders to maximize the effectiveness of organizations and connect talent to results. 
  • Prior to joining Sea Captain Coaching, Dan developed leaders for the United States Department of Defense and government. He was a professor at both the Naval and Army War Colleges where he specialized in leadership, national security, and middle eastern studies. His experience includes commanding a 1,000-soldier, multi-function battalion that conducted combat operations in Kirkuk, Iraq.
  • Dan works with his clients to unlock their potential by helping them see challenges and look for solutions from different perspectives to develop their leadership skills. He also focuses his efforts on helping them achieve personal and group goals based on his experience leading troops in the military.
  • A key role for military leaders at all ranks is to develop their people. Dan discusses how military careers are marked by rapid progression from junior to midgrade to senior leadership roles. To do this successfully, you always have to be developing your bench, the next generation of leaders who will carry the unit and organization forward.  
  • Dan discusses transitioning during his military career from being a soldier to being an academic. 
  • Phil and Dan discuss how their paths crossed, their common focus on leader development, and how they decided to collaborate.  
  • ADP 6-22 Leader Development: defines leadership as “influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation to accomplish the mission and improve the organization.”  
  • There is a significant amount of overlap in business and the military, particularly in the leadership development realm.
  • Dan discusses leadership as it applies specifically to the US miliary and to the Ukraine and Russian armies.   
  • Dan details his Backbone of the Army Seminar, which is an introduction to leadership and focuses on solving two key challenges that we see in the leadership world. The seminar is designed to give participants some ideas and practices that they can use immediately to see results. 


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