Monday, June 20, 2016

Perseverance - "I'll Try Sir"

by Stephen R. Padgett, Trail Life USA - Troop Master MD-0518

Prologue - I wonder if TLUSA might want to name some sort of award after Calvin Pearl Titus -- Christian, Hero, Bugler, and Standard Bearer.

So we're having our Trail Life USA awards ceremony tonight.  I wasn't going to do a Wisdom of the Wild (WOW) but I had an idea and ran with it.

One thing led to another (I guess God works that way) and I began to research a guy named Calvin Titus. He was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1902 by President Roosevelt. In addition to being the genesis of the Fifth Regiment slogan "I'll try Sir" he was a Chaplain's Assistant and was the last Standard Bearer in the entire US Army.

Perseverance - I'll try Sir!

Do any of you have a favorite word? Maybe it’s something that sounds cool, or rolls of the tongue, or has a particular meaning to you. One of my favorites is Perseverance.

Who knows what that means? One dictionary defines Perseverance as: 
steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
The Bible has many verses about persevering, like this one from 2 Peter 1:5-6 (NASB)
Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness,
You’ll notice that these things build on each other.  Beginning with faith, you gain moral excellence, then knowledge, then self-control, then comes perseverance, then Godliness.  It’s a lot of work and takes great diligence. So, perseverance basically means getting it done no matter what it takes.

A few years ago, my dad died. When we were going through some of his stuff, I came across this old Zippo lighter with his Army unit insignia on it.  On the back was the Fifth Regiment coat of Arms with their slogan.  It reads “I’ll try sir
The slogan goes back to a rescue mission in china almost 120 years ago. Troops were pinned down near 30 ft tall castle wall.  The only way to get in the castle would be to scale the wall, but no one could climb that high.  Finally, a young soldier named Calvin Titus, a Bugler and Chaplain’s Assistant (and probably lowest ranking soldier in the entire unit) looked at his Commander and said “I’ll try Sir!  He began to scale the rock face of the wall, finding small finger holds and toe holds until he finally reached the top.  Then, as he looked over the top of the wall, he wasn’t sure if it would be empty or there would be a rifleman there waiting to kill him.

They won the battle and Calvin P. Titus, later received a Presidential appointment to West Point. One day during assembly, he was called forward and much to his surprise, President Theodore Roosevelt was there to award him the Medal of honor for gallant bravery in the face of the enemy.

“I’ll try sir” showed that he was willing to give it a shot
when no one else would. He persevered to scale the wall. 

Today, we’re going to honor many of our Trailmen with some awards, some minor, some major. In all cases, they have persevered to complete the requirements.

As we raise our Standards high within Trail Life USA, it’s appropriate to honor Calvin Pearl Titus. In addition to his bravery, he was also the last US Soldier who’s main job was to hold the unit flag.  His title was Standard Bearer.

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