Eyes Right - The Warrior's Journey®

Eyes Right

Author: Kristian Carlson, USN

Remember Pearl Harbor. Photo by Marines is licensed under CC By 2.0

I wrote this article for “Okinawa Marine” a weekly publication that shares the latest USMC related happenings on the Island. It serves as a link to families and the local community sharing upcoming events, resources, and cultural insights.

Have you participated in a pass and review ceremony?  Marching toward the review stand, the platoon commander calls out “EYES”… “RIGHT!”   Those in the column to the far right keep head in place and gaze forward, while the rest pivot their heads 45 degrees to the right and look to the reviewing officer, as the unit marches by.

In boot camp, I quickly learned the value of my eyes.  The senior chief yelled:  “EARS!”  I responded:  “OPEN!”  They demanded: “EYES!”  My unit thundered: “SNAP!”

Training our eyes is a tough task.  I believe it’s why the Marine Corps trains its warriors in their proper use from the get-go.

Eyes Reveal Much

Eyes tell a lot about a person.  Are they wide? Someone is excited with wonder—or afraid with uncertainty.  Do they sparkle? Love or joy is in the air.  Are they downcast?  Someone is sad.  Dark and brooding?  There is anger or vengefulness.

Your eyes can be powerful instruments in your unit, in your home, and toward determining your future.

Caring eyes tell subordinates that they matter.  Attentive eyes signal to superiors respect.  When other warning signs are absent, watchful eyes notice that a fellow battle buddy’s eyes aren’t their normal self. That close attention could save a life.

In your home, and around town, your guarded eyes can tell your husband that he is the only one for you.  Gentle eyes communicate love to your kids, but lazy eyes neglect relationships and waste life glued to a computer screen.

As you consider your future, eyes matter there too.  Vision is about what you see yourself becoming.  If you have strong eyes in this way, you can see yourself in remarkable roles of influence.  You see yourself, your family and your nation becoming so much more.  That vision then becomes marching orders for a new reality which you work to bring to life.


Look at your unit, your home, and your future this week. Have you trained your eyes RIGHT? Consider how to make them SNAP to your unit, to your family, and to seeing your future filled with purpose.

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