Washington, April 9, 2018 —
Medal of Honor recipient retired Army Capt. Florent "Flo" Groberg joined the Defense Intelligence Agency workforce today to discuss leadership, love and life after the Army as part of the agency’s MasterMinds series.
Groberg’s desire to become a soldier began at an early age when his uncle was the target of a terrorist attack. What started out as a desire to get revenge, turned into a desire to protect and defend the nation. He emphasized that he never fired a shot at the enemy in hate.
“War is the ugliest thing in the world, but it’s also where I first understood the real power of love,” said Groberg. “I came out, out of all this, all this crap, I came out of it with an understanding of love. Love for brotherhood and sisterhood. Love of country.”
Although he had an understanding of love of country, Groberg admitted he struggled with self-identity following a suicide bomber attack that cost him 50 percent of his left calf muscle, significant nerve damage, a blown eardrum and a mild traumatic brain injury.
“When I was recovering, I sort of lost my identity,” said Groberg. “For the first year I really struggled.”
For Groberg, the road to recovery was mentally tough. He admits being combative and fighting battles in his mind.
“What saved my life was having conversations,” he explained. “It’s not a disease, it’s not a disorder. It’s an injury. And there’s a fix to it.”
He encouraged others who may be struggling to remember that taking ownership of your recovery is just as important as having others to help you recover. He said he believes Walter Reed National Military Medical Center has the best doctors and the best nurses, but taking ownership of your care is key.
An internship and fellowship opportunity at DIA gave Groberg the inspiration needed to serve in a different way. He said being at DIA was motivating and allowed him to get back into the fight. He also highlighted the leaders who have had a profound effect on his life like his father, other wounded warriors, and military leaders.
“What I look for in leaders is trust and confidence,” said Groberg. “As a leader, you have to take care of your people.”
When asked what the Medal of Honor represents to him, Groberg said it’s dedicated to the men and women who don’t come home.
“It’s a responsibility of making sure that you represent the United States military, your country, and your nation, you know, to the best of your abilities,” said Groberg. “It’s not yours. It’s not my medal…I’m just a courier.”
To read more about Groberg and his military career, visit https://www.army.mil/medalofhonor/groberg/.
The DIA MasterMinds series invites government, industry, academia and entertainment leaders and experts to share their unique experiences, perspectives and values with the DIA workforce.