Skip to content

What I Learned From An Army Cook

Army food is pretty much what you’d expect: bland, overcooked…and as much as you can eat. The dishes are not garnished with Tuscan balsamic vinegar or alba white Italian truffles. It’s all about providing enough calories to fuel the troops in their work. That’s it.

But the Pegasus Chow Hall, just outside of the Baghdad airport, has created a completely different experience.

At Pegasus, the prime rib is pink, juicy, and expertly prepared. The fruit platter is a stunning selection of watermelon, kiwi, and grapes.  In fact, there are stories of soldiers driving along one of the most treacherous roads in Iraq just to dine at Pegasus. 

Floyd Lee, the main man in charge of Pegasus and former Army cook, came out of retirement to take the job. “The good Lord gave me a second chance to feed soldiers. I’ve waited for this job all my life, and here I am in Baghdad.” 

Floyd Lee and other members of his team at the Pegasus Chow Hall

Lee’s vision for Pegasus boils down to this: provide a refuge from all the chaos, danger, and turmoil of military life. “As I see it, I am not just in charge of food service; I am in charge of morale.” 

This vision inspires everything they do at Pegasus, small actions such as: 

  • Sports banners on the walls instead of typical white sterile paint
  • Gold treatments on the windows
  • Green tablecloths with tassels
  • No fluorescent lights; ceiling fans with soft bulbs
  • Tall, white chef hats for all the servers

But what’s so impressive about Pegasus’s reputation for great food is that Pegasus works with exactly the same raw materials that everyone else does. They serve the exact same 21-day Army menu that all the other dining halls do. 

However, it’s the attitude that makes the difference. 

I share this story because the same principle applies to email marketing. We all have the same raw materials to work with. 

And yet, there are some people that are generating thousands of dollars each month through their email campaigns…while others don’t see anything and wrongly surmise that email is “dead.” 

Like Floyd Lee, it starts with having a clear vision of what you are really providing. 

Once you really understand the value that you provide (not just features and benefits but actual, transformational value), then it makes your path forward much easier. You’re not just pitching your products all day every day. You are the catalyst for major positive change in your clients’ lives. It’s critical to understand that. 

If you are struggling to identify the value that you provide, start by asking yourself the following questions: 

  • What does my product/service do for my clients? 
  • How will this make your clients feel better about themselves/ their life/ their family/ their business and their future? 
  • Why is this better than what they are currently doing? (including doing nothing at all)
  • How can this positively change their life? 

And if you’d like some help or guidance, then shoot me an email: mark@markthackeray.com