Last Updated on April 13, 2023 by OCF Communications

Episode 006 show notes

The topic of today’s show is character, and our guest for this episode likens character to a muscle that must be continually developed if we’re going to conduct our lives as Christians in a way that pleases and honors God.

Our guest is COLONEL DOUGLAS MASTRIANO, USA (Ret.); he’s a combat veteran of Iraq (during Operation Desert Storm) and Afghanistan, a military historian, and he served as a faculty instructor at the U.S. Army War College in the Department of Military Strategy, Planning, and Operations. A graduate of Eastern University, COL Mastriano was commissioned an officer in 1986 and later earned Masters degrees in Strategic Intelligence, Airpower Theory, Military Operational Art and Science, and Strategic Studies, as well as a doctorate in history from the University of New Brunswick.

COL Mastriano also won the 2015 Colby Award for a major contribution to the understanding of military history with his book “Alvin York: A New Biography of the Hero of the Argonne.”

Links to COL Mastriano’s books:

Alvin York: A New Biography of the Hero of the Argonne (American Warrior Series)

Thunder in the Argonne: A New History of America’s Greatest Battle (Battles and Campaigns Series) / May 22 release

An overview of the conversation

  • [1:40]—Introduction of our guest, COL Doug Mastriano, USA (Ret.)
  • [3:30]—Who was SGT Alvin York?
  • [10:22]—What parts of York’s life and military career exemplified development of a “character muscle?”
  • [12:50]—A boilerplate understanding of the character muscle
  • [14:36]—Character must be “worked out” like other muscles
  • [15:52]—What young, upcoming leaders should know about the character muscle
  • [16:58]—Examples of those who lived out their faith, and other Christian heroes of the military
  • [21:57]—How God has worked in COL Mastriano’s life, specifically a story from Desert Storm
  • [25:10]—Pitfalls to character development, and how to recover from your failings
  • [27:54]—Wrap-up and summary
  • [28:56]—Final thoughts and what the book of Daniel can teach us about character


Every decision you make as a Christian builds up or takes away from your moral character.

When we choose to do the right thing, we become morally strong, courageous, and brave in our hearts. The true “you” will then come out when you’re faced with a crisis.

You predetermine what sort of man or woman you’re going to be based off your pattern of life and the decisions you make every day.

The core values of all the armed services are designed to build up our character muscle, and those core values are Christian-based ideals.

Stand firmly in your love for Jesus Christ and tell the world, “No, this is who I am.”

Be encouraged that no matter what you’ve done in life, if you’re following Jesus Christ and trying to be faithful to Him, you can change history or you might be the person who influences the next Alvin York.

About OCF Crosspoint

OCF Crosspoint is a podcast produced by Officers' Christian Fellowship and is dedicated to sharing stories of military life at the intersection of faith, family, and profession.

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