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John Wayne Troxell, Former SEAC, Exhibits Book on Leadership Lessons From His Globe-Spanning Military Career at Printers Row Lit Fest 2023

Among the many books showcased at the Printers Row Lit Fest 2023, visitors could find dozens of thought leaders and experts sharing their many secrets to success as well as overcoming hardship. This included even a former Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (a.k.a SEAC) John Wayne Troxell. His book, “Surrender or Die!” tells the story of his military career and what it can teach others about the challenges of leadership.

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“The best NCO leader of a generation. If there were better leaders in our Army, I certainly hadn’t them in my 36 years of service. SEAC ® John Wayne Troxell exhibits the perfect blend of discipline, physical fitness, mental toughness, loyalty, intelligence, and courage. In the toughest, most dire situation, you could count on him out front leading by example. The U.S. Army broke the mold after minting SEAC® John Troxell.” BG Jon S. Lehr, US Army Retired

Last September in Chicago, thousands of curious onlookers and reading enthusiasts filled the streets dedicated to the Printers Row Lit Fest. Without a doubt, plenty of them were in search of great stories as well as great reads that would inspire them with lessons on personal success. It’s why thought leaders like John Wayne Troxell are always eager to exhibit their books.

Troxell is the former Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (SEAC). His book, “Surrender or Die!: Reflections of a Combat Leader”, talks a great deal about the lessons from his intense military career. The book was able to exhibit at the Printers Row Lit Fest 2023 with the help of ReadersMagnet, a self-publishing and book marketing company.

The position of SEAC is one of the highest attainable in the U.S. Armed Forces. Hence, Troxell’s rise to the seat had never occurred to him when he was just a young man enlisting from Iowa.

However, the journey was as challenging and tumultuous yet also as inspiring as they come. During his career, Troxell had taken part in a number of combat missions through America’s troubled conflicts in the Middle East. His book does not hesitate to discuss the danger, loss, and trauma experienced both by himself and his fellow soldiers.

Out from that, though, he developed a wide range of leadership ideas that would prove very effective even in non-military contexts. Among these are the principles undergirding his successful PME Hard program.

No doubt John Wayne Troxell’s “Surrender or Die!: Reflections of a Combat Leader” was just the kind of motivational manual sought out by some of the fairgoers at the Printers Row Lit Fest 2023. The book is available on Amazon. Information about Troxell’s leadership programs and consulting are available on his website at

“Surrender or Die!: Reflections of a Combat Leader”
Author | John Wayne Troxell SEAC (R)
Published date | February 27, 2023
Publisher | Self-Published
Genre | Military

Author Bio
John Wayne Troxell joined the US Army after graduating from high school and served for almost 38 years culminating his service as the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (SEAC). His service included five combat tours to include the combat parachute assault in Panama during Operation Just Cause, Operation Desert Shield/Storm in Iraq, two tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and one in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Troxell created the term and program PME Hard (physically, mentally, and emotionally hard) to maximize battlefield performance and save lives and created the E Tool Nation, based off of his inspirational ultimatum to terrorists of “Surrender or Die” or face death by bombing, getting shot or if need be, beaten with entrenching tools! In his post military life, he serves multiple businesses as a consultant, ambassador, or advisor. He and his wife Sandra have been married for 39 years.

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 John Wayne Troxell
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