General Mattis and Kyle Carpenter speak at the Cohen Conference

ORONO, Maine (WABI) – For the first time since 2019, the Cohen Lecture has returned to the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine.

Speaking on American Leadership in a Dangerous World, former Secretaries of Defense Generals Mattis and William Cohen, as well as Medal of Honor recipient Lance Corporal Kyle Carpenter.

In the conference, they discussed the wars in Ukraine and Yemen as well as a growing rivalry with China.

After the conference, we spoke with the three speakers and asked them what young people who want to pursue a career in American leadership can learn about the current state of the world.

“Well, I think anyone who wants to be a leader has to start from the principle that they want to do good. And if you want to do good, that means you’re going to put others first. So the most important thing is to always look out for others,” General Mattis said.

William Cohen stressed America’s duty to learn from its mistakes for a better future.

“We want this country to be as good as it can be. It hasn’t always been good. But he always strives to be good. To be better. And the one great thing about democracies is that we’re willing to look at our flaws, the mistakes that we’ve made, and say how do we avoid those mistakes? How can we improve? Cohen said.

If you missed the chance to see the conference in person, the University has posted a recording on its YouTube channel.

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Angela C. Hale