TOPGUN's Top 10: Leadership Lessons from the Cockpit

Guy Snodgrass

Learn how to be a leader in your own life and career with expert advice from one of the Navy’s elite TOPGUN instructors.

During a twenty-year career in uniform, Guy Snodgrass became one of the most skilled fighter pilots in the U.S. Navy, commanding combat jets over some of the most dangerous war zones in the world — and he did it all using the lessons he learned at the Navy’s Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN).

The real-life inspiration for the blockbuster films Top Gun and Top Gun: Maverick, the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School trains the top one percent of our nation’s fighter pilots. Over the course of twelve weeks, these pilots are drilled on aerial tactics, combat, and skills required to win in any organization. Ordinary people are transformed into world-class leaders. Pilots, like Commander Snodgrass, who remain on staff as TOPGUN instructors, are held to even higher and more demanding standards.

In TOPGUN’s Top 10, Commander Snodgrass distills some of the most important lessons he’s learned and taught over the course of his career into a taut, engaging book for readers of all ages and experience levels. It’s the perfect gift for anyone looking to change careers, excel in the workplace, or find their way in the world after college graduation. Smart, practical, and direct, Snodgrass’s account of real TOPGUN experience will inspire a new generation of leaders.

About Guy

Guy Snodgrass is an author and strategist exploring the intersection of technology, innovation, and national security. As Chief Executive Officer for Defense Analytics, he oversees a team responsible for guiding corporate strategic development, communications, and advocacy.

Commander Snodgrass has 25-plus years of experience as a strategist and senior leader in the U.S. Department of Defense, having served as the Pentagon’s Director of Communications and chief speechwriter to Secretary of Defense James Mattis. He is most recently the author of TOPGUN’s TOP 10: Leadership Lessons from the Cockpit, which explores leadership tenets through the lens of the high-performance fighter pilot community. He also hosts Holding the Line, a popular national security and foreign policy podcast. He has appeared as an expert national security and technology commentator on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, NBC, and others, and is a contributor to Forbes.

Previously a career U.S. Navy F/A-18 fighter pilot, Guy led combat sorties in support of forces on the ground during OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, served as a U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) Instructor, and completed two tours of duty in Japan as part of the Forward Deployed Naval Force in the Indo-Pacific region, serving as squadron commanding officer during his second tour.

Guy has received numerous personal and organizational awards, including the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Michael G Hoff Award in naval aviation, and the Admiral William Sims award as the U.S. Naval War College’s distinguished graduate. He was also selected by his peers for the prestigious U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Leadership Award. He holds a BS degree in computer science (U.S. Naval Academy), MS in nuclear engineering (MIT), MS in computer science (MIT), and a MA in national security and strategic studies (U.S. Naval War College).

Guy currently serves on the board of directors for the U.S. Naval Institute, CIMSEC, and Candorful; on the National Small Business Association’s Leadership Council, and as a member of the Council on Competitiveness. An Eagle Scout, Guy was recognized in 2020 with the National Outstanding Eagle Scout Award by the Boy Scouts of America.