She’s one of the most recognizable faces on cable news but what you may not know is that Harris Faulkner is a so-called “Army Brat.” She says being raised in a military family not only shaped her values, but gave her tools to succeed. Tools are as important in everyday life as they are on the battlefield she says.
Faulkner worked her way up through the ranks at Fox News and her success as co-host of the popular program, “Outnumbered” has led to her own show – “Outnumbered Overtime.”
Key to Her Success: Military Family Upbringing
She credits many of her accomplishments to an upbringing in a military family and writes about it in her new book: 9 Rules of Engagement: A Military Brat’s Guide to Life and Success.
“Most of us need the principles of the military to get through,” Faulkner said. “You need to know how to put a mission together to victory!”
Faulkner is the daughter of retired Lt. Colonel Bob Harris, an Army officer and pilot who served two tours in Vietnam. She grew up hearing her father’s battle stories where success often meant the difference between life and death.
“So, when I said ‘Dad, you know I have these rules in my life that I live by and I know that I came by them from you and Mom.’ And sometimes my friends would make fun of me because I was just so disciplined and so set in my ways, and I’m like, that’s part of how I grew up and I really want to share that with a wider audience,” she said.
Recruit Your Special Forces
Her book’s first rule of engagement: “Recruit Your Special Forces.”
“The Navy Seals don’t travel with 200 people, they wouldn’t be able to execute the kind of tip-of-the-spear missions they do. The Green Berets don’t travel like that – they choose certain people for certain missions. And I think in life that’s how we have to be,” she said.
“We become like the five people we spend most of our time with; Oh, we’ve got to be picky, and you might have to fire a few people who don’t belong in that inner circle because they can’t help you be your best and further your purpose,” Faulkner said.
Faith in God Gives Life Purpose
Faulkner believes her deep faith in God has also given her life purpose.
“My mission in life is to get to heaven, so the people I have in my inner circle I don’t allow to do the ‘rule breaking’ that we know as Christians we can’t,” she said.
We asked Faulkner when she knew she was a believer in Christ.
“Oh, from birth,” she said. “It was a deal-breaker in my household because Dad was at war.”
Faulkner’s Christian faith made a recent assignment to the Holy Land even more meaningful.
We asked her what it was like to be in Israel, covering the opening of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.
“This is my favorite question ever,” she said. “The Bible is in color and it’s in 3-D and you can touch it. You can go to the place where they brought Jesus’s body and it was crucified and they laid him down and cleaned him and prepared him for what’s next.”
Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It
Faulkner has a plaque in her office that says, “Just a Girl who Decided to Go for It,” which has a special meaning for her.
“Everybody told me that it wasn’t going to happen, I mean not just a few people, like ‘are you good at anything else?'” she explained. “Oh my gosh, spear my heart!”
But after going for it and achieving, she’s now in a position to help others do the same.
“My purpose has broadened. My purpose now is to help as many people rise as possible, and it doesn’t matter whether they’re women or men. But that sense of value that we have as individuals, I think informs us and helps us to treat each other better,” she said.
Faulkner, who started her career on a Kansas City TV station, says she’s living her dream in every area of life, not just her television dream.
“I’m living my dream totally!” she said. “I mean, my career dream, my home-life dream with the two kids and the hubby. And my familial dream outside of that was for my Mom to see me host my own weekday show and she didn’t live to see that but her partner of 57 years did. And because he prays to heaven every night, I know she knows, she knows, so it’s a total dream.”
She says the fact that she sits where she does now is not a coincidence.
“This is the culmination of all the prayers that my Dad said for me in that cockpit – hoping that he would make it back home.”