In 1999 I got to escort Powell and Cheney onboard USS Worden, CG-18. Both men were incredibly smart. Powell was mostly interested about the health and welfare of the crew (very inquisitive and professional) while Cheney (very quick to ask questions and challenge a position) was focused on the new technology on Worden. Remember Powell (CJCS) worked for Cheney (Sec Def) then.
What really impressed me was their respective staffs’ admiration and loyalty to their bosses. Both staffs said it was a challenge to keep up with them.
Powell will always be remembered for being one of the principal authors of the Powell Doctrine that totally revolutionized how the armed forces and its assets are staffed and positioned when preparing for war.