21 August 2008


From the Soldier Side: Someone pointed out that they thought my blog was too negative. I'm sorry about that, so, let me post something more positive. As most of my readers know one of my favorite topics has to do with leadership. Do you know what a good leader is? I think I do. A good leader for a business is usually about profit--right? If you are running a business, the business needs to make a profit. So, it should be good to see if someone is a good leader...right? Maybe not. Sometimes, a person Bullshits their way into a leadership job. But I don't want to talk about those people. That's too negative.
I want to talk about a good Military leader. He was in Iraq with our unit. He and his merry band of brothers and sister were what we called OIF 2.5 (two point five). That means they came in the middle of OIF 2 and left in the middle of OIF 3 (I was in OIF 3). This must have been the Army's way of having some units with an overlap.
Anyway, this dude was a Master Sergeant (E-8.) He was high enough in the NCO food chain to have stayed on the camp with all the other E-8's. But, he was a TEAM LEADER for one of our teams. He could have gone out (they went out 6-7 days a week) and rode inside the Up armored Humvee...but he didn't. He rode out in the gun turret.
The first time I saw him standing in the gun turret, I thought he was just joking around...but I found out he went out into Baghdad and back and stood in the gun turret the entire time....every day.
One day I asked the Master Sergeant: "Why do you ride in the gun turret? Shouldn't you have someone junior do that...like a PFC?"
He looked at me and said: " I wouldn't have one of my people do something I wouldn't do.... besides I'm better on the gun than any of them."
That guy (the one of the far left of the left photo) was one of my heroes. He lead out front...he lead by example... he lead by showing others how to do the job...he had really big balls.


2SBCT Mom said...

I don't think your blog is negative at all. You're telling the truth and sometimes that's ugly. I read enough of the generic HOOAH crap elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

1. Pretty frosty mom there.
2. Agree.
3. The only thing I'd do different is have a bunch of trainees on the gun. Look for kids with attitude and ability you can get up to speed.
4. War is ugly and a confusing mess.
5. Not much associated with it is uplifting.
6. Even there, you're contrasting the shining example of the MSGT with the selfish, unmilitary behavior of others.
7. Don't think police work is too different, either. The best either service has to offer is examples of devotion to duty and professionalism. Things outsiders don't get.
8. [Given all my character failings, amazing I fell into such a business.]
9. Look forward to each new entry. You haven't disappointed yet.

J said...

I appreciate the honest truth of someone who's been there. ...and I admire how you tell your stories in way that helps other people.
Some people can find negative in anything...and completely miss the point. Maybe those people should read elsewhere.