Monday, February 18, 2019

Military Monday - Motivational Musings

Grandpa Eli was a mean son of a bitch. Rough around the edges. Chewed beechnut. Wore faded Liberty overall. Killed himself a shit ton of bad guys in WWII. Had a bunch of medals hanging in a box over the mantle with his J.C. Higgins side by side. Feared not razor wire and looked on with scorn when five year old me caught his shirt in in while working the farm. Kinda just glared at me until I untangled myself, despite what at the time seem liked massive blood loss.

Grandpa Eli always said that some one already took the easy jobs. And my Old Man would always proclaim that the worst part of any job was dreading it. And by the time I was in the position where I had people following me; be they Soldiers or staff venture crew registered Scouters, I often found myself saying "the only thing left to do is to do it." Not exactly the most inspired bit of catchphrase, but it always served to underscore my point.

I prided myself on never asking my Troopers, be they Army green or Boy Scout khaki to do anything that I wouldn't do. Motivating them to do that how some ever was a bit different. A lot of leadership platitudes often seem to fall upon deaf ears when your audience is in the 15-21 year old age group.

And I'll be damned if I didn't get blindsided the other day when I was talking to one of my former Boy Scout kids who now wears the uniforms called me up.

His unit is headed to the NTC soon. And after that they are going to Afghanistan. And damn it, if this kid; a soft spoken country boy from the middle of Georgia isn't an Engineer, Who does route clearance. Which means he goes and finds IED. Jesus Jake, couldn't you have done something like water purification of finance?

But oh fuck no. My former little dude said he wanted to be an Engineer so when he got he could find a job and the RCP guys needed volunteers. And he went.

I mean damn, you tell a kid a hundred times not to be alone with a female staffer and he never listens. But you mention something off hand about doing the right thing and he drinks that down like an ice cold Budweiser after a long day of hanging up AR-550 steel for a new back stop.

I started each summer camp staff training week with the admonition of camp directors everywhere: "No one dies and no one gets pregnant. One don't offset the other."

But hey, mission first an all that.

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