Saturday, December 3, 2011

Improvise - Adapt - Overcome

It's so difficult - almost impossible - to understand the mind of another human being. Even being married is no guarantee that the understanding of one's soul mate is a sure thing.

In fact, I might be so bold to say that the world paints a sobering picture of how little we really do understand our brothers and sisters and how ineffective we've become at being proactive in seeking to know them any deeper than to the extent of a tweet, email or a text!

While I absolutely believe in the capabilities of modern technology I also understand the chasm that's being created by this same technology in terms of interpersonal relationship development. How hard has it become to actually pick up the phone and have a conversation with your mate as opposed to having a text-versation? How hard is it for us to be face to face in any given situation: promotion, sale, dating, even in death.

I know that idea is old hat but as a Soldier in the National Guard - a Chaplain in the Guard - it becomes a very real issue when caring for troops who are not centrally located as they would be on post on Active Duty. The need for positive, proactive interpersonal relationships with other Soldiers and their families is a must!

We are facing an ever increasing opportunity to do something overwhelmingly incredible or something unimaginably devastating! As more and more troops return from the war front, more and more we see the need for a more effective reintegration of these troops. But this is based more on reactive measures in my opinion. In the effort to be proactive, how do we really train our Service Members to improvise, adapt, and overcome in any and every situation in which they find themselves?


How do we teach our Soldiers to think outside the box? Our strength has always been the Chain of Command and good order and discipline. Would our parent services benefit more from operating along the same lines as Spec Ops, teaching the lowest common denominator to think as if he was the first man qualified to make a decision?


One of the most important aspects of success in life is the ability to be a chameleon - the ability to adapt to your situation and take control of it. Improvising and adapting go hand-in-hand on the path to success and when the more effective a citizen Soldier is at adapting, the more capable he will become in the midst of turmoil and stress.


The end goal of our lives and our profession of arms is the ability to successfully overcome any and every obstacle before us. Does that mean that things will go our way every time? Yeah ... and if you believe that then you really are living in La La Land. It just means that the larger the obstacle before us, the greater the opportunity for overwhelming, overcoming success.

We have to have the focus of a sniper In this life. Anything less is unacceptable ... but excellence is not unachievable! It can be yours! It can be mine! It must be ours and every effort must be made to achieve it!

Gone are the "glory days" when a Drill Instructor could brutally demean a recruit because of his "lower than standard" performance. Gone are the days when you played for the name on the front of your jersey rather than just the name on your back. Maybe we need to get back to that "old school" mindset a little bit. I know I need a boot to the head every now and then.

Improvise, adapt, overcome!

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