Garrison operations set the foundation for our success abroad and thus must be approached with the same commitment of that of decisive actions (full spectrum operations) when deployed. The next post will explain how I view garrison operations.
Posted >1 y ago
The Warrior Ethos is not just for combat operations but also for garrison operations. Hollywood, publishing houses and news out-lets rarely mention, or are even aware of, the hard work and dedication or the frustrations and challenges involved in the day to day grind of garrison operations. There is no glamour, no heart-pounding trepidation, and few mag-magnificent tales to impress family and friends at dinner table or strangers at airports and bars. However, the challenges of the home station are ever present and frustrations many.
I will always place the mission first. A simple straight-forward statement of profound impact. I translate this to mean several things: I will do anything and everything, so long as it is within the bounds of being both legal and moral, to accomplish the mission. I will prioritize and communicate the mission clearly to my Soldiers. I will take time to take care of and provide for my family so that I may prevent my personal life from negatively affecting my professional life. I will not allow my history, my personal views, current health and presence of mind or cultural differences from my superiors, peers, or subordinates to be a source of conflict or to unfairly impinge on my judgment as a leader.
I will never accept defeat. I will not accept conditions detrimental to good order and discipline or the readiness status of my unit. I will not allow those who work with or for me to accept such conditions. I will not accept that there is not a solution to a problem at my level until I have fully exhausted all resources only then will I forward it to my superiors.
I will never quit. This is key to new Soldiers and/or leaders in difficult and challenging units. You are blessed if you inherit a shop, platoon, or individual Soldier with few problems and good systems in place which you only have to build and improve upon. Often you will be sorely tasked mentally, emotionally, and sometimes physically to create and reestablish effective and cohesive units. It is most difficult to repair what others are currently comfortable with being broken. One cannot evaluate a new unit one is joining and determine whether or not the unit is worthy of one’s time and effort. Deciding a unit is not worthy is to make a clear decision to quit. In these circumstances, the garrison Soldier must look to the combat Soldier for inspiration and ask: if they would not quit from taking an enemy en-trenched position on difficult and steep terrain, then how can they allow themselves to quit during the supposedly mundane garrison experience. I will not shy away from the difficult or unpopular decision. I will not shy away from making corrections or alerting others to cur-rent and potential problems. I will not shy away from responsibility. I will take pride in all I and my unit do and will not accept less from others in my unit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade. This statement conjures powerful images of one Soldier carrying another Soldier, both in full kit, one face full of pain and the other full of fear. But pause for a moment and rewind time to when both Soldiers were training in Fort Gordon or Fort Bragg; before bullets, shrapnel, smoke, and dust clouds. We must ensure we do not leave each other behind during garrison training, that we do not accept the same short comings in ourselves or fellow Soldiers. We as leaders must develop, execute, and follow-up on courses of action to mitigate weakness immediately after a deficiency is identified. We must not allow things to “work themselves out”, “let things ride”, or accept that the good qualities of certain Soldiers outweigh the bad and be satisfied. To do any of the aforementioned is to leave a fallen comrade and to hope that is not her or his back and legs you are relying on to be brought to safety.
Garrison operations and military life are not for the half determined. Garrison operations are a marathon of effort and willpower and while not often conversation worthy are worthy of effort equal to that of combat operations.
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