To continue the story, my soldier was participating in our staff convoy ride-along program which the commanding general had instituted to give the headquarters staff a better understanding of what our soldiers were going through on a daily basis.  But these guests riding in the convoy had no real practical function other than riding and observing and for good reason.  Since the staff was composed of older soldiers, while they might be able to recall previous training from many years earlier, they were certainly not as well-practiced in those actions required upon enemy contact. Moreover, these older troops might not be as agile as the younger troops.  And small things, small mistakes, small delays, or minor hesitation, etc., could be the difference between life and death for any of the team members or the untrained, uninformed, and maybe inexperienced guest riders.  It is just not reasonable to put someone in a situation like that, for which they are ill-prepared, and expect them to become an instant super-hero when the crap hits the fan, although many men have been thrust into the worst of circumstances in battle and have displayed tremendous character and courage, turning an ugly situation into a tactical success.  But those situations are very unusual. 

Besides, the soldiers who convoyed together on a regular basis knew each other very well, were well-versed on each others’ habits, strengths, and idiosyncrasies, and these young, highly motivated troops had established procedures for each convoy or combat situation that all the team members practiced and knew very well (what we called Techniques, Tactics, and Procedures or TTPs – what used to be called Standard Operating Procedures or SOPs).  They could react immediately with instinct and would know what actions those around them, in front of them, and behind them would be taking.  They would be able to recall critical information and respond appropriately without thinking, making survival of the entire team more likely even if everything went to hell very quickly.  Throwing an inexperienced stranger into that mix could have been a recipe for disaster, so it was generally understood that the guests would just ride along and observe; they would not intervene or interfere, letting the experienced team members do their job.  However, if the tactical situation developed such that the vehicle was rendered inoperative, and the vehicle’s occupants were forced to exit their vehicle, of course, everyone knew that all would immediately use the most basic soldiering skills, such as cover, concealment, return fire, maneuver, “shoot, move, and communicate.” 

Because of this general understanding of the role of the guest rider, I was absolutely livid when I learned that this bad leader (trying to cover his tracks) had accused my soldier of cowardice for some vague action that this leader claimed my soldier should have taken (no specificity) when the convoy got hit by an IED during the convoy.  I cannot state strongly enough that this vague expectation this man had of my soldier was only in his own mind.  It was not in any TTP, SOP, commander’s policy letter, Army Field Manual, or Army Regulation.  He was just one of those judgmental people who was self-righteous, thinking that everything he did was right, good, and perfect, and that he knew just what everyone else should be doing to be like him.  I should also point out that he had pieced together stories from second and third hand accounts from the comfort and safety of his office on base.  Since he was not at the location of the incident, he was displaying incredibly arrogant audacity in quickly judging the actions of the soldiers on the ground at the incident who had been under fire.  I was able to get just as much information as this leader supposedly had, if not more, from the direct sources, people who were on the convoy, and the story I was seeing was vastly different from the “official version” that this man was concocting apparently to avoid scrutiny for his bad leadership decision (to be explained later).


I pray you will all have a very blessed and restful Sunday.

 


Comments

09/08/2017 4:27am

The story you posted in your blog post is extremely interesting. I am anxiously waiting for your next post. Are you a writer on professional basis also?.

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10/18/2017 4:56am

Very well written topic to read on weekend and author of the page gives the information about the life. Expert peoples give the messages to live with care full and we need to this like this peoples in life. Advises makes our life easier with communicate with other.

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    Author

    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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