My leadership education grew by leaps and bounds in the Army.  The training of a leader starts with discipline, learning to follow orders and learning attention to the details.   There’s a common saying that “the devil is in the details.”  No one knows who originated this quote, but it is likely a derivation of the popular saying attributed to various authors:  “God is in the detail.”  In any case, details are often important in life, and in the military, the details are usually the difference between life and death.  Small missteps or mistakes during combat or even during training can cause serious harm or death since troops are handling powerful weapons and explosives (ordnance), and are driving or piloting powerful, fast moving machines in the air, on the ground, or in waterways or seas.  Moreover, troops are often involved in high risk activities such as rappelling from aircraft, aircraft carrier landings, or making parachute jumps from moving aircraft in high risk conditions such as wind, rugged terrain, darkness, or drop zones that are possibly hot (enemy presence), etc., etc. 

But even mundane activities such as conducting a convoy can be fraught with danger depending on weather and combat conditions, visibility, experience level of the troops, the confidence or emotional state of the troops, how well the troops are rested and fed, terrain, other traffic on the road, congestion and risk of towns and intersections, the condition of the roadways, the quality of armor on the vehicles, the mechanical condition of the vehicles, the possibility of encountering missions of other services or allies which haven’t been coordinated properly, and the level and type of activity of insurgents/enemy soldiers, including, God forbid, improvised explosive devices (IEDs – roadside bombs) and snipers.  In fact, it was one such situation while I was deployed which taught me one of the most painful, lingering lessons of bad leadership that I have ever learned .  In combat, bad decisions can most definitely cause the loss of life. 

That is exactly what happened in this particular situation.  I will recount the narrative a little later, but suffice it to say that a stupid decision was made by this bad leader that resulted in a death on the convoy.  Unfortunately, the person who made the bad decision will probably never be held accountable (at least not until he stands before God’s throne of judgment), and there are only a few people like myself who really knew what happened, so the story is not likely to get out.  At the time, I tried to do something about it, but I found out quickly that my chain of command was completely amoral, committed only to political pragmatism and self aggrandizement.  Additionally, I discovered that this bad leader was being protected by some powerful people.  In fact, my morally compromised leaders and the other people protecting this man colluded with him to gin up a witch hunt investigation as a diversionary tactic to deflect the blame or avoid even a hint of suspicion in his direction. 

More on this tomorrow.  Please pray for our troops.  They are under unprecedented strain.  The skyrocketing suicide rate was for a long time constantly reported in the news, but although it is still a problem, no one seems to be talking about it very much anymore.   Moreover, many of our troops suffer mentally, physically, and emotionally for many years after they return.  I have personally seen and have been told about the Vietnam Vets and even Korean War Vets who still have problems (most likely PTSD) even after all this time.   And I have had many long, deep conversations with my brothers in arms who have confided in me the painful experiences that they have gone through and still go through.  Please pray for their peace, comfort, and their healing.  And if you run across a soldier or a veteran from any of our wars out in your daily activity in the community, please be bold and thank them for their service.  It will mean a lot to them and may give them a little strength to bear up the great burden that they may be carrying.  Also, please pray for our men and women that are deployed, asking our Powerful, Loving God for the safe return of our sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, fathers, mothers, husbands, and wives – truly America’s finest. 

 


Comments

What comes in your mind when it is directly related to military, well i think it is a nice way to dominate our soldiers and their existence means a lot to all.

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    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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