Wednesday, February 13, 2013
The Doors blew open
Calm vs. Excited - Trust
The Doors Blew Open might better be described as an adventure that really wasn’t.
What happens when there’s almost an adventure, a bad situation and the reactions to what might have been?
The level of excitement achieved an extremely high point. Excitement ran rampant all over Fort Richardson, Alaska for half the night and most of the early morning.
The occasion was once again my turn to serve as the Staff Duty Officer (SDO) at battalion headquarters. The SDO stands in for the regular staff officers when they depart for the evening and performs certain security verifications throughout the organization’s areas of responsibility.
The SDO checks the Charge-of-Quarters (CQ) that similarly perform a like function just one level down and he//she makes several rounds of the facilities checking their status and security.
For close to two years, there were only seven of us (lieutenants and warrant officers) on the duty roster that were required to pull this duty. Fare or not, that’s the way it remained for that period of time.
One distinction I should point out: the Staff Duty NCO was not allowed to sleep at any time during our shift and the officer was. The NCOs who manned their roster were many more in number than the officers. The NCO’s turn came up maybe once a month where the officer’s turn rose to the top about every week—sometimes twice with a day off between when weekend duty rolled around (two separate rosters). When one of our cohorts were on leave or engaged elsewhere, it seemed like you were pulling duty all the time.
The NCOs were allowed to take off the next day but the officer wasn’t—everything in the military has a tradeoff.
I will say that I often found the only footprints in the snow to be my own; of course this can be misleading when there has been recent snow coverage. But, nonetheless, I felt that some of my compatriots where not holding their end of the bargan.
The discussion points in this adventure revolve around excitement and what Chicken Little would do given the opportunity. I might add that Chicken Little failed to show his face but this had no effect on the excitement level.
Most situations in life don’t have a profound effect on life overall. The story related here actually left me with not just one quote that I will always remember, but two. I will never forget what SSG Jones said when I reached him that eventual night. Nor will I ever forget what CPT Love relayed over the radio from his remote training location just after I heard what Jones had to tell. Lucky, maybe! Providence, maybe! I don’t know. But let nobody fool you. When you come across a teaching point in life, you damn well remember it. This adventure had two!
Those of you in management positions that have round-the-clock operations know just I felt when awakened in the middle of the night with an alarming situation. Give it a read.