Greetings Griffon Team!
I hope you rang in 2020 in style, and got some well-deserved down-time over the holiday period. So, we’re in the calendar year 2020, which caused me to think of the fact that we commonly use the term 20/20 in regard to visual acuity, to mean that a person possesses “perfect” vision. If we had perfect vision regarding the future, it would surely be a lot easier to predict the threats which might confront our nation, and prepare our Army accordingly. So, without perfect future vision, what can and should we be focused on?
The mission of our command is to support the Active Army during peacetime, as well as in the event of a partial or full mobilization, to expand the training base – preparing Soldiers to go into harm’s way in defense of our country. There are things all of us should be laser-focused on now. For Soldiers, it’s personal readiness (medical, dental, fitness requirements, and being proficient in your assigned specialty; for our Families, it’s preparing for times your Soldier will be called to duty; and for our Civilians, it’s a diligent and daily focus on the Command’s priorities in order to improve our overall readiness. What we do in the 108th Training Command (IET), transforming America’s sons and daughters into Soldiers, is the foundation of our nation’s Army. In my mind, there’s really no more essential task and I hope you are justifiably proud in your role in that mission.
This past December, Command Sergeant Priest and I attended the Chief of Staff of the Army’s Annual Forum on the Army Profession. I’d like to share a couple of things with you from that event.
The first concept is a shift from the Army’s messaging campaign, “Not in My Squad”, to what I consider a far more affirmative and proactive message: “This Is My Squad” (TIMS). “This is My Squad” is all about ownership, belonging, camaraderie, and building and sustaining bonds of trust. I challenge every leader in our formation to study the “This is My Squad” construct. Think about it, internalize it, and identify how you will alter your behavior in order to inculcate this ethos within your team, your squad. I believe this construct has the potential to be incredibly powerful and make us collectively stronger and more resilient in the face of adversity. Additionally, offenses such as sexual assault, bullying, harassment, and discrimination are completely counter to the “This is My Squad” ethos. If we truly internalize what TIMS is about, our teams and squads will be permanently inoculated against the negative forces that allow such destructive behaviors to exist.
Second, we had the opportunity to hear a presentation from best-selling author, Simon Sinek, who talked about the “infinite game”. It’s a different way of looking at competition with adversaries, and the impact of taking the long view. A couple of key points: in the infinite game, unlike the finite game, the clock’s not running. There’s no “end of game” score. The infinite game is about constant improvement where the goal is not to “beat” your adversary, it’s to outlast him. Our role in the 108th Training Command (IET), with an infinite game approach, is to ensure we are producing the most highly trained, fit, professional, and lethal Soldiers on the planet. When we do that, our competitors will think long and hard before even considering actions that would move us from the competition phase to the conflict phase. You don’t need to buy Mr. Sinek’s book – there are lots of articles on the internet that talk about the infinite vs. the finite game; I think many of you would find this topic professionally rewarding to study further.
As always, I’d like to close by thanking each of you — Soldiers and Civilian employees alike, for your dedication to our mission. The Army and our fellow citizens are counting on us to train America’s Soldiers to be ready and win if called upon. Special thanks to all of our Families, whose love and support enable us to continue to serve. Wishing you and yours a healthy, prosperous, and rewarding 2020.
First in Training! Army Strong!