October 2018 – This is who I am
I am a Soldier, I am an innovator, I am a WHY person, I am a conflict miner, I am a demolisher of status quo, I am a lifelong ally, I am the staunchest antagonist and adversary, I am a husband, father, son, uncle and brother and I will forever be a student.
When you read something you ultimately want to feel a connection, whether fiction or non but you want to be captivated and pulled in. I always try to write with some level of personalization so that I open my character, let you take a walk inside of my brain and heart. Without putting yourself out there for others to see and absorb, what is the point of writing in any form?
I am in the Army, I have two months to go before I reach 17 years active duty service. I am a Warrant Officer and have been for 11 years this month. I am in the communication field within the government and I’ve been involved in different echelons of leadership and organization all the way from a junior Lieutenant to a 4-star General. I’ve seen quite a bit and I am most grateful for seeing how organizations operate within their level of leadership and the culture of personnel involved in daily operations. Every place I go there is some unique “ism” to the way business is conducted. People that haven’t been in the military think we are all the same, very regimented and conditioned because this is what you see in the movies. Well let me tell you this isn’t further from the truth. There is underlie doctrine and standards in which all soldiers adhere, but depending on where you end up and what formation will dictate how you do your job and how you should fit in.
The biggest conundrum is the rank hierarchy, the rank on your uniform shows the pecking order in which respect is commanded and authority is sworn. The problem is the level of personal and professional maturity, you may be a 22 year old Lieutenant with 6 months in service and outrank a Sergeant First Class with 18 years in service, a man or woman that is 14 years senior or more. A wise Lieutenant (?) will seek the counsel of the Sergeant and learn, use his/her two ears more than their one mouth. But we all know this isn’t always the case in the military or civilian sector.
What this does too often is destroy a climate, introduce false acceptance of standards and fuel personal drive to achieve self-preservation.
I decided to become a lean student after having very intriguing conversations with my mentor and friend Nick, and researching the exciting techniques of improving processes and offering our customer a full spectrum product that cannot be matched. I am starting to see that my biggest challenge will not in fact be lean but circumnavigating the linear structure of the military. The environment that has fostered me to become the man I am with no regrets has also become the environment stifling innovation and vision in the institution that has pushed me to excel.