So, it's Sunday morning and last was that event everyone loves to forget, Daylight Savings Time. So, I did what so many others do, got a wake up call from a friend, in my case, Maj. Rob Fraser. "Dude, this is your wake up call and room service. Would you like breakfast delivered or would you prefer to join us downstairs for coffee?"
Rob is one Hell of a guy. He looks and acts like the former Rugby player he is, always ready either for a laugh or a brawl. Heavy set, built like a rock and a guy that is, amongst other things, the best morale officer we could possibly have. He is a fellow former California Army National Guardsman who served with one of my peer units during the Los Angeles riots. Most importantly, Rob is one of the most experienced leaders we have in the theatre we are entering. Rob was one of the 13leaders that deployed to Afghanistan last year as an embedded training team. He is now assigned as our civil affairs officer. He is building his team and trying to get all of us to synchornize our work so that we are all focused on both our own soldiers and those of the ANA. Having just returned from Afghanistan less than a year ago, along with a little over a dozen fellow Oregon National Guard members, he wants to get to the work, as so much of the training here is run by people that have limited experience in combat in general and, if they have any, it is either from Desert Storm or OIF. Contemporary, but not from Afghanistan. Rob's frustrations are similar but different from many of the soldiers...he's been there. He knows what works.
We spent some time on the range the other day, training to defend our forward operating bases and convoys. It is extraordinary tpo witness how quickly our organization, the United States Army adapts to change. We are starting to get it. We integrate lessons learned from the battle field quickly and efficiently. When there is an absence of experience from the teaching staff here at Camp Shelby, leaders withing the organization start to take over. We culminated the exerrcise with a live fire and that always makes soldiers happy.
Even when they have to wear an extra thirty pounds of gear. Hooah!
- Out here