The past three weeks have been Topsy Turvy. I am leaving my job as the Chief Technology Officer at NORAD – USNORTHCOM and going to Microsoft as an Enterprise Architect. I will still be designing data centers, enterprise services and all that geeky stuff bit heads love.
That said, I want to push out a word about spending 20 years in the Army and a few more as a senior civilian in Government Service.
1. The people in uniform, in Government service, and straddling all races, creeds, and colors in the American spectrum are not the enemy. They are our sons, daughters, husbands, wives, and neighbors. As the 2016 election spins into vitriol and what is becoming hysterical entertainment, about as meaningful as day time soap operas and cartoons, don’t make the mistake of somehow propagandizing those who serve into the enemy.
2. For all the vitriol and bitter political meals being served up about Ferguson, Baltimore, etc., our sons, daughters, husbands, and wives in military and government service work together. Not perfectly and we have lots of legal hammers to keep things professional. The cool thing is that we seldom have to pick up those hammers. You see, the soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, and GS Civil Service people I work with are professionals. Do we make mistakes? Yep. We also take responsibility and fix it as opposed to burning down buildings and punching out the doofus with a big mouth. We do not see soldiers even demonstrating that butt-wipe at Fort Hood as the higher ups wring their hands, wondering what to do. Around the water cooler, we wait and see. How they deal with the Fort Hood shooter and Bergdahl will tell us what they really think about our service. We have faith that one way or the other, American Voters will deal with that. In my little guy opinion, those two should receive a nice trial before we take them out and hang them.
3. Texas. Ya’ll need to open your big Texas hearts and be excellent hosts to all the Jade Helm units. In spite of the vitriol and crap spinning around in the media, on both sides, I promise that company commanders, platoon leaders and SF detachment commanders are glad that exercise is happening in the south. When I commanded my Artillery Firing Battery in Europe, and we did REFORGER exercises in southern Germany, the Bavarians were wonderful! Instead of protests and whining, they welcomed us and proved to be good friends. Northern Germany, not so much. Extend that scenario to the present. When ya’ll see American sons and daughters doing Jade Helm exercise stuff, be cool and be hospitable like I know Texas can be. Don’t be a**holyish self-righteous jerks.
4. NORTHCOM is about Innocent life. Protecting, defending, and cherishing the innocent lives of Americans. My prayer every single morning as I walked into work at NORTHCOM was that God would give us wisdom and diligence to find the gaps and that God would stand with us in those gaps to defend our homelands. In all my time in the Army and Government Service, I NEVER met anyone with evil intent, wondering how to exercise tyranny over Americans. I DID meet so many dedicated military and public servants who work way more than the hours they are paid, defending our Land, Sea, Air, and Space domains. I love NORTHCOM’s Motto: “We Have the Watch.”
Next week, back to columns and observations but now you know, as I depart NORTHCOM for the commercial sector, why I have been a little AWOL.