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    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    Largo, Florida

    Default Walk a Mile in Their Shoes

    I knew this coming into this conference and will count on it going into the next we might be invited to - a lot of the meat – the “reality show” - of what needs to be done and almost all of the passion many of TRADOC’s leaders possess as agents of change is lost via PowerPoint; cold, just the facts ma’am press releases; and our short synopsis of the issues discussed at the conference and presented here at SWJ and SWC.

    The issues on the magnitude TRADOC Leadership is grappling with right now can seem daunting. Many of which were conveyed via PowerPoint (and to General Dempsey’s credit he tactfully utilized his authority and leadership qualities to generate discussion vs. the slide reading ritual). We've discussed this many times here at SWJ and SWC - justice to the “message” and to the “real intent” is often lost - completely and brutally via such venues.

    I’ll keep this short and it is addressed to the naysayers – walk one mile in their shoes with an open-minded perspective. We have conveyed many SLC discussion points today - the military power of our nation will be measured by our ability to adapt – and – the right soldier, at the right place, at the right time - are but two examples. They come across as “sound bites” – bumper sticker slogans - until you look the conveyer of such messages directly in the eye and gauge if they actually mean it or it is just another dog and pony show.

    I’m coming away from this week with a sense that there is meat behind the PowerPoint bones.

    I don’t have a dog in this fight – excepting that we get this right – this time – right now. As Editor in Chief of Small Wars Journal, as a retired Marine who keeps track of how the Corps’ is handling many of the same issues, and most importantly as a chronic cynic, I’m encouraged by what I’ve heard so far.

    My gut-feeling concerning this conference – I looked them in the eye – literally – is that they are very serious and very concerned about what the Army has to do. For my Army brothers in arms – if you happenchance upon General Dempsey and his “Lee’s Lieutenants” – engage. You may walk away with a few feathers ruffled – but you will gain from that engagement - as a better leader, student and practitioner of what our nation requires during these “interesting times”.

    --Dave Dilegge
    Last edited by SWJED; 08-20-2009 at 09:52 AM.

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