"Sometimes doing one's best isn't good enough.
Sometimes, one must do what is required."
- Winston Churchill
Seventy-eight years ago this week, over 158,000 troops from various nations descended upon a 50-mile stretch of beach along the coast of France. The mission was to take the fight to the Nazi war machine in Europe. To liberate an entire continent of people from the throes of tyranny. In doing so, every one of those troops knew the chances of them returning home from that mission, or the missions to follow should they survive this one, were incredibly low. The best of us were being sent into a nightmare because, most unfortunately, that's what was being served up and what was required of us in response. The cause was greater than themselves. They went.
We have pledged to do our jobs "to the best of our ability." Each day, people should see us at our best. Polite. Professional. Intelligent. Engaging. Physically fit. Tactically proficient. Articulate and personable. But, there is a time when the things we do well each day aren't enough. There are times when more is required of us to stop evil that others might choose to avert their eyes from...but we cannot avert our eyes. I pray none of us reading (and writing) this ever think that "it" couldn't happen to us. That we shouldn't have to pay too heavy a price in the service of others, where others already have.
Natural human tendency is to want good, fast, and easy. Watered down versions of training that anyone can teach have crept into existence over the years. What's the difference between all of that and ALERRT? Now, we know. Brothers and sisters thought they had a plan and then got punched square in the mouth. When other systems failed, they were dealt the worst of hands, but it was theirs to play nonetheless. So many have paid a price, now all we have to do is pay attention. If we are going to say we are about something, then people had better see us BE about it, daily.
It is time for us all to focus our efforts even more as a program. The magnifying glass is on us more than ever before. Things are about to get MUCH busier.
With a humble servant's heart, we will answer and deliver what no one else can in our own, unique way. That is required of us all now. It is not just how much time we spend training, it is even more important how we spend our time in training. We have to be motivators and educators. We have to inspire as we perspire.
Any excuses at this point need only be responded to with the names and faces of the beautiful young lives that have been lost. Be ready.
The ALERRT Center