So I’ve officially been gone for a little over a month now and I’ve learned a couple of pretty important lessons.

One: no one is irreplaceable. I’ve said before that Jesus Himself could command the first cavalry division but the day would come when He would change command. I have to keep reminding myself of that and also instilling that in my soldiers. I have one guy who works his ass off but hates sharing information because he feels like it will make him less valuable to the team. He’s getting better though, under the guidance of our outstanding new Automations NCOIC (you know the kind of sergeant who is not only technically proficient but also a solid leader: a new lieutenant’s wish come true).

Two: prioritize. Everyone over here thinks their mission is important and we are all part of the team that helps the commander make informed decisions but some folks are unwilling to work around the system. They want their own SIPR drops (classified network) as opposed to just logging on to someone else’s computer. These folks tend to get pretty upset when you tell them they have to wait, but eventually, we’ll get to them.

Three: no one is exempt from guard duty. I was pretty upset the other day when in the middle of digital RIP, every one of my soldiers was taken from the helpdesk either for guard or detail or something else that at the time was WAY less important that what we were doing. However, the mission continued (though I did walk away for a few minutes to avoid losing my temper) and over all, the digital RIP has gone much better than expected.

Four: this year is a marathon, not a sprint. This may turn out to be my most important lesson yet. When faced with eating an elephant, you can only take one bite at a time. Slow down and plug away at it. You’ll get there.

So one month is already gone and it’s gone by pretty quickly. I only hope the rest of the year goes as quickly and I’ll be home with my kids before I know it.

Take care!a