As we approach Memorial day in the United States I thought I'd share some experiences from my military days. I'm a retired Army Corps of Engineers Major. I started my Army career as a private. I was stationed twice on one of the primary icons of the cold war, the iron curtain.
Then I found this most excellent article about why people fail in boot camp. Besides giving me flashbacks to my experience in boot camp I draw parallels from what I learned in the military and what little success I've managed to eek out in life, so far.
"Let’s face it, basic training is tough. For the first time ever recruits find themselves having to wait for permission to eat or even go to the bathroom. Given the several weeks of rigorous mental and physical stress, it’s no wonder that many recruits fail basic training before graduation. But did you know that 90% of what you learn at basic training you can learn before you even look at a drill sergeant? Won’t that make life easier! Here are the top 5 reasons why people fail boot camp:"
... (and my favorite is)
"1) Lack of mental preparation - This is the number one reason recruits fail basic training. Many people think the lack of physical preparation would be the number one reason. However, MENTALLY preparing yourself for basic training is more important than the previous four reasons, combined. Why? If you’re prepared for basic training mentally everything else will fall into place. You won’t mind waking up at 5 a.m. to do road marches or buff the barracks floor. Your mind will be clear and focused on a single goal, for you to graduate. By preparing properly you can even achieve rank and higher pay faster! Now there is a great reason to prepare properly for boot camp."
I've seem some very bright people fail miserably in the work place and life in general. I can't help but wonder if a stint in the military might have made the difference. Who knows? But as Memorial Day approaches I just want to say thank you to those young men serving today. Here's hoping you come out of the military experience a stronger and better person.