Saturday, February 04, 2006

Rewarding work

I had a few realizations the last week of how starved I am to actually have more responsibility than just myself. A couple days ago my squad had to take some of our replacements to another camp through the "Red Zone" as we like to call it. These guys are fresh off the plane and this is their first time outside the International Zone (or Green Zone), so it is kind of a big deal for them. You can see the slight nervousness in all of them - we all had the same thing, but my squad has run this particular route probably 30 or 40 times and we know it to be a very safe road. I am (or was) the lead driver in all of our convoys, which I enjoy and miss very much. We get two new guys in our truck along for the ride, but before we leave I make a decision that turns out to be a lot of fun and very rewarding for me and the new guys. I ask the new guy if he wants to drive! He was not expecting this at all - especially not leading the convoy on his first run out. "You've got to learn sometime, plus I'll be right behind you to coach you through it." It was awesome - the kid paid attention and listened as I explained how driving in the Red Zone works and then we were off. The best compliment to the kids driving came fom my gunner when we got to the camp - he looks down from the turret and sees me in the back seat and goes, "What are you doing back there? Who's driving?" He didn't even notice the change - pretty sweet.

A day or two before this, I was put in charge of a little driver's training along with a "guided tour" of the Green Zone. I really enjoy teaching people and passing on the knowledge necessary to get the job done - I cannot tell you how much more rewarding it was in comparison to just taking care of myself.


P.S. I just realized how easy it is to post pictures in my stories - I am really dumb for not realizing it before. :)


At 11:50 PM, Blogger Jason Lomberg said...

Oh lord. He must have crapped his pants when you handed him the wheel :) That's like if I were allowed to steer a destroyer on my first deployment :)

At 3:31 AM, Blogger Phil P. said...

A destroyer, eh? I'm not sure I have access to that sort of firepower... Dang! I did get to crush a couple cars with a tank once... still not as cool as a destroyer.

At 11:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Mom likes the new design, and the new story too.

Like the pictures......


At 5:00 PM, Blogger Landry Fan said...

Good job, Phil.

At 6:50 AM, Blogger Tanker Angel Nelly said...

Jason.. A DESTROYER? Hehe.. well.. you know my boyfriend has to deal with the big gun, only the navy has bigger :p

Anyway.. that was an awesome story, it is good to read and know what you guys have to deal with. I just can guess how it is with red and green zones and driving trough it not knowing what's gonna happen next.

Keep up the good work :)

At 8:01 AM, Blogger Andrew Milo said...

Wow, talk about on the job training... :) heh!

Very cool Phil - giving that guy something more active to think about probably made that first trip "easier" for him. Amazing how the fear of getting "yelled at" for doing something wrong can actually overcome the fear of real danger!

Anyway, I've heard it said that teaching others is the greatest honor you can give to your own mentors.

Forgive my cluelessness, but will your new rank of Sgt give new additional opportunities for you to teach others?

All the best,


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