Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mission First

Recently we finally received our mission.

For those who haven't served, your mission is what you and your unit's every activity revolves around.
mission [mish-uhn] -noun from the Latin missum (English: sent), is a specific task with which a person or group has been charged.
For a while now, we haven't had a mission. Yes, we knew we were being mobilized, and who we were being attached to, and what the general mission was. But there was an ever growing list of what our specific mission might be. In fact that list had grown from 3 to 5, then 7, 8, and finally 9. This is unusual. There certainly was plenty of questioning as to what a Guard unit could handle. Some of us were hoping for a rather sensitive mission, and there was some logic to it - after all none of our Active Duty counterparts are also civilian Police Officers. But the reality is we were never seriously in the running.

<aside>Police Officers who serve in the Guard are a significant asset when it comes to the conduct of any type of human intelligence operations. Especially if they have been beat cops. They are far more effective than the HUMINT operators the Army is trying to mass-produce from 18 year old kids.</aside>

In the end the mission we have been given is a good one, one we can sink our teeth into, and one if done well, with seriousness and professionalism can make a difference, even if it is just one small piece of the puzzle. As with much of life, it is what you make of it. Not that it won't be hard, and probably have its moments of horror, but it is ours.

Now that we have our mission, we can progress from general training and preparation for deploying to Iraq to specific research, planning, and training. It will also be the cause for some reorganization of the unit, "task organizing" in Army parlance, and we will probably lose a few of the guys who we have been training with since JRTC back in June.

I expect my own focus will become narrower, and I will have less time to follow the vapid and increasingly nasty debates over the war, much of it detached from the on the ground reporting.

It is sometime depressing to think I and my kind sacrifice for the Freedoms of such blithering idiots (again both sides: from those who are blindly anti-war, apologists for mass murders as long as they are anti-US; to those who advocate "nuken 'em" as every answer, or deny global warming simply because it is a cause of the left.) But at the end of the day I have to believe in the basic goodness of the average American, both because I have seen it, and because it gives the fight meaning.