Dear General Chichowski:
I want to thank you for a truly incredibly day experiencing the Air Force. My best friends Kyrah and Jon Varoli are former and current Air Force, respectively. To me they represent the best of the Air Force and I wasn’t quite sure anything or anyone could match them. But you graciously opened your doors to this civilian and showed me that your people - the people of Special Operations - are all like Jon and Kyrah. Special. Unique. Inclusive. You should be (and I know you are) very, very proud of them.
Having said that, I must break the hard news to you. I’m going to give the Air Force 1B in rank. Army Day was the best day of the program. Even though you had one of the Time 100 “People of the Year,” the “no helicopter” thing did worked against you. As did the magic that Army Master Sgt. Christine Thompson worked. (She is, without doubt, the best JCOC 79 team captain.) And of course, I am 100% loyal to LTG Whitcomb of the Army. But your effort was valiant and noticed.
Tonight you told us, “If the enemy masses, we will destroy them.” And, “The enemy cannot run and cannot hide. We will destroy them.” I believe you, sir. Your airmen/women are well-trained. And really good people. We, the civilians of the United States, are lucky to have you and your troops fighting for us.
Thank you for a wonderful day and an amazing conclusion to this immersion program. If/when you are in the Washington, DC area, I expect you to call upon me for some sort of meal. In fact, that’s not a request. It’s an order from a tax-paying American who is very proud of her military.
I look forward to seeing you at breakfast tomorrow. And I will get in touch with Sarah Nagelmann as you suggested. She does have “Mann” in her last name, so she must be good!
I couldn’t let this week go by without at least one Jack Bauer quote. To Maxwell, my dining seatmate from yesterday’s Army day, quotes of the day will be back and you made it! I’m just running out of time. After yesterday’s precision scheduling, I cannot be late starting today. Look for it later. And thank you again for doing such a super job hosting us.
Apologies Navy. I really am sorry Coast Guard. I know you’ll give it your best shot, Marines and Air Force. But you simply can’t beat the Army. Not today. Not this week.
Let’s cut to the chase. Today was Army Day. And here’s what we did once we got to Ft. Bragg (North Carolina):
The best way to summarize is to quote General Mulholland: “You’ll hear me say ‘the world’s finest’ [in reference to Army Special Forces] a lot, but it is not hyperbole. It is gospel truth.”
I, for one, am a beliver.
Vote for the better biceps. On the left, you have Coast Guardsman Blake Grisham. On the right, P90X founder Tony Horton. You make the call.
We experienced a jam-packed day today with a lot of ‘hurry up and wait’. Folks seem to think that’s military terminology but I’ve heard it (and been the cause of it) often enough in the private sector.
This will be a shorter-than-usual post for several reasons, one of which is so that I can upload photos. A picture sometimes really does speak a thousand words.
I’ll impart one written story, though, since photography wasn’t allowed at this point for safety/classified reasons. When we were watching a strike team demonnstration, we were given the opportunity to use the restrooms…both of which were labeled “Men” and “Men.” The three women in my group were then instructed that the ladies’ room was the left Men’s room. I don’t have it in my notes, so I’m going off memory, but I believe it’s because there aren’t any female Navy SEALS or Special Warfare Combatant Crews. Not a big deal, though, especially since I was more interested in playing with the Humvee machine gun and seeing how well I fit into the driver’s seat. NASCAR, watch out!
With Admiral Eric Olson, the head of US Special Ops Command. A Navy Seal, fabulous gravelly voice, supremely confident yet also amazingly humble. Answered questions very thoughtfully. Our country is in very, very good hands with him at the helm.
Today’s pop quiz: What are the four major religious in the Centcom AOR? First correct comment will get a special souvenir from Special Operations. Answer to follow tomorrow morning.
I’ve been told that Powerpoint has been banned from this conference. And since today is mostly an “indoor day”, I am not quite sure exactly what to expect inasmuch as presentations go.
Minor technical difficulties…BBerry is not pulling through Ogilvy email, but I shouldn’t need that to use Twitter. So please follow along. That is, if my BBerry, computer and telephone aren’t confiscated for security reasons.
Amazing thunderstorms in Florida last night, so loud that I actually woke up at one point. And then immediately fell back to sleep. We should get to the hotel at 9P tonight, just in time for the 5:30A wake-up call.
@Marie_Manning - will tweet throughout day.
Media Relations Myths