June is the traditional month when schools get out, summer begins, PCS moves take place and many of us begin to think about things like vacations, baseball, and NASCAR. This year, other than summer starting on June 20th and Father’s Day, nothing will be the same. School was closed months ago, PCS moves have been delayed, sports have been canceled or seriously pushed back and vacations either delayed or canceled. The level of fear present in the United States is at or nearing an all-time high.
Those of us who have served in the military have been trained or at least exposed to leadership. If you have ever been in a combat zone, you know what fear is and the fear that Americans are exposed to today is real. It is unfortunate that the media and some of those in positions of leadership are choosing to push fear rather than calm. True leaders guide those under their direction on how to get through stressful times. Right now, it is not just you that are being impacted by COVID-19, but it is also your family and others that you love. That makes it worse because we care for those we love.
When in combat, you and your fellow members of the armed forces are there. Your family is secure back home. This COVID-19 is an invisible enemy and it is hitting us right where we and our families are at. What can you do to get through this situation? My fellow NCOA members use the experience of having served in the military to guide your families through these difficult times. Try to keep emotions out of the mix.
Leadership is something that has nothing to do with gender or age. Leaders remain calm and provide guidance to accomplish the mission. Right now, our mission is to get through this crisis. Check up on your families, friends, neighbors, and fellow veterans. Make sure they are alright and offer to assist if they need help. Mow a lawn, shop for groceries if they need help, take out their garbage, and just offer a calming demeanor in these stressful times. Don’t let people isolate as that only breeds more fear.
We won’t be able to meet this year, but we will be doing online opportunities to share information. We will still be recognizing our Vanguard heroes and sharing the inspiring feats that earned them the recognition. While NCOA isn’t the largest or best-known organization, we are a powerful and focused group looking out for our enlisted forces and their families. I invite you today to use your training and patriotism to help your community and this nation get through this crisis.
If you have any ideas or suggestions, either contact headquarters or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can assure you that your leadership will take note.
Strength in Unity & Leadership By Example,
MCPO (SCW) Terry M. Haines
Chairman, International Board of Directors