Anthony Atwood’s Inauguration Journal – Day 8
FRIDAY 09 – JAN09: Today we have Commander’s Call. This is a commonplace of military culture, wherein the Commanding Officer (CO) of a unit assembles all the personnel of all ranks, and goes over the big picture: where we are at, where we hope to go, and how we plan to get there. It is a bit like the Coach’s pep talk before the big game. We are encouraged to think, and challenged to do our best. At Commander’s Call gripes can be aired, and legitimate concerns voiced straight to the top of the chain. Our C.O. is an Army Colonel. In Navy culture the Commanding Officer is known as the “Skipper.” It is a term of respect. Civilian corporations and academia could profit from implementing such practices as Commander’s Call. Because they work.
In addition to the Commanding Officer also participating is a second member of the unit equally important in many respects: the Senior Enlisted Advisor. In our unit, he is an Air Force Senior Master Sergeant. Our Senior Enlisted Advisor is a mix of get’er-done cable guy, and father confessor; with a talent for making you laugh and want to keep going.
This is a unit of 80-some professionals drawn from all branches of the military, the majority reservists, who have devoted much of their lives to community involvement, writing and documentaries, communication and education. This group has excelled working with text and imagery and message, in war and in peace, at the service of this country. After the talk, our Skipper hosts a pizza party there in the basement. Pizza and warm Sprite: the American way of commencing an international event of the first magnitude.