The General

The military culture is all about saying yes and executing whatever request that was issued from superiors, even if it seem impossible to fulfill. Most do not accept “no” for an answer and are never bothered at the process so long things gets done. There have been numerous occasion where I’ve witnessed the behavior and how uptight people gets, be it good or bad news.

I have absolutely no grudges against the high flyers in the organisation but what I find it disturbing is the lack of human touch towards the people, not to mention how the commoners tries very hard to leave a good impression for fear of repercussion. I’m sure there are guidelines as to how one should behave and the do’s and don’ts in order to maintain a certain status but this should not hinder the trust one should establish with the commoners.

Let me share an account from a colleague of mine whom had to deal with an unbelievable behavior of a senior commander while performing duties during one of the flight.

I was giving a safety brief to the passengers as part of the pre-boarding procedure, of which, there were two senior commanders. Throughout the brief, one of the colonel kept interrupting and attempted to challenge my professionalism and ability to control the passengers in the event of an emergency. The flight was carried out and during de-planning, the colonel tried to walk out of the aircraft when he was not suppose to. I grabbed his arms and he was startled at my determination before grinning.

On the contrary, here was what I recently witnessed while supporting a foreign unit operation:

A one-star general decided to board the aircraft with troops that were preparing to be deployed. He wanted to show his support and appreciation by observing their training. Throughout the flight, he refused to wear a headset connected to the aircraft communication system and sat near the rear of the aircraft where water was leaking onto him from a heavy downpour earlier, observing the troops parachuting out of the aircraft.

When the aircraft eventually landed, the general walked over and grabbed 3 bags of harnesses before walking out of the aircraft, leaving the jump-master chasing behind him.

Granted that the sight of this could be random, but such a small gesture from a one-star general would have easily gained the trust and respect of his men, as opposed to one whom is expected to be treated like a king.