Risk Communication

Many years ago, I was taken to a Risk Communication class with the Chief of Staff and the Adjutant General.  Probably because I was too outspoken and they wanted to give me some tools to keep me from saying things that embarrassed the Guard.  I have a tough time noticing that what I say sometimes hurts people so they must have thought it was worth a try.

We attended the two day workshop on how to deliver the Guard message about the time everyone found out what poor stewards we had been when it came to environmental factors.  We were told to deliver our speech in the following order.  a.  Remind people that a lot of us were ignorant of what the environmental hazards were and until the 1980's, the Military was exempted from the requirements.  b.  Now that we know, we will do our best to confine our activities the best we can and,  c We will do our best to mitigate the damage done because,  d. We too live in our communities and want to feel that we have done as little as possible to damage you and ours.

 The final warning was when surprised go back to the commercial that briefly as stated above.  I was selected by our group to sit on a panel where we were meeting with the Environmental Group that was protesting our poor stewardship at Camp Swampy.   They asked some tough questions and I thought I stayed inside the guidelines and the approved script.  When the taped interview was concluded, we were told that the panel members would be critiqued down the hall by one of the instructors.

When I arrived in the room down the hall, the door opened and a camera crew immediately turned on the lights and camera and the reporter asked me what I thought of Homosexuals in the Military.  My first response was "Good Question."  I told the reporter that I had served with a young soldier who did his best to serve but even though he was one of the hardest workers I ever had, was finally discharged.  I told the reporter that such decisions were made at levels far above my pay grade and even though I might have a different opinion, I would continue to obey the orders of those appointed over me.  Seems like the Military has finally decided that those junior in rank don't care as strongly as the Generals and Admirals. 

I will watch the development of the Military as it evolves.  I would personally warn the young men and women that serve that they must at all times conduct themselves properly.  Hell, I can remember a short time back that you couldn't hold even your wife's hand in public and I'll bet personal Displays of affection will be against proper protocol for even non homosexuals. I am pretty darned sure that for a while, discrimination will rear its ugly head.  After a while, what you do in the privacy of your own bed is you own damn thing and it won't matter to most of us.  


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