Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bernie Lynch on Comms

I just got back from four hours in the car following the funeral / wake in Paramus / Ridgewood, NJ...right away, I threw my feet up on the coffee table, sprawled out on the coach, and starting flipping channels.

Stopping for a moment at Channel 10, there was Bernie Lynch reminding the Lowell City Council that "communication works in both directions."

I loved it. I loved it because one of the most frustrating little things that happened all the time during my travels overseas came when brother Marine/Army units would complain (about us) that, "Those f---ing guys never tell us anything."

That never ceased to amaze me. And every single time it happened, I had the same answer back -- to them, to my own guys, and to anyone else who would listen: "Comms are a two-way street."

In response to the original statement, I always wondered:

Would that be a reference to the S2/S3 powwow every night where all the players on base met and laid out everything going on in solid detail?

Would that be a reference to the fact that representatives from those units were in our Tactical Operations Center (TOC) on a daily and nightly basis to talk shop?

Was that said in light of the fact that the Regiment owned all the battlespace in the Area of Operations (AO) and had to approve every single outside-the-wire maneuver?

But best of all, would the speaker be referring to the ZERO times he had attempted to phone or e-mail over and just...ask?

That's why I loved it when Mr. Lynch made his point, and when Councilor Broderick even threw the "two-way street" phrase itself into the discussion.

I'm sure Councilors Lenzi and Kazanjian had reasons to be frustrated. I'm obviously not privy to their phone and e-mail communications, so I have no idea how often they do or don't reach out to Mr. Lynch on the arena or other major issues.

But without getting into the weeds on specifics, you have to love his point as a general piece of wisdom -- the next time you feel frustrated because someone didn't tell you something, stop for a second and make sure that you made the effort to ask.

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