"Thoughts From The Running Trail" - Band of Brothers

Here on the Horn of Africa, we're fortunate to have some of the best military and civilian members serving today, working together in unity with our joint, interagency, and multinational teammates to accomplish a very important mission.  Last week, we were able to travel to Juba, South Sudan, to see first-hand our talented people in action, doing their critically important jobs, augmenting security and protecting our Embassy teammates and property in a country currently embroiled in conflict.  Since arriving in December, the team has been doing an outstanding job, and has developed a truly incredible relationship with US Embassy staff and leadership.  We were very impressed by -- and honored to serve with -- the caliber of service members that we met and talked to.  Thanks again to each of them, and to all those deployed downrange, for giving 100% effort to your job, your unit, and our great country.  We appreciate all that you do, and you are never far from our thoughts.

As members of the Profession of Arms, we are held to a higher standard. We must always remember that the American people place special trust and confidence in us to perform in an exemplary manner and to be at our absolute best at all times. To be our best, we MUST maintain an environment of respect and trust for EVERY member of our team.

We are all proud to be Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines, but we must also learn from each other's strengths and diverse backgrounds. We are all comrades in arms, serving together side by side.  Each one of you is a selfless servant, and a part of the less than 1% of the American population who serves our country.  Having that mutual respect and commitment to one another is the key to a more combat effective organization and more importantly, provides an environment where everyone is treated with dignity.

The term "Band of Brothers," and that includes sisters as well, is near and dear to the us.  It describes our teammates here at CJTF-HOA and what we continue to practice and reiterate to one another.

1)  Everyone is entitled to dignity and respect.  And all must abide by common standards established by proper authority.

2)  We must never lie, cheat or steal from one another, or fail to come to our brother's and sister's aid in time of need.

3)  Everyone should contribute 100% of their abilities to the mission. Any less means you're passing the buck onto someone else.

4)  A unit or organization is a disciplined family structure, with similar relationships based on mutual respect among its members.

5)  A dignified and respectful blending of cultures, varying educational levels, and different social backgrounds is possible through sharing of common goals, aspirations, and mutual understanding.

6)  Its essential that issues and problems that lessen a unit's effectiveness are addressed and resolved.

7)  Being the best requires common effort, hard work, and teamwork. Nothing worthwhile comes easy.

8)  Knowing your people enables you to learn to look at things through their eyes, as well as your own.

Diversity and variety of experience makes us stronger, as individuals, and as a team. We are required by our ethos to carry on the traditions of those who came before us.  It is you who are our brothers' and sisters' keepers.  We do the right thing even when no one is looking. Engaged leaders and an informed chain of command will keep us on track and allow us to operate more effectively within East Africa.  Get after it......

Ubuntu! Have a great, safe week, and we'll see you on the running trail...

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Leadership Commander Senior Enlisted Leader Partnership