Mike Carroll, retired Colonel, was asked to be our backup speaker in case we came up empty.  Well, this designated hitter hit a homerun for those who were lucky enough to see him in action.  We were all ready to follow him into combat.

Mike distilled years of military experience into 10 things the military taught him that apply universally for all of us.

  1. Team up (even numbers are better).  Don't try to tackle the world by yourself.  Find others to share the load.
  2. Pre-fire checks (what are the 3 most likely things that would cause failure).  Be prepared for the worst.  Check ahead.  Don't assume.
  3. "Deuce and a half" (2.5 T truck) reliability-- The deuce and a half was an ancient but tough vehicle made to last with preventive maintenance checks and services (PMCS): BEFORE-DURING-AFTER-WEEKLY-MONTHLY-QUARTERLY-ANNUAL (B-D-A-W-M-Q-A). Take care of your equipment and it will take care of you.
  4. Time is the true enemy (1/3, 2/3 Rule)-- give 2/3 of the time deadline to do the work, and limit 1/3 to planning.
  5. Fog & Friction 4 ever-- don't expect to know everything; have time and resources to adjust; tell them what to do, not how to build.
  6. Never put on your last piece of "snivel gear"-- Snivel gear kept you warm under extreme conditions.  Even if your last snivel gear is just a sock, don't put it on for mentally you know you always have one more gear to use and therefore not defeated.
  7. Train your replacements.  You are not indispensable, but your duties are.  Keep the operation humming by training your replacements early.
  8. Keep thinking and strategizing as a team-- don't get complacent with the easy wins; your foes are the survivors who will be your hardest challenge.
  9. Save each other's bacon.  Watch each other's back.
  10. Pay yourself first-- invest 50%, the other half to make your life better.
These lessons apply whether fighting enemies or fire ants.