Sunday, March 18, 2012

Something I respect: Jumping into the trench with your people

It's inspirational, and in direct disagreement with my own post about how the skydiving instructor has to manage their own jump too.

every now and then you find a team member who will just say "fuck it, I'm going in". Like Ben Roberts-Smith in the action that won his Victoria Cross:

As he approached the structure, Corporal Roberts-Smith identified an insurgent grenadier in the throes of engaging his patrol. Corporal Roberts-Smith instinctively engaged the insurgent at point-blank range resulting in the death of the insurgent. With the members of his patrol still pinned down by the three enemy machine gun positions, he exposed his own position in order to draw fire away from his patrol, which enabled them to bring fire to bear against the enemy. His actions enabled his Patrol Commander to throw a grenade and silence one of the machine guns. Seizing the advantage, and demonstrating extreme devotion to duty and the most conspicuous gallantry, Corporal Roberts-Smith, with a total disregard for his own safety, stormed the enemy position killing the two remaining machine gunners.

And that's the truth of it. Most potential VC winners get dead before they escape the action to receive the decoration. But when your mates are pinned down and the solution is clear, perhaps you don't choose the moment, it chooses you.

But also, I see a lot of people decide to step back, and live to fight another day. Even though they know what the honourable course is.

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