Staff Officer Quotes I
In addition to being a submarine officer, I did a stint as a staff officer at U.S. Central Command in the aftermath of the major combat phase of the Iraqi theater of the Global War on Terror. The stuff I did there was really interesting, and I'd love to be able to blog about it (since it's all really relevant to what's going on in the world) but CENTCOM is just as efficient as the submarine force in slapping a "secret" label on just about everything they do, so I'm kind of out of luck. Basically, all I can say is what's on my fitrep and award.
I was the Coalition Finance Officer for OIF at the CENTCOM Coalition Coordination Center. As a result, I worked with all of the coalition governments, our embassies, lots of people in D.C., and the other combatant commanders, especially EUCOM. It was a nice job in that I was the only person doing what I was doing, and my bosses didn't really want to get involved with the money side of the house, so they pretty much let me do what I wanted, as long as I did it right. (At one point, I was making all these calls, making lots of "drug deals" on how to deal with a several hundred million dollar pot of money where there weren't really any procedures in place on how to deal with it, and one of my co-workers said, "Why do I have a feeling that Oliver North started the same way you are now...".) Anyway, I made it out with my integrity intact, and in addition to having a sense in having done a little good in the GWOT, I came out of it with a really great quote log.
I've hesitated to use it before, since a lot of the people quoted were probably still in their jobs, but I think most of them have moved on now, so I think I'll share some of the more interesting quotes. If you haven't been a staff officer, they probably won't be as funny to you as they are to me, but trust me: they are funny.
The first is an old standard, the "Power Point Rangers Creed":
“This is my PowerPoint. There are many like it, but mine is XP.
My PowerPoint is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I master my life.
My PowerPoint without me is useless. Without my PowerPoint, I am useless.
I must format my slides true.
I must brief them better than the others who are trying to outbrief me.
I must brief the impact on the CDR before he asks it of me. I will.
My PowerPoint and I know that what counts is not the number of slides, the colors of the highlights, nor the format of the bullets. We know that it is the new information that counts. We will brief only new information.
My PowerPoint is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as my brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths, its fonts, its accessories, its formats, and its colors. I will keep my PowerPoint slides current and ready to brief. We will become part of each other. We will...
Before God, I swear this creed.
My PowerPoint and I are defenders of our country.
We are the masters of our subject. We are the saviors of my career.
So be it, until victory is ours and there is no enemy but peace."
Here's an entire web page on the importance of Power Point Rangers.