“Rear D” stands for Rear Delights!

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3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division – “Sledgehammer” returned from NTC at the end of March, and portions of 4 of our 6 battalions are now deployed through March of next year. The remaining two battalions could deploy. We may or may not. We just don’t know. But we stand ready – always ready to move quickly.

But in the meantime, our mission to train and become even more professional and prepared goes on. In the end, we have more Sledgehammer Soldiers back on Kelley Hill than we do downrange. 3/5 of us here, with 2/5 the Unit Ministry Team here. But given the area of deployment of our brothers and sisters, we make do.

Rear D stands for Rear Detachment in most circles. But I dont like that word “detachment.” Trust me when I say we are ANYTHING BUT detached from the current mission. We’re FULLY ENGAGED. Just as the OPTEMPO increased for our deployed team members – ours increased as well. As I described it to a few people, it’s like all the fingers of our hands are plugging all the holes, but there are still holes to fill. So we must really prioritize the work. It means less “free time” and longer days and many, many more Soldiers and their Families to minister to. And when you ADD IN the Families of the Soldiers downrange, well….you get the picture. It’s not like those Spouses and Children are silent or non-existent for 9 months. Because as the Army says, the Family is the strength of the Army.

Couple in the annual Marne Inspection program, and a spread thin Rear D leadership team and you see the picture even better. Sort of like when you drive late at night. Always seems like more police on the road. Actually there’s not. Fewer civilian cars make it seem that way. Same with our Soldier issues. Same number of issues but fewer team members to the rear who can get to them. So we reconfigure our team and rework our approach.

In the end, there are more twists and challenges to the mission and more opportunities for professional growth and creativity and teamwork. If a Soldier says “Rear D” is “easy” then he isn’t working the mission! So for me, Rear D doesnt stand for Rear detachment – but a period of new challenges and opportunities to shine. It’s a period of “Rear Delights!”

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