Monday, May 16, 2011

On Hallowed Ground

"Buy 'em books and buy 'em books, and all they do is chew off the covers." This was a common cry from Mr. Delmar Hardy, my junior high school history teacher. Why is it that I remember his quote, yet I didn't retain the significant historical events that he presented? Standing upon the hallowed battlegrounds of Gettysburg approximately 35 years later and some 150 years after the Civil War began, I became acutely aware of how important understanding our past is to shaping our future.

For three days, wildland fire leaders from various National Interagency Management Organizations (NIMOs), the Geographic Area Training Representatives (GATRs), the Operations and Workforce Development Committee (OWDC), the Leadership Subcommittee (LSC), various Incident Managment Teams (IMTs) and Fire Department New York (FDNY) led by subject matter experts from the military and wildland fire service walked the paths of Civil War leaders of the past, analyzed and synthesized key decisions, and gained knowledge that can be easily transferred for use during future incidents.

The Leadership is Action - Gettysburg Staff Ride was one of the most effective leadership educational events of my career. To experience this with members of my Leadership Subcommittee team was incredible and worth every minute of the time I put in prior to the event. What emerged from three days on the battlefields around Gettysburg, PA, is truly inspiring and will benefit the Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program for many years to come.

I challenge leaders who participated in the event to contribute their thoughts regarding the staff ride.
  • What Gettysburg leader of the past inspired your future actions?
  • What leadership traits do you inspire to possess or strengthen?
A special thanks goes out to all who helped make this educational event such a success including, but not limited to, Curtis Heaton, Gladys Ross, Brent Spencer, Deborah Corner, OMNA International, LLC and L3.
Civil War resources:

*Photo credits: Jim Cook (LSC Chairman) and OMNA International, LLC.

    No comments: