In my time over here I’ve learned something about various activities of the military during “a military action” (the ‘major hostilities’ are over, right). There are a lot of categories and classifications but I’ve discovered that I really only care about one. Something often referred to as high speed, low drag. High speed, low drag operations are those in which the operational tempo and priority are such that speed and agility takes precedence over form and process. High speed, low drag means that while the requirements don’t necessarily change, much of the paperwork falls away. A transaction that, in the rear, might require four people and two forms in duplicate can be done with two people, a please and a smile. High speed, low drag usually means that when something doesn’t work to the level that is required for the mission it is replaced by whatever means necessary.
For example, here in the rear when I currently live, if I’m issued thirty rounds of ammo I need to hand back thirty rounds of ammo. Failure to do so generates a very tall pile of paperwork to account for each and every round missing. Currently, the closer you get to Fallujah/Baghdad/Najah the less paperwork and accountability required for missing rounds of ammo. In some places, you simply turn in what you have left, if any. That’s the reduction of drag.
It took my unit almost three months to get from ‘hey you’re being activated’ to boots on sand. There are some units that can go from BBQing with the family in San Diego to fully operational in some remote location in a matter of days. That’s high speed.
I’ve determined that I really like high speed, low drag. I like the idea of going from civilian on the street to active duty in a couple of days and being expected to be ready to deploy as soon as orders can be cut. I like the thrill and the challenge of making things work ad hoc. I like missions that are considered difficult and maybe impossible. I like missions where those sending the team out are not at all sure what the mission will turn into.
I mentioned some days ago that I would be looking at my options after I finished here. One of the options I will be looking into is finding a high speed, low drag unit that does real world missions. I think I have a lead on one, maybe two. For my regular readers, no, this does not mean that I’ve given up on the idea of joining the Australian Navy. That’s still high on the list of things I’d like to do. But as my regular readers might also know, I’ve still got to convince my wife that moving to Australia would be a good thing. I think it would be a really good thing. Hey, does anyone know if there are any halaus (Hawaiian Hula schools/associations/organisations) in Syndey? That’s a critical item in convincing my wife.