Every year around Thanksgiving I do a post about how this year’s Harvest. Some years are worse than others but this one has been a record year. My family doesn’t do ranching, or farming, or hunting. The family business has turned from combat to preparing others for combat. My brother is doing very well working with missiles and missile accessories and my wife continues to keep pay rolling for our Soldiers here at Fort Benning. The daughter thankfully stayed out of the family business and is one semester away from being called Doctor.
As for me, wow, were to start. The year began with battles over words in the halls of the Maneuver center that spilled over to a place called the Round House and back to the Maneuver Center. We argued of words and finally got to a point of guarded acceptance and the TC 3-22.9 was published. Since May that book has become “Mjolnir” in the constant struggle by the Army and parts the firearms training industry to settle disputes. I published several articles in conjunction with the book publishing that combined have probably close to 100,000 views.
We followed the Rifle book with a subpar effort on the pistol book and thanks to a case of Kill Cliff, that book is getting ready to do the same things the rifle book did. When I say we did a subpar effort in this context I mean I. That was a failure on my part that put the book six months behind and slowed many other efforts. It is correct now and fixing to head out the door and things are back on track.
From behind the gun instead of the keyboard, I pulled of a solid showing at the 2016 All Army Small Arms Competition in march. Overall I placed 89th of 255 and 28th of the 142 Active Duty participants. Rifle I was 127th of 229 and 58th of the 120 Active. On pistol, which was a surprise, I was 72nd of 250 and 19th of the 141 Active Duty participants. I also placed first in a couple of local matches on pistol before going to get a solid ass whooping at the Jabs Steel challenge in Dothan, Alabama. I was not ready for that match but it is a good memory on how far I need to go and how much work truly goes into shooting at that level.
I also got to attend the Small Arms Leader Course conducted by the 75th Ranger Regiment. I am still hard pressed to say which course I liked more, the one I oversaw at Drum or that course. It is an awesome POI run by some Greats that they write books about, and the fellow students were greats in their own world. I felt truly honored to not only be in the course but to have been accepted by these dudes and have continuing support from them.
I also got to spend some time in Alaska working with their program. It was 2 weeks of learning and helping apply the new book to their courseware. Also, good feeling of showing up and being treated like a Rockstar. Following that, I warmed up with 2 weeks in Orlando working with the Army Research Lab on some projects that will shape our soldiers in the future. Getting asked for input on how to build a virtual trainer is awesome feeling. I continue to work with them on their endeavors.
That brings me to the Harvest. All the above efforts were pushing towards a goal. You will notice that this is not a Facebook post, but a blog on Warrior Industries. Warrior Industries is the brainchild of a good friend and now I am playing a part. The goal for this year was to set conditions for life after the Army (which will be next year’s post) and to get things ready for a foray into the training industry. Well, those crops have had an early yield and I have a couple classes under my belt as well as interest for more. I will be running my first Pro Carbine class this thanksgiving weekend which is kind of awesome considering this post.
I am working with a local training company and some new friends at FMJ Armory which has not only a perfect facility but their own AR15 line. Soon there will be a rifle made in Georgia, built by friends, for me. Not an off the rack gun but one for me. That is an awesome thing and maybe not mean much to some will me a lot to me.
I close with some thanks. First to my wife who finds a way to keep everything running while I focus in and out trying to make all this work. She is what keep things afloat and deserves most of the credit.
Thanks, goes to the readers of my blogs and pages. You guys help me formulate and polish ideas and turn them into reality.
The last group of thanks goes to the guys that helped on the Army books. They know who they are and one day I will get them all together for a feast and none will walk away sober.
I am truly blessed with the people who have come into my life. I spend my days surrounded by Legends. And when I say Legends I mean Legends. One even has his own action figure. To be included in their lives is an honor that I do not take lightly. I strive daily to become better than I am to maintain that honor.
Think about your own lives. Thanksgiving is about the harvest and accounting for the seeds and efforts of the year. What have you accomplished and what has failed. Look at it and most of you will see like I did today that we are all capable of greatness.