“As the Chief of Staff, I run the behind the scenes operation at West Point, making sure the Superintendent’s intent is met, making sure we are properly resourced, and ensuring the team is working together and becoming good teammates, which is the strength of the place. The victories in the day, for me, are how well we serve each other and creating harmony between the component parts of our mission.
As a lieutenant, the second platoon I had the pleasure of leading ended up being called the “Chicken Bones.” The commander moved me over from third platoon, which was the highest performer in the unit, to second platoon, which was having some disciplinary problems and didn’t feel a connection as a team. Over six months in preparing for gunnery, though, in restoring confidence in themselves, that platoon taught me an awful lot about leadership. Gunnery is very competitive between all the platoons in the Battalion. We were not doing too hot after Tank Tables 5 and 6, but we had trained very hard. People were started to get down, throwing around blame and pointing figures. I had to break the ice. I gathered all the chicken bones at the snack shack, brought them to the motorpool, and before we went to the qualifying table did a chicken bone dance around their tanks. I said their failure to perform had to be because the tanks were hexed. I did my little dance, put chicken bones between the tow cables and drizzled them inside the turret, and sure enough we all qualified first round on Table 8. Forevermore, after that, we were known as the Chicken Bones.” #ThanksWayne