Monday
Oct032011

“From Battlefields to Football Fields”

Our City Weston October 2011

By Clark Kilgard, Chair for Public Relations and Communications – Rotary Club of Weston

General Henry Briefs Rotary Club On Special Ops And Leadership

Brigadier General Terry Henry (US Army Retired) addressed the Rotary Club of Weston shortly after the tragic loss of 22 Navy Seals and other personnel in Afghanistan. General Henry was on hand at the beginning of the Special Forces during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. After a failed US rescue attempt, the decision was made to form a joint special operations unit including the army, navy, and air force. The unit was ready to go in 1981 when the hostages were released. General Henry was the second commander of this group, beginning in 1983. His first mission was the invasion of Grenada. After this the organization continued to grow, even though the training was intense.

The 22 navy seals that were lost constitute about 10 percent of Seal Team 6. This is tragic, especially because it takes a long time to train people to this level. It will be difficult to replace the 22 Seals. The soldiers that do this have to meet rigorous physical and psychological standard. They are the best quality service person you can get, willing to go the extra mile to do this special service.

Asked about the “profile” of a special operations candidate, the general joked: “They have to be able to swim.” They are all incredibly physically fit, their mission often involves swimming, and they are expert marksmen. “I am very proud to have been a part of this.”

General Henry also shared what he called “A whimsical approach to leadership and organizations” also known as “the theory of human perfectibility”. This is based on the assumption that “no one in an organization wants to screw up. People want to do well…” He said that there are three things that need to be borne in mind. First, there need to be standards that are fair, understood and applied evenly in the organization. Second, the troops (or workers) need to be resourced, trained, and supervised to meet those standards. Finally, investigate whether there are personal problems that are getting in the way of meeting those standards. For instance, quite often the initial complaint that is voiced isn’t the real problem.

General Terry is considered an expert in the area of response to terrorism and response to the use of weapons of mass destruction and serves in that capacity for many government agencies. As a retiree he has worked in county and state government, especially in emergency and disaster response and management, and public works. Among his service awards are the Army Commendation Medal of Valor, a Purple Heart, A Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, 5 Distinguished Flying Crosses, and the Bronze Star.

Are You Ready For Some Football?

“College football in the State of Florida is the best in the country. If you are a fan, just pick a spot and go there.” That was Don Bailey, for University of Miami football player and the Voice of "Miami Hurricane Football" on 560 WQAM for the last 18 years. He was making a return visit to the Rotary Club of Weston to give them a preview of the 2011-2012 season.

The Seminoles have “got it going” at Florida State because they have done a phenomenal job recruiting: their quarterback, backfield and defense. So they have the opportunity to have a great year. The power of University of Florida has increased over the last 20 years. Now they have a great stadium, great fans and the funding to be able to compete. Florida International University was on a losing streak, but turned around and won a bowl game last year.

Don told about going up to Florida Atlantic University to meet with Coach Schnellenberger and see the new stadium. Schnellenberger, he said, taught me and many others that “impossible is only an opinion, not a fact.” According to Don, this is “the only stadium in America where you can see the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream.”

And then there is the University of Miami. Their new coach, Al Golden played for Joe Paterno at Penn State. At one point he took over the program at Temple University, where he was the

Temple lost so much that everybody wanted them to come for homecoming. He took over and won 17 games in his last two years there. This coach is very organized, determined, and focused; and this is a team that is going to be in condition. They have two good quarterbacks, great receivers, special running backs, and an offensive line that is among the best; Al Golden is going to win at the University of Miami. “Mark it down.”

The Rotary Club of Weston is recognized as one of Southwest Broward’s leading community service organizations. Weston Rotary meets at Weston Hills Country Club every Thursday morning, year-round, from 7:30 – 8:30am to enjoy a buffet breakfast and a lively meeting program. For further information about Weston Rotary, visit our website at www.WestonRotary.org, or stop by our FaceBook Fan Page (Rotary Club of Weston) for the latest happenings.

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