…and nowhere is that more true than in the military.
Last year, as the final phase of ROTC, I had to attend a mandatory training camp at Fort Lewis, Washington. One of the cadre (military instructors) assigned to my platoon was one Master Sergeant Shepherd. An infantry NCO with nearly twenty years experience, he had multiple deployments under his belt and had earned all the badges and tabs you’d expect from a career infantryman. Impressive as that may be, let it suffice to say that MSG Shepherd and I did not like each other. Our personalities were constantly in conflict.
I thought it was unprofessional the way he’d cuss out everyone in the platoon. He’d get annoyed when I cracked nerdy jokes. I thought he was mean and condescending. He thought I was a wimp when I complained about my allergies. The list goes on.
Nevertheless, as much as our personalities were not in sync, I have to say that MSG Shepherd was an outstanding soldier. He knew his stuff. Weapons, survival strategies, squad tactics, you name it. He had the knowledge and ability to lead men capably and confidently into battle.
When I do deploy to Afghanistan in a year or two years from now, there’s nothing I’d value more than have a soldier like him on my team.