Commander's Martin Luther King Jr. Message
January 11, 2012
"Remember! Celebrate! Act! A Day On, Not a Day Off!"
The above is the challenging theme for this year's observance of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and what he symbolizes. Remember ... not only Dr. King, but also the conditions he encountered and challenged along with many others before and after the American civil rights movement that Dr. King represents. Celebrate ... his and their accomplishments in the quest of assuring equal treatment of persons under the law without regard to race, ethnicity or beliefs. Act ... lastly and most importantly, we act to ensure the good things that have come about since Dr. King launched his civil rights campaign are never lost.
Our action requires more than supporting and enforcing laws. It requires a commitment on the part of each one of us to respect the individual dignity of every human being.
While those of us in the Army must ensure equal opportunity for all Soldiers and civilians, we have to recognize that "following the rules" only goes so far in governing human relationships. For while we all want to be treated equally under the law, we also want to be appreciated for our differences, which is why, a few years ago, the Department of Defense began to emphasize the value of diversity. When we come together as a team, we all contribute to the greater good, which strengthens the team and amplifies our success.
Though Martin Luther King Jr. Day and weekend is a holiday from our normal work or duty schedule, it is not a day off from having an accord with other human beings with whom we come in contact. It's all part of being a team, not only to your individual unit, but the bigger INSCOM and Army team as well.
The newly established Griffin Four, which spell out TEAM, offers a perfect parallel for our relationships with others:
Teamwork - Griffins move out with a sense of unified purpose leveraging institutional, organizational, and individual competencies to find the enemy, reveal its intentions at a moment of weakness, and deliver essential information in order to execute unified land operations. We are a team bound by loyalty, trust, and commitment to a higher purpose;
Effective communications - Griffin team communications consists of clear, concise, timely information given to a wide audience. We perform full spectrum communications utilizing active and passive listening, left, right, up and down. The Griffin team agrees to disagree and realizes it is not disrespect, but a collaborative effort to unite to accomplish the common goal. We backbrief and seek guidance whether directive or collaborative to ensure understanding and compliance;
Always professional - Griffins are technically and tactically proficient, competent in our basic individual and collective skills; trained and educated; certified by our leaders; confident in our ability. We are assertive, disciplined and uphold our standards;
More heart - Griffins are committed to excellence. We value service before self. We persevere in the face of adversity. Determination to accomplish the mission under all circumstances is our hallmark.
I ask that you think about these things while you enjoy your weekend and safely return to your team when it's over.