In the movie series, Band of Brothers, a true event from World War II is graphically related, regarding E (for Easy) Company, 2nd Battalion, 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) of the United States Army. Every time I revisit this series, I become even more inspired.
“Forward” was the battle cry, speed was vital.
When the time arrived to attack and complete the mission, the new commander of the unit, however, stalled; he halted; the cry to “fall back” was heard, confusing the entire company. No such command from the primary leader was ever uttered or contemplated.
The telling part was this: the commander of the assault unit stopped completely exposed and out in the open, exposing US troops to withering fire.
The command to “Go Forward” had been ignored, changed, altered; in fact, obliterated by wrongful, totally incorrect commands.
The beginning of the assault was picture-perfect. The stop was not.
Is it ever the right thing, to stop an advance when the initial, forceful command, was “Forward!?”
What would cause such a choice to be made?
The meaning here is obvious. One who begins, then stops, is not fulfilling assigned duty; faltering costs time, energy, motivation, and human willpower.
For a worthy cause, willfully aligned and assigned, “Go Forward” meant just that. No stopping, retreating, or second guessing.
How often in our goals may we falter before finishing regardless of how high the stakes may be?
In fact, a worthy title of this blog could have been: Finish * Never Falter.
In 1967, failure at the end of the competition is exactly what happened to me, unplanned, and unexpected. In a pledge to my sponsoring organization after the disappointment of losing, I promised I would try again.
I did. The results in 1968 were positive, expected, anticipated, for which I had to work even harder than originally.
Sandwiched between the success of 1968, and another triumph following in 1970, tragedy struck our family; my sister, Joan, committed suicide. The results were awful, physically, emotionally, graphically. We wondered, “How could this happen? What would implore Joan, a gifted girl, to give up, and ‘end it all?’”
Starting and stopping are not personal or corporate means of accomplishing goals or obeying directives.
March Forward means:
- Moving continually even when you may not feel like it.
- Sticking to a plan to pursue, though the plan may prove difficult beyond measure.
- Submitting to leadership who entrusts you to “get it done.”
As you and I enter March, let’s march. Forward is the cry, commission, and call. Let no naysayer dissuade you. Stick to the plan; get it done.
The same is true for singing a song, writing a book, competing in athletics, finishing your course. Get it done.
When you express similar sentiments, write them down. Realistically, there may be a book in your future: *your* book. If so, even through writer’s block, difficulty, challenge, even disappointments, “get it done.” March Forward. Then, let us know. Write to me: firstname.lastname@example.org and update your progress: include all the facts—the hurdles, hills, valleys, highs, and lows.
Your reward will be commensurate with the effort put forth. March Forward. Get it done.