What is Leadership?

The last few weeks have been of serious reflection over this past year. I came on this deployment seeking three things. To develop myself as a Leader (knowing before hand that I was weak in this area), learn more about my job and to get a grasp of the army life in general. Maybe a deployment with nothing but Reservists and National Guardsmen isn't the optimal opportunity to seek out the latter, but I was hoping at least for something from the former.

The truth is, I've learned more about leadership and the military in general in the last month then I have the entire deployment. I made some serious errors in regards to my professional career in the military recently and I'm only now starting to recoup from them. I may never recoup from them, this deployment had nearly killed my love of the military and had at one point destroyed my drive and purpose for being in.

See, when I got back from leave, I had lost a lot of motivation for staying in the army. I just didn't care anymore. Only recently have I gotten that drive back, I feel more motivated, energetic, my will to succeed has returned. In looking back, I realize that poor leadership had taken that out of me.

I won't go into details, I won't defame anybody's name (whether they deserve it or not) on my blog, but looking back, I've lost a lot of respect for one person in particular. I'm sure they know this, as though I do blame myself for not taking a more proactive approach on my own career and standing up to the idiocy that surrounded me earlier, they didn't go out of their way to help me. Even when I went to them seeking their help. I think that's where I made my first mistake, trusting them when they quickly proved that they didn't deserve that trust. Somebody gave me the analogy of somebody pretending to be my friend, patting me on the back where in reality they were just looking for a place to plant the knife. And by my nature, even though I would get angry at them for the bullsh** they piled upon me, I still gave them another chance. I gave them another chance when they had given up on me a long time ago. I kick myself for that.

I guarantee you I won't make that same mistake in the future. I know what to expect from my leaders and mentors now.

Maybe one day, I can actually prove that I have what it takes to be a leader. But not this year. Somebody had successfully squashed that early on this deployment.

In the December alone I have felt happier, more sure of myself, and eager to do my job and perform my mission then I had before. I think this has a lot to do from me being pulled from my former section where I felt like I had no purpose and spent most of my time trying to figure out what I had done wrong and why I had failed so horribly. There is a lot about this deployment that I have not delved into through my blog, I haven't even scraped the surface. Maybe I never will. But many of my readers probably noted my intense frustration throughout it.

Amazing, that frustration is practically gone. I just need to get it out and drive on. Only a short while left in theater and then I'll be home free.

And maybe I'll give the army another chance to prove to me that it's not as broken as I have been led to believe.

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