Soldier’s Story (cont’d)

Once a soldier is enlisted and training begins, successful training is dependant on submission.  The soldier must learn to submit to the chain of command with trust and honor even when unsure of why something is being asked of them.  The willingness to submit to the authority regardless of confusion or difference of opinion is a critical discipline of warfare.

I was once a Second Lieutenant, which is the lowest ranking commissioned officer.  When you walk into your first duty assignment as a Second Lieutenant, you are the highest ranking and least experienced person in your platoon.  That leaves a leadership tension which takes some grace to maneuver through.  There were occasionally enlisted soldiers of lower ranks but greater tenure that might want to test the extent to which they would have to submit to the authority of a junior officer.

One way that a soldier would occasionally test a new leader would be through the offering of a left-handed salute.  A proper salute is right-handed and the offering of a left-handed salute might push the young officer to decide how to react.  The only person that the left-handed salute reflected poorly on was the person offering it.  You never would see a senior soldier of greater accomplishment offer an unprofessional courtesy like that.  They would do it properly because they knew who they were.  They were professional soldiers and acted as such no matter if the junior officer had the juice to correct it or not.

When we know who we are because we submitted ourselves to greater Authority in times of trial, then our actions and reactions will reflect our True identity.  We won’t be impressed or not based on what others do or don’t do, because our identity is what drives our impulse behaviors.  The things that are foreign and unnatural to the training we received will repulse us, not attract us.  The litmus test we use to decide is formed through submission and trials and will reflect a mature Wisdom and Faith. 

It is the acceptance of the pain and sacrifice of training that makes a way for maturity.  The development of our character and strengthening of our convictions comes through fire.  When they stand the test, there is a New confidence in the depth of their Truth.  Standing on that Truth with a more firm and sure footing readies us for the next battle.

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