My Beginning in the Business of Training
I first felt the power of training in the US Navy. I was standing watch as Officer of the Deck (OOD) on the bridge of the USS Albany, a Guided Missile Cruiser and the most powerful ship in the world at the time. We were part of a Carrier Battle Group, sailing in formation in rough seas. As OOD I was responsible for maneuvering the ship to fulfill its mission while keeping her safe with eight hundred souls aboard. It was a dangerous four-hour watch, where I “earned my pay” twice – both near collisions, when another vessel’bridge team fouled up a signaled maneuver. When asked about it later, I explained, “You just do what you’re trained to do, thank God.” Those situations would have made some exciting movie footage.
In fact, Hollywood has shown you this scene, many times, and very accurately. Only one detail is usually wrong. They always cast the OOD role about ten years too old. I was twenty-four.
And when I was twenty-six I was sent to a training command. There I trained others – including men and women, young and old, military and commercial – to do what I had been trained to do.
Every day in both jobs, I marveled at the unmistakable effects of training. I still do.
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