World War II undoubtedly produced many remarkable people and stories. Allied soldiers, sailors, airmen and civilians alike brought forth a surrender to the Axis Powers. They have been rightfully recognized as the Greatest Generation. Wartime nations often allocates money for production and improvement to the fields of medicine and technology to get an upper hand on the opposition. Recognizing weak and strong points are important to mission success.

   I had recently watched a movie again called, “A Bridge Too Far” which told the story of the Battle of Arnhem. As a former paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division, I have watched this movie countless times. In the movie, a British paratrooper by the name of Major Carlyle of the Parachute Regiment and this character is based on Major Allison Digby Tatham-Warter, of The Parachute Regiment. He was widely known as just “Digby”. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll recognize him as the paratrooper who carried an umbrella into battle. As the character Major Carlyle is dying, he tells his Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Frost, his reason for carrying the umbrella. He says he carried it because of his bad memory for remembering passwords. Digby is quoted to have said, “Only a bloody fool of an Englishman would be mad enough to carry an umbrella.”

   Major Tatham-Warter, knowing the unreliability of his VHF radios in combat, trained his soldiers in bugle calls used during the 19th century Napoleonic Wars in case the radios could not be used. The bugle calls were reported to have been used during the Battle of Arnhem and could be readily heard over the noises and confusion of battle. You could say he had a PACE Plan for his communications. Do you have a PACE Plan? If not, your group members will refer to you as, “Someone I used to know.”

“Failing to plan is planning to fail”

Holy Serf

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