Today is Veteran’s Day, a time to honor those who have served. For those of us who haven’t served, it is hard to imagine what that really means.

This article describes what it was like escorting President George W. Bush on 9-11. It’s a long one, but I think a good one to get a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes work of our military, even when they are serving in the homeland.

There are times when the president is in charge, and other times when military protocol dictates what happens. Even in the time of chaos, it was clear when those times were.

Dave Wilkinson assistant agent-in-charge, U.S. Secret Service: He [the president] fought with us tooth and nail all day to go back to Washington. We basically refused to take him back. The way we look at is that by federal law, the Secret Service has to protect the president. The wishes of that person that day are secondary to what the law expects of us. Theoretically it’s not his call, it’s our call.

On the day of 9-11 or in a foxhole is not the time to determine who can make the ultimate decision. Are your procedures clear? Do you know who really is in command?

Take a moment today to thank a veteran or others who have served our country. We are glad they are there at the ready, for whatever needs arise.

beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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