Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Brotherhood

We trained today, the team. We have new members and they were getting a first introduction to some of our basic skills. Just a taste. There are a lot of obligations coming up and time is limited. They needed the basic skills for the most likely scenarios and they needed to feel the intensity, the speed and the chaos.

Everyone teaches on the team, everyone learns. I sat back at one point and just listened and I had to marvel at the skill and the insight and the experience of this small group of men and women.

"Raise it to here and all the force focuses on the shoulder."
"Spread them out and they lose their leverage."
"You don't need to worry about the hands if you take their legs."

Out of context the simple phrases won't mean much, but in action these are secrets and observations that martial arts masters dream of.

To be part of a team that no longer gets tunnel vision in an ugly fight; a group of people where it is just obvious that you will learn to control your sense of time and slow things so that the action seems to be in slow motion; that can see nuances of opportunity and shift gears as a team in action without a word spoken...made extra special by the fact that new members are coming into this arena and it might (probably will) change their lives and their ideas of possibility and impossibility forever.

There are other types of elites that share a different world. A LRRP veteran will get information from a smell that I will miss. A veteran paramedic will identify a problem that will be invisible to me. Each of these elites and each type of elite share a bond, a brotherhood.

Don't misunderstand- 'brotherhood' is used in broad ways by criminals. I mean it literally here, not as some kind of thuggish cult. Just as people raised together understand the subtext of family dinner conversation and share much of a world view, people who depend on each other in teams and share intense experience become a sort of family, sometimes stronger than the birth family.

We have a good family. A strong sense of mission, a strong sense of ethics, a strong sense of compassion, all aimed at solving sometimes unbelievably violent problems. The new ones will be good. Welcome to the team.

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