Monday, September 28, 2009

Change 2

Change is an inevitable part of life. The military specializes in change. The highest rates of change seem to occur in the military in war time. Orders which are authoritatively passed to troops one minute may be countermanded the next. Like reading the names of fathers in the old testament; one change begets another which begets another.

Upon arrival here I was briefed by the person I replaced that my job was to supervise in processing and vaccination of ANP recruits. This task takes approximately 60% of our time. Our team made the decision that this was really only a secondary job, since our primary job is to mentor the ANP Medical Director and his staff. (Change 1)

I have been eagerly awaiting the end of the Ramadan and Eid period. Now I can get back out and my secondary job. Last week our team started getting some interesting emails with powerpoint slide attachments which indicated this secondary mission of in processing may be handed over to contractors and Afghans starting in January. (Change 2)

This week we were informed via email that the contractor is ready in our area and will assume all in processing starting 3 days ago. This certainly caught all the training site coordinators off guard as well. So now we definitely do not do in processing (the previous teams primary mission) at all. (Change 3)

The key to dealing with all this change is flexibility and an open mind. Innovation is helpful as well. We still have our primary mission to perform. In fact we now have a lot of vaccines which we can provide to our mentee, since we won't be using them. The other thing these changes gives us is a certain amount of freedom. We can now move around the Northern Region and visit ANP medical facilities and construction sites without being tied to the date of the next in processing. I may even get a chance to go to Kabul and actually meet many of the staff there who we work with through email and phone.
So to sum it up, change can be stressful but also liberating in the right situation.


  1. The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 09/29/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

  2. There are two points I forgot to make with this post.
    #1 We have had three major changes in what work we do with the Police Medical In Processing in three months. Is this a sign of chaos or progress? There is something to be said for consistency.
    #2 This puts us one step closer to a lasting Afghan solution to at least this one problem. That is a good thing.