No, not the A-Team, B.A.

"I am a Warrior and a member of a team." It's the second part of the first line of defining the American Soldier.

A team, according to dictionary.com, is a number of persons forming one of the sides in a game or contest. In sports we often times think of teams as an elite group of individuals, combined to yield the best results, to win. In the civilian world, in an office perhaps, a team might be put together to work on a particular project, to bring the company more profit. But when you think of the US Army, of soldiers, is the image of winning and 'being the best' the only thing that comes to mind? 

No. Because, to the American Soldier, "team" is just another word for...


Look back at the definitions for the word "team." The fifth definition, though I do not consider us to be ducks, and rarely acting as pigs, seems somewhat fitting. I actually like the idea of sled dogs or oxen, harnessed together to achieve their common goals. Combine those images and you're making your way towards the definition of what it's like to "a member of a team"... err, family.

Just to add a little more to the theme, did you know that in the German Army, the first sergeant is referred to as the “Father of the Company?"  He  is the provider, the disciplinarian, the wise counselor, the tough and unbending foe, the confidant, the sounding board, everything that we need in a leader during our personal success or failure. The Father of the Company...

Think about those whom you train beside, fight beside, work beside, live beside... Is that person just your teammate? Is he just their to pull his share of the weight? Just to get the job done? Just to get that paycheck?

Or is that person your brother- or sister-in-arms? When a young recruit arrives at your station, isn't there a part of you that wants to consider him your "little brother," to take him under your wing, show him the ropes? Isn't the unit photo strangely similar to a family photo (sans the smiles)...?

We ARE a Family. We take care of each other. We love each other. We get into tiffs sometimes. We might be ever-changing. We lose people and welcome newcomers. We share work spaces, bunks, hopes, fears, and aspirations. Put us in a bind, we work together to get our way out. Fight one of us, fight all of us. Beat my brother up on the playground, you'll have to deal with me and my papa and my cousins come tomorrow... umm, you get the idea.

So remember: Know your teammate isn't just your teammate. He's your brother. She's your sister. Treat each other right, with respect. Defend each other. Don't take advantage of each other. Correct each other when you fall short, not out of spite or revenge, but out of concern and camaraderie. Praise each other when they succeed. Encourage each other when they don't. Most importantly, be that brother or sister that your teammate needs.

"I am a Warrior and a member of a team."

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