Major John and CSM Bones excellent weekend adventure, er, meeting
However, we did have some very good things come out of this meeting. We heard some good "lessons learned"from a recently returned Infantry Battalion commander (Iraq) and saw just how the State is going to try to deal with upcoming deployments. My own unit draws ever nearer to the ready and go lists.
War is a great, um, focuser (?) of perspectives. We have seen what we did wrong (and some things right too) and we have moved to correct these things. Soldiers are much better informed about possible deployments, and we are trying to make sure when soldiers return that we handle their reintegration better. That last one still draws a little bit of a bitter reaction from me - but I do see we are improving.
I will have to say that the Illinois Army National Guard is very much more serious and focused now than at any time I have seen in the near 22 years (off an on) I have been part of it. As I said, war will make you focus.