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The Vision Spreads Its Wings
Chief Klinefelter no sooner empowered the regional directors than one of them, Dick Corp of Region Two, moved to fix another organizational anomaly. That him in the Change At Work photograph. Although hea radio amateur, in this instance Corp is very much in his role as a MARS regional director.
Corps’ command, though highly populous, embraces only two states: New York and New Jersey. The Northeast primary strategic feature (translation: target) is the New York City metro area and it sits across both states.
Why have seven duplicate sets of state officers —such as State Director, administrative officer, logistics, statistics, and so on —when both are so strongly motivated to operate as one in an emergency? Corp proceeded to merge the jobs, but saw to it that MARS HQ honored the redundant for their service.
One key position probably wouldn’t be combined. To assure close coordination with in-state agencies and the National Guard, there would be separate New York and New Jersey emergency operations officers —at least at the beginning.
As such innovative thinking penetrates through MARS, it reasonable to wonder how the older members would be accepting altered tasks and fast-moving technology.
More important, would younger hams, born into a generation accustomed to instant gratification, warm to the idea of training constantly for catastrophic events that hopefully will never occur?
That basically what MARS calls on us to do. If disaster doesn’t happen, what he payoff for all the effort? Where the glamour?
An experienced leader and friend, who strongly supports the new direction nevertheless, worries whether it can succeed. newer members,” he emailed the other day, kind of tired of being told that they are not good enough and that the good old days of MARS were better.”
Good point: At least the good old days included delivering MARS grams so gratifying to soldiers and their kin, a valuable service performed in the here and now and appreciated by the nation. And Morse code could do the job. Of necessity, today objectives are hardly so clear-cut, nor are the incentives.
For what it worth, Steve Klinefelter optimism, self-confidence and straight talk have seen him through 31 years of active duty. He liked the uniform so much he stayed on even after the seniority pay raises stopped —then returned to the daily grind as an Army civilian. For him the payoff was serving his country. He gives himself two years to get Army MARS firmly fixed on its new course.
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