More on Brock Long's Resignation

Mission, Men, Me.

by Eric Holdeman / February 13, 2019

Back when I was in Officer Candidate School, 51st Company, learning how to lead as an infantry officer, on the riser of the steps in our barracks was printed, "Mission-Men-Me." I thought it was a good statement and I tried to follow it early in my professional officer career. I certainly was all about the mission, I was last, and the men, well — they were part of the mission, right?

Being married and having two young children, I began to think about where does "Family" fit into the Mission-Men-Me priorities? At what point, if at all, do they come before the mission or my men? About mid-career, due to circumstances, I finally figured out how to put my wife and kids in the mix of things. It was good I did, since that is the father they remember, not my first nine years of service. 

Which brings me to The Washington Post story I shared in my earlier blog post about Brock Long resigning. Within that story there is this quoted element, "In an interview with The Washington Post in September, Long called his relationship with Nielsen “professional and functional" and added, “We both understand what needs to be done." But behind the scenes, Nielsen was irritated with Long for not attending early-morning meetings with top-level DHS staff, and she disapproved of his absences from Washington when he visited his family in North Carolina, an administration official said in September."

Which reminds me of another situation I was told about. Fort Sheridan, Ill., where I was stationed with 4th Army was also home to the U.S. Army Recruiting Command. I can't remember the commanding general's name, but he was a bachelor and I was told that he didn't care if you had a family or not. For him, he was married to the Army. I'm reminded of that situation by the fact that I believe that Kirstjen Nielsen is not married and has no "immediate family" — children, spouse, etc. There is no need for balance in her life. Likely she doesn't own a dog or other pets. 

I have not reason to not believe that Long wanted to spend more time with his family. And, it would be "inappropriate" to say anything about all the crap that he has had to put up with in his resignation letter. He is classier than that. 

I also noted a Beltway comment in The Washington Post story, "He was good on TV." How about saying he was a talented leader who knew his profession?