Chaplain’s Corner: The Value of Teamwork

By Chaplain (Capt.) Jeremy Gross, 2-19 Infantry Regiment, 198th Infantry Brigade /

In President Donald Trump’s book, Think Like a Champion: An Informal Education in Business and Life, the President shares the story of when his show, The Apprentice, was initially launched on NBC and he was congratulated by Tom Brokaw on the success of the show.

The President remarked how that made him feel like a member of the NBC team and he wanted NBC to continue to be a success.  I was reminded of how true teamwork plays into our lives as members of the United States Army by his illustration.

In the Army, we refer to the Infantry as the “Queen of Battle” and they are certainly the Soldiers who are on the front of everything we do.

In order for the Infantry to be successful, they require the assistance of the logisticians, the field artillery, the engineers, the cooks, and a plethora of other MOS’s throughout the Army to have that success.

We all work together as one team to ensure that everyone in the Army is successful rather than being as island to ourselves in our various military specialties.  If this attitude is not fostered, then the overall team will suffer.

During my first deployment to Afghanistan several years ago, I was able to see first-hand how important being on a team could be, even if you were not officially part of that organization.

As the Battalion Chaplain, I would assist Soldiers with small parts of difficult tasks being part of a support battalion in combat.  These tasks were difficult as they dealt with processing the remains of fallen Soldiers.  I would assist them with this task and the team quickly identified me as being part of their team and always looked forward to my being there to lend a hand when duty called.

I saw this as a great opportunity for ministry to those Soldiers given this tough task and it gave me the opportunity to further connect with them.  They saw me as part of their team and I was happy to identify with that privilege.

The legendary head coach for the University of Alabama, Paul “Bear” Bryant, made an observation about teamwork as he was known for building great football teams.

“I’m just a plow hand from Arkansas, but I have learned how to hold a team together. How to lift some men up, how to calm down others, until finally they’ve got one heartbeat together, a team.  There’s just three things I’d ever say: If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, then we did it. If anything goes real good, then you did it. That’s all it takes to get people to win football games for you.”

We all find ourselves being part of a team while serving in the Army.

It may be a Brigade Combat Team, a Field Surgical Team, or a Unit Ministry Team.  Regardless of what we formally do for the Army, we are all working together to make this great organization operate smoothly.

So whether it be on the gridiron, in an office or in the Army, the value of teamwork is always essential at bringing the best out of an organization and ensuring that organization is successful.

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