Winter Solstice--a time to reflect

  • Published
  • By Col. Brett Newman
  • 934th Maintenance Group commander
Mark it on your calendar folks! The winter solstice is upon us. The winter solstice can occur any day December 20th to December 23rd. This year it is on December 21st. It marks the longest night and the shortest day of the year. Given the amount of snow we just received here, I'm not sure which is better. Instead of getting wrapped around the axle on which was better, an entirely new thought entered my mind.

I know this time of year means a lot of different things to a lot of people. Like I already said, I had a completely different thought while thinking about how much day or night is on the way. My thoughts turned to what I have been doing to prepare my organization for the future. Seriously, the first maintenance chief I worked with has just "graduated" (aka. retired) from the Air Force. I know that time, for me, is passing quickly. I remind my officers and supervisors that they need to be training those below them to be ready for the future.

How many of you have heard of, or seen, the movie, "We Were Soldiers"? There is a scene from the movie where Mel Gibson, portraying Lt. Col. Hal Moore, tells his trainees that they were to learn the job of the person above them. The trainees in turn were to teach the person below them their job. That's how Colonel Moore was successful. I believe that's how we continue to be successful in what we do everyday. The time is passing faster than I could have imagined.

In ancient Rome, they celebrated the winter solstice with a feast. In pre-Christian Britain, in order to melt the heart of a cold and dreary winter, the end of December centered on the pagan Yule log. I'd like to add to the traditions and look through our minds eye towards the future. Each of us should ask ourselves if we're doing all we can to make our organization a complete success.

Whether you look at it as the longest night or shortest day, the winter solstice is a time to reflect on, well, time. So I ask you to pause, when you have the time, and think about what the future holds.

Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season.