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Things I learned after 14 months in GTMO

Friday May 4, 2007 | The Wire

Lora J. Tucker.jpg

Things I learned after 14 months in GTMOEdit

By Army Col. Lora L. Tucker

305th PCH Commander

As the 305th Joint Information Bureau/Press Camp gets ready to “stand in the door” (it’s an Army thing!) and depart Joint Task Force-Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, I would like to personally thank all the Troopers that stand the watch here at JTF-GTMO. No matter what job you are performing, it’s an important piece of the machine and everyone makes a difference.

We are without a doubt detaining the right men, at the right time, in the right place and we are doing it humanely and ethically. America, our allies, your family and friends should be incredibly proud of you as you continue to serve your country and keep us safe from those that would certainly do us harm.

As a commander and as a member of the JTF Public Affairs team I would like to share with you three lessons that I have learned the past 14 months.

Number One:Edit

The Manchester Document is alive and well. Our enemies have done their homework and know how to use our democratic system of justice to their advantage. They know how to use the press and internet technology to wage a war of words and misperceptions.

This war of words and perceptions is a critical battle that we must continue to fight. JTF-Guantanamo is leading this fight by being transparent and open to the media, distinguished visitors, members of Congress and foreign dignitaries.

To the new public affairs team, continue to fight the good fight. We wish you the very best and we know you will do great and wonderful things this next year in the foxhole, to champion the information war. Things I learned after 14 months in GTMO

Number TwoEdit

Joint duty is the experience of a lifetime. As a member of the U.S. Army I had never used terms like “all hands”, “head”, “rope yarn”, “Bravo Zulu” and “Fair Winds and Following Seas.”

I had never worked for or been promoted by a Rear Admiral, nor had I ever had the privilege of commanding Sailors as part of my unit. This has been an incredible 14 months of joint service. It has made me a better officer, a better leader and I have learned that every service has its own traditions and intricacies that make “us” a great team. Go Army… Beat Navy!!!!!

Number Three:Edit

(OK there are several here) Don’t feed the Iguana’s . Ask Cmdr. Capra about his attack Iguana that forced him to stay inside his quarters. When the loud sirens are going off, it’s probably a good idea to stop diving and get out of the water. Last but not least, J.F.K. said it best: “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” Continue to learn and lead the way. I wish you all “fair winds and following seas.”

By Army Col. Lora L. Tucker

305th PCH Commander


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).