As I reflect back on my first operation, it’s clear to me there could not be a better connection between the direction I am taking my life in and the direction Team Rubicon will guide me in. Taking part in Operation: Five Points reinvigorated a passion within me – a passion to serve with a purpose and to be an operational component of a well-molded and highly compatible team. The leadership, support, teamwork, and most of all the love of our mission displayed and shared throughout the entire op was nothing short of amazing.
The one day that stands out in my mind as a true example of what teamwork is and what Team Rubicon is all about is July 4th. While most Americans were filling their ice chests with beers and brats preparing to get their national birthday celebration on, the members of Op: Five Points were operating at maximum tempo. Even after an exhausting previous day’s workload, no one showed signs of mission fatigue or lack of motivation. Our bodies were tired, but our minds were wide awake. We had a hard task in front of us and a more than grateful homeowner inspiring us (what better inspiration than fresh brownies and Wawa lemonade?), but what kept us motivated was the teamwork.
Leading by example was our Ops Chief with a chainsaw in hand, other experienced sawyers leading the way and providing valuable on-the-job training for myself and other junior sawyers. We had some Motor-T ops with our loadmaster at the wheel making it possible to accomplish four times the workload. Our PIO was on scene throwing in some muscle power and projecting us live throughout the world, spreading the word and getting valuable exposure. And all other hands on deck worked tirelessly as a team to complete the task at hand and bring the operation to a close on a strong note. That day, as well as every other day, the question was not, “How much more do we have to do today?” Rather, “How much more can we do today?” No better way to celebrate our nation’s 239th year than with the true defenders of our Freedom and with those who understand Freedom is not Free.
The kinship forged on the battlefield is carried over to disaster field. Although the tasks we accomplished were dangerous, at no time did I consider my life in danger. I had full faith and confidence in whoever was around me was watching my back, just as I returned the favor. Watching each other’s back is the core of what bonds Team Rubicon together in a way most cannot comprehend.
With Team Rubicon, I do not have to pretend to be a civilian, nor do I have to accept mediocrity and self-pity as the SOP. We take the most difficult challenges head on, we kick ass, we adapt, improvise, and we overcome any obstacle that stands in our way of success.
We depend on and support each other, we define our purpose, we save lives, and we make a difference. To borrow the words from President Reagan, “some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world.” The members of Team Rubicon don’t have that problem.