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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Very Special Request Chit

Let's get real. This is going to be heavy. What I want to do is demonstrate how what you believe (faith, morals, etc.) impacts how you lead. I would love to hear from some of you on this decision, no matter what level you lead from. Which box would you check - approve or disapprove?

The story goes:

There I was, just hanging out in the deck office on the ship chopping awards, evals, and special request chits. For those not familiar, in the military a special request chit is submitted to your chain of command for any unusual personal reason or circumstance that requires permission. Examples for their use range from the command sponsoring your dependent overseas to getting married. On this particular day a uniquely vague chit came across my desk. Chief had mentioned that he wanted to talk to me about it later, from what I recall, but I wanted to clear out the inbox and thought I would take a look at it. The request was from Bm3 Smith (one of my best young Sailors). The comment section of the chit simply requested to have a day of work off for "personal business" in about three weeks. "Personal business" seemed a bit general, but she works hard and it was almost an easy check in the "approved" box before passing it onto the out box pile. Just so happens about that time I heard a few Sailors walking down the p-way outside the office returning to the Bos'n locker from the Messdecks - BM3 was amongst them. So, I poked my head out the door and said, "BM3, got a minute? I was just looking at your special request chit." She came in the office and took a seat. I asked her how she was doing. We made small talk, then I simply asked what kind of personal business she was planning to do in a few weeks. She said, "It's a long story, Sir." "Help me, Lord," I prayed as the GQ alarm sounded internally. Whenever you hear that from a Sailor you had better listen (and pray). So, I said "I've got the time I'd love to hear it?"

To be continued (almost time for quarters) . . .

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