Monday, November 1, 2010

Council of Colonels - Our Tribal Elders

The PSYOP Council of Colonels (COC) is an informal body composed of the Commanders of the PSYOP, now Military Information Support Troop Units: 2nd PSYOP Group, 4th Military Information Support Group, 7th PSYOP Group and the Joint Information Support Command (JMISC).

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The COC is supposed to be the place where troop unit CDR address topics of mutual interest and share thoughts to serve the community. In recent years the COC has brought in outside speakers when they felt it would be helpful.
As is often the case with informal groups, progress can sometimes be personality dependent and at times, individuals put their personal agendas and goals over the good of the community. This was reportedly the case at the most recent COC held at Fort Bragg on Tuesday 26 October prior to Regimental Week.

On Friday, October 28, 2010 I had breakfast with another retired senior PSYOP leader. He described the process that worked while he was a part of the COC. I’m highlighting that process here in hopes that members of the COC and their staffs might take a look at it, and consider adopting it or some alternatives that would insure a more harmonious, progressive and collegial environment for the COC going forward.

The COC is more important today than ever before. Not just because the force is under tremendous pressure and the challenge of encroachment by IO, but because we simply do not have a single chain of command and the COC is now the ‘brain’ of the regiment.

Setting: Meetings are held in ‘neutral’ venues and cities.
Frequency: Meetings are held on a quarterly basis.
Time Frame: Meetings should start with a dinner on Friday night, continue all day Saturday and conclude with a dinner designed to tie up loose ends and insure the way forward. An optional breakfast could be held Sunday morning before everyone departed.
Uniform: Civilian Clothes

Based on my own personal experience, it makes sense to invite the Honorary Colonel of the Regiment (HCOR) to at least one meeting a year, even if he/she is a non-voting member. This insures continuity and the HCOR might be able to provide a neutral and or historical perspective when appropriate.
Hopefully the COC will continue to serve the good of the whole Regiment as we move ahead.

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