Punctuality is defined as “the habit of making appointed times.” Within the law enforcement profession, punctuality is a trait that is very valuable. Equal in value is the ability to be prepared in everything you do, large or small. In the following essay I will discuss the importance of punctuality, the importance of being properly prepared and how it relates to your personal and professional life. I will also discuss the ramifications a failure in either of these areas will have on my Academy classmates and my future co-workers at the Agawam Police Department.
When I think of someone that is very punctual, I immediately think of those in military and para-military organizations. As a soldier there have been more than a few occasions that required me to be exact with my timing. For if I had failed to maintain a sense of punctuality about me, people could have been injured and the mission would have suffered. I remember one such instance while training at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, CA. I was an automatic rifleman in a mechanized infantry platoon. We were informed that the Oppositional Forces Brigade was planning to conduct an attack on our seriously depleted Battalion within the next 24 hours. We were given information regarding the most likely route they would take and told that we have to pick a point along that route to ambush the enemy in order to allow for the rest of the Battalion to conduct retrograde operations. My platoon leader briefed the platoon on the specifics of the mission and we began our 8 hour movement to a staging point. We were to be in place for an ambush no later than 1p.m. of that day. We established our ambush point on a hilltop just before 12:30p.m. There we were 2 Bradley fighting vehicles (2 broke down during the movement) and one squad of dismounted infantry versus approximately 65 vehicles. At exactly 1:00p.m., one of the Bradley Fighting Vehicles spotted the enemy forces convoy in the distance. Their movement formation was enormous. My platoon leader utilized his college educated brain and had the Bradley Fighting Vehicles set-up on two separate hills. Their goal was to make the enemy believe that they were not two, but at least 4 Bradley’s. Meanwhile, the infantry dismounts established anti-tank firing points about 200 meters away from the Bradley’s. We spread ourselves thin in order to make the enemy believe we were a much larger element. Contact with the enemy was initiated by the Bradley’s. One would fire, then while it was repositioning itself on the other side of it hill, the other would fire and do the same. This went on like that for about 30 minutes. The whole enemy formation was stopped cold in its tracks. While the Bradley’s occupied the heavy enemy vehicles, the dismounted infantry attacked the lightly armored vehicles. In the end, we held the vehicles off for over 45minutes, killed about a platoon’s worth of personnel and vehicles, all of us “died”, and in true Audie Murphy fashion, I killed a tank by myself. If we had not been punctual and gotten to our ambush site on time, we would have missed the opportunity to sacrifice ourselves for the unit. That day, our actions provided the unit with the time it needed to consolidate its forces and successfully defend the area it was operating in. My platoons’ ability to engage with the enemy at the prescribed time was directly correlated to the success of the Battalion. Had my platoon leader disregarded the order to be at a specific location at the prescribed time, the whole Battalion would have failed. His actions could have also be view as undermining the authority of his superiors. In another instance regarding punctuality, I submitted an application for an Active Guard/Reserve (AGR) CERFP (CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Package) Operations Officer position in Reading, MA. I studied everything that I could get my hands on regarding the mission of the CERFP, its history, training, and the...
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