As part of my search for a new career, the woman I’m working with has asked me to complete an exercise to identify my “transferrable skills”. In order to do this, I’m to write seven stories from my life that will (hopefully!) make those skills clear and obvious. So sit back and enjoy the stories; I’m sure you’ll learn something new about me.
Part of my initial training in the Air Force, after completing Officer Training School, was to attend a month-long Air & Space Basic Course. The notion behind ASBC was to help each functional Air Force Officer (I had been tagged for Finance Management) understand what other functional officers (pilots, navigators, etc.) did for a living. Near the end of this Course each team of officers competed against others in a series of war games. One of the “games” was an Air Force adaptation of the then-popular video game Starcraft.
The idea was relatively simple: Each team faced off against another team in an online virtual round-robin tournament. The further you advanced in the tournament, the more points your team accumulated towards the Top Flight prize. Ostensibly you used Air Force doctrine and training in the game to advance your team.
I was assigned the role of “Logistician” which, in the context of this game, meant I was responsible for the dinky building, mining, & repair robots no one really cared about once the game got going. Other guys and gals got to pilot the big warships. But not me. So after we drew up our game plan it was time to hit it. Our team actually did quite well, until we got to the final round. Suddenly we were up against a team that knew what they were doing, and they dismantled us. Each of our attacks against their base was repelled and we were losing ships faster than we could replace them. All the while I was mining ore, repairing our facilities which were damaged by their counter-attacks, and generally having a miserable time watching us lose the championship game.
Finally I had enough of our bungling and (though it wasn’t pretty) I took control of our entire team…or what little remained of it. I told the fighter pilots to stop their disorganized attacks and to pitch every ship we had at one flank of the enemy base. This drew the opponents’ attention away from their real vulnerability: Their logisticians.
You see, while the dinky robots were hardly glamorous and would never get anyone laid, they were the only craft in the game capable of repairing anything. Once a ship was damaged it continued to burn until it was destroyed, unless it could be repaired by a logistician.
So while our enemies were distracted by, and actually crushing, our final attack, I sent all but one of my logisticians into the heart of their base and attacked and destroyed every single one of their logisticians. I also destroyed their manufacturing plants so they couldn’t build any more of anything. Then, making sure my single logistician stayed hidden (thus giving us the last-man-standing victory we needed to claim the championship) my dinky little robots s-l-o-w-l-y and methodically destroyed every remaining facility at the enemy base. While our attacking ships were completely wiped out in the diversionary attack, they did enough damage to the enemy force that they couldn’t hunt down and destroy my logisticians before self-destructing from the battle damage they’d taken.
Chalk one up for the little guys.
My lowly logisticians and I, after sitting through most of the day playing the supporting role, ended up winning top honors for our flight in the War Games. 😀