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Hold the rope

By MSgt. Scott Wean, USMC | Naval Consolidated Brig, Charleston | May 13, 2016

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. — Years ago, I heard a quote that has stayed with me throughout my career. I can't remember the author's name but I'm sure his words have been in numerous inspirational speeches.  The piece is titled, "Hold the Rope."

"Hold the rope. On every team no matter what sport, game, occupation or gathering there is that one person. This person is not distracted by outside interference and always focuses on their task. When times are tough, he is tougher. It doesn't matter to him who you are, what you are or where you are, he is there. Look around and find that one person who, if you were hanging off a cliff by a rope, would always be there for you. Holding the rope and never letting go. That's the teammate you want."

As service members, we often overlook this one person to focus on the one percent who will always find a way to ruin a weekend by violating the UCMJ. What if we in the military spent more time encouraging the rope holders? Do we even recognize these individuals in our units? Could that be our problem?

General Krulak once said, "People of integrity are sound, reliable and consistent whether they are at work or on leave, in the field or in town, in front of others or by themselves."  This is another way to describe the rope holders of our commands.

At the end of the day, when all has gone quiet, I challenge everyone to look into the mirror. Look deep into the eyes of the person in front of you and evaluate that person. Ask yourself, did I do all I could do today? Did I live the life I am supposed to lead?  Did I push, did I hit, did I run, did I think, did I work, did I care.........did I hold the rope?

If the answer is no, then get back at it. There may be someone depending on you! Go become the person your family, unit, community and country needs you to be.