Although I never served with a Forward Air Controller (FAC) because I was usually at the battalion level, we always knew who they were. The FAC was the privileged officer who looked lost and confused in the field usually in a fresh uniform. Only a few months before they were living the easy life of a Marine Corps pilot, enjoying the finer things in life like thread-count sheets and gourmet soap bars. Myself and my Marines? Oh, just marinating in our own, all-natural insect repellent from sweat and despair.
Although the Marine Corps was founded in 1775, I still believe it to be the original start-up. Simply put Marines are overworked, underpaid, sleepless nights, constantly forced to adapt or pivot and the organization never has enough money, so how is that not different than say startup?
I believe the Marine Corps can teach valuable lessons to the business community. An excellent example of this would be During World War II in the Pacific campaign, the Marines began embedding pilots (Forward Air Controllers, FAC) with infantry (grunts) units for close air support. In civilian terms, close air support is when a platoon is trapped by enemy fire, and they need a bomb delivered to the enemy location. Oftentimes this happens seamlessly in any Hollywood film. Grunts are great at pulling triggers, but now you want them to stop shooting and have a conversation with a pilot in the air about the grid coordinates of the enemy position, seems a little high-stress. Hence, the Marines invented the FAC. Who better than someone who can feel the immediate needs of the grunt unit (they are under fire), and the ability not only to speak the language of the pilot but, having been a pilot, also knows the ability of the plane and what is capable.
Thanks for the military history lesson… so what does this have to do with tech? As I embark I embark on the next stage of my career journey… While not universally true, it’s striking how much influence many coders wield nowadays, often exceeding their designated coding tasks. I have seen project managers scared of developers, developers who get their delicate egos hurt. I have witnessed stand-ups in the form of Agile, Scrum, and Waterfall, four days a week using Jira/Kanban boards. Only to see the lead developer’s inability to explain to the absentee product owner why a three-month project took over a year and two months. $154,000 (estimate) dollars in labor costs and 11 months wasted. Ultimately missed targets or even worse friendly fire
From intricate web development to Camp Fallujah, my unique journey reflects a commitment to excellence in both realms. Let’s discuss how I can bring my unique skills to your team—reach out via email or view my detailed resume here.