Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Year That Has Stuck With Me

It has been seven years since I spent a year at the Pentagon, but I was reminded yesterday how much that year has stuck with me. I was talking to a colleague and I said I would "ping" someone. This is a term I picked up from the folks in the pit (office space) I shared in 2001-2002. To ping someone is to send a message and hope to get a response, as in using sonar to send out a sound and then when the wave of sound its something, you get a return sound.

How else has that year affected me?
  • I use the word "sir" far more often than I used to do so. Of course, using it once a year would be far more often.
  • I will occasionally complement a student or my daughter by saying "very professional!"
  • I have a knee jerk response whenever anyone refers to the US Dept. of Defense or the Pentagon when they really mean the Secretary of Defense. This is less severe with Gates than it was when Rumsfeld was still screwing everything up.
  • I still occasionally say "we" when referring to US military guys.
  • And, of course, my current research agenda on NATO and civil-military relations directly flows from some of the things I saw and experienced during that year.
I will probably be revising this list as more lingering effects come to mind.

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