Acknowledgement in All Directions

My father is a retired USAF Colonel, and I spent many of my childhood years living on the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. Growing up in the military environment, I soon learned that a soldier or sailor (or child) who receives a verbal order from an officer must repeat it immediately, often word for word, to acknowledge that he or she received it accurately. This especially holds true for the Navy, as you may have noticed in war movies like Battleship and Crimson Tide. While this practice may make for some dramatic moments on the silver screen, that's hardly its purpose. The military developed this particular Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for a simple and sobering reason: If a poorly relayed message results in the wrong action taken, the results can literally prove … [Read more...]