Sunday, May 30, 2010

Old

I am over 50 and have spend my entire adult life in the US Army, police and private security. As a manager / supervisor most of that time I have worked with security guards as young as 18 and as old at their mid 80's.

One officer who was nearly 70 was just too old to do the job. We were using assault rifles and he had never used long guns before. Despite attending the 24 hour training class, twice, he was just not picking it up. We also did personalized training both before each of the classes and after, using several different instructors. He simply would get flustered and forget the magazine release or safety or how to charge the weapon. I had to tell him that it was not working and that it was time to retire.

He took it with good grace and he said he understood that at some time the time will come for any of use to take off the shield and hang up the gun belt. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do in my career. He had made tremendous contributions to the organization and was well liked. For his last couple years, most of us were aware of his decline and were going the extra mile to help him out. Despite his diminishing performance we all believed him an asset rather than a liability. When he got to where he could not longer employ his weapons, be knew it was time for him to go, it was just unsafe for him and us.

We all liked him and respected that he was able to accept our advice to retire. Eventually, it will just be time to go do something less demanding. Something that does not get people hurt if you make a mistake; that's what the SGT Says.

4 comments:

Bob G. said...

Sarge:
Something (else) we have in common...
I'm on the "high" side of 50, and I know ALL TOO WELL about the "change" in one's limitations.

I'm certainly NOT 25 anymore (or that invincible, as we all felt back then...lol),and it IS frustrating to have to become limited in some manner (like maybe NOT going up on the roof to clear those branches by oneself).

What we, as the "more seasoned" (I refuse to say "old) members have to realize, is that we might have to ADAPT how we do some things...and even stop doing others, in the interest of our OWN safety (as well as everyone around us).
You nailed it.
We also have to rely on repitition to keep our skills honed more than the "young'uns" of today.

Have a great Memorial Day.

Stay safe ouit there.

Bunkermeister said...

The older I get, the better I was.

Bob G. said...

ROFLMAO...I GOTTA remember that one!

Protect_and_Serve said...

I turned 40 last week.

To paraphrase Robert Duvall in the movie COLORS: "Hey Dad let's run down this hill and get one of those cows. No Son, let's walk down the hill and get them all."

Work smarter, not harder.