Max Flex teaches you that most plans often have parts that seem to always go wrong. When they occur, you should have backup plans to go another route to get the job done.
A scenario helps to explain this. As a Cpl and at the time a section commander in the infantry, (which these days is now commanded by a Sergeant,) you are given the task to advance and make contact. You expect the enemy to be in position X. They are on the move and should arrive at such and such a time, and will get settled in waiting for you to attack.
But en-route information comes your way and you plan to use this to your benefit. You decide, using Max Flex, to catch them on the move... an easier target. You decide to circle around and sneak up at their backs and then start the battle which would give you an advantage. Doing the circling, you camouflage your position and allow them to pass.. and then start the battle BEFORE they have time to dig in and prepare for battle. The outcome now is hopefully a much better scenario in your favour.
Because you used Max Flex!
Now that I have trained you on Max Flex, and before you head off to war, I must tell you that my plan for today's blog, now several days late, has to be put on hold. This is so that I can bring you the first of three recent news items that I think you would will find most interesting and would like to hear about.
So, using max flex, that's what I will bring you now. On Sunday next, I will bring you probably the 2nd and third of these updates and the following week I will return to the story originally planned for today.
So here we go with story number 1...
In early August, news releases reminded us that Purple Heart (PH) Day was coming up on August 7th. It was on that date back 238 years ago that General George Washington signed the order that created what he called the... "Badge of Military Merit.
This badge took the form of a purple piece of clothe, hand stitched and containing the word MERIT. The clothe was purple in colour. It was only awarded to three, and some now say 6 soldiers. But I believe a handful of others, including one soldier from Montreal may have also been so awarded. The Montreal soldier's documentation seems to suggest that he too, was a Badge of Military Merit recipient.
The Washington order had three provisions. The first two dealt with what the famous General called "service strips" of clothe to be worn on the sleeve for varying lengths of service. Today these service strips have become known as service stripes and are very much still in use, and have been since the days of Washington. But the Badge of Military Merit fell out of use after the Revolutionary War.
So we can see that out of the three badges, two have been in use continuously and the third disappeared.
Yet most articles mentioning the Purple Heart say it is the oldest medal in continuous use. Truth be told it was the junior of the three in the Washington order and was the only one that in fact was NO LONGER IN USE, and remained so until WWll, when recreated as the Purple Heart and backdated to some actions in WWl.
There are at least 3 stories of being the first to get the Purple Heart when created by an Order in 1942. The first being General MacArthur whose efforts after others earlier tried, were more successful in getting the medal created.
He claimed, and was/is supported in most stories on the subject, to be the first to get the Medal. This in fact is not the whole story.
Whilst probably the first to be so presented with the medal, it was the second in line, by date of action. And that recipient was a nurse, a woman nurse who lost and eye when the German's bombed the hospital she was working in back in WW1. Her medal predated MacArthur's, and her story has been featured here a number of times in this space. She was not even American, but Canadian and from PEI.
Use the search engine in upper right to pull up numerous mentions of her work. Search for her by name... Beatrice MacDonald.
I believe MacArthur got a Purple Heart for actions also in the Philippines. But again this was after the MacDonald action.
A 3rd claim of being the first has found a home on the internet. It has the story about a female nurse by the name of Major Annie Fox being the first recipient. Her actions occurred during the bombing of Pearl Harbour in October 1942.
Beatrice MacDonald's actions happened on 4 Jan., 1936. more than 6 1/2 years earlier.
See you with the 2nd story on Sunday next.