It all started in the previous millennium, there on the beginning of the ‘90s there was a young man that was just torn up from his civilian life, and recruited into a war machine - the army.
That young man was me, and I was back then working in a software company after finishing high school (and during, but that’s for another story), I had extremely good grades, a girlfriend and the world at my feet with its endless possibilities.
Recruitment wasn’t a real surprise, as I knew it was coming, as it was (and still is) mandated in Israel, where I was born and lived in back then. Not only it wasn’t a surprise, but there was also some part of me that actually wanted that to happen already. The thoughts of being part of something bigger than myself, protecting my homeland and having power to change, were all running in my head for months.
When that day actually came, I got my order (for the Artillery branch), my uniform, my first rifle and a load of other equipment, I was ready! Or so I thought…
Going from a civilian mindset with complete control of my life to a rookie/private with zero control on literally anything, was something no one can really prepare you to, it’s not only no one knows about who you’ve been before, but it’s also completely not relevant as it’s a whole new game, and in that game you are that little piece on the chessboard that mostly being moved forward only to be sacrificed for the longer game - my spirit and motivation were pushed off a cliff.
Hours became days and months, and eventually after almost 4 months of training, our teams have landed in the next training into the heavy self propelled artillery in various roles. In such a heavy machine, which looks like a bloated tank with 2 tons of a barrel, you can be anything all the way from a commander down to well.. The driver. The soldiers that were “lucky” enough to get that role, were mostly the ones that are more problematic, less motivated, and no one wanted them to interact too much with the team. And yes, you guessed right - I was landing straight into that driver seat.
The driver of an artillery team sits at the front in his own little boxed space, while the rest of the team seats in one bigger boxed space, the whole thing is really cramped, but the bottom line is that not only you are unmotivated, now you are also isolated.
Not only I was in a poor role, I also had a commander that was just doing everything wrong, not representative, not appreciated, commanding from authority only with no respect, and on top of everything, many times he even forgot I existed as I was in that separate space, so if there ever was a break in the hot training are in the desert (think about temperature 120F), I mostly didn’t even know about it.
One day, everything changed, we were training at night, I was opening my hatch and looking at the stars, searching for a sign, that commander was completely losing it, and started shouting all over the place and on anyone. Since it was an army night training were you supposed to be extremely quiet, his voice just echoed all over that valley, and that was it!
At that specific moment, I’ve decided, I’m going to be a commander, and I will do it right, I will make my team proud, not embarrassed, and on the way also protect their lives.
That one thing that I’ve had turned off for months, just popped back on - my motivation!
In just a few months I became an excellent soldier, recommended for a commander training, and after a few more months I became a team commander. It took a similar amount of time, but those months were running fast, as I had a mission!
When I got my first team, I was extremely happy, after a short time we became very close, almost like a second family, and the one that benefited from it the most was indeed my driver. He had many issues with the previous commander, and many issues at home with his family, but not only I made sure that he’ll be unseparated from the team, we also had long conversations , and we fought quite a few battles together, external and internal. Most of our sessions were taken under the open skies at night. This wonderful team, and particularly this amazing human being, was practically my first coachee, and without even noticing it, at a young age and under a very risky and active military service, I became a coach.