Scoutmaster Minute for Troop 14, September 26, 2006
You’ve probably heard the phrase “rank has its privileges.” That means the Patrol Leader can pick the best spot for his tent, is first in line for dinner, and gets to tell people what to do, right?
A friend of mine was in the Marine Corps, and has a story about this that has a different angle.
You are an officer eating with your unit, and they bring out a bowl of apples. There is one apple per person, because this is the military. One of the apples is bruised. Which one do you pick?
According to Dave, if you pick a good apple, you are not fit to lead in the Marine Corps. When you choose that, you are giving a bad apple to one of your Marines, and that means they will not be at their best. If they are not at their best, they might die, and they are your responsibility. Not giving them enough food is like not giving them enough bullets.
We aren’t Marines, but we are leaders. When you are leading, you might find that your tent goes up last, because you are helping a Tenderfoot get his tent set up snug and dry. You might spend a lot of time on the phone, making sure your guys know what is happening. You might be last in line for food and first in line to clean the pots. You might find that your privilege is to serve, like it is my privilege to serve you.
Take the bruised apple.