Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Writing Lessons From Classified Briefings

What I'm doing here in Hawai'i is running the Sustainment cell of MARFORPAC's Crisis Action Team that is participating in a KTO exercise.

(Definition time:
Sustainment= Everything that goes into maintaining a military force engaged in combat operations.
MARFORPAC= Short version on Marine Forces Pacific, the headquarters of all of the Marine Corps forces in the Pacific ocean area.
Crisis Action Team= A room full of Marines that track a bunch of information fed up to us from subordinate units.
KTO= Korean Theatre of Operations, basically the Korean penninsula and all areas around it.)

My main job is to gather up all the important info and provide the commanding general with a briefing regarding our cell. I try to be brief. Some people do not try to be brief. This is annoying.

My writing lesson from this is to say what you need to say and then stop writing. You really run the risk of causing your audience to lose interest, shuffle through the other papers on the desk, and start checking their watches. As a writer you are looking for different reactions than that.

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