The Terminal Lance strip above caught my eye a while back and it is absolutely on point. Among the many misused and abused mantras bellowed at subordinate Marines, one that really makes me want to commit acts of violence against Staff NCOs is: “Message to Garcia son! It’s Message to Garcia time!”
Unfortunately, leaders who regularly use this term to berate troops rarely take the time to teach them what it refers to. I suspect they may not even know themselves. The “message” has turned into a convenient expletive to flame hapless lance corporals without ever taking the time to instruct them on what the heck it means. I find this kind of ironic really, especially since Colonel Andrew Rowan is the hero of the tale. He received the Distinguished Service Cross for his efforts in Cuba during the Spanish-American War.
To “take a message to Garcia” is to take initiative and get the job done despite any obstacles. It’s about refusing to accept no for an answer and not making excuses. It means to take action and seek responsibility.
I suspect if leaders who shout “Message to Garcia!” on a regular basis actually used that time to teach what the story is about, the Corps would be that much better.
Those with a bias for action can read Message To Garcia here. It’ll take a whole fifteen minutes out of your day and your life will be all the better for it.