DVIDS – News – Fort McCoy Garrison Commander: The Jeep Wave

BY COL.Stephen T. Messenger
Commander, Fort McCoy Garrison

If you look closely on the road, Jeep owners are always waving to each other. Called the Jeep Wave, this gesture is a way to build friendships between brands and foster a sense of community.

It comes from World War II, when soldiers in jeeps waved to each other instead of saluting to prevent enemy spies from identifying their officers. After the war, many veterans bought Jeeps. This wave has become a way of recognizing fellow veterans and acknowledging their service.

to shake or not to shake
Well, I’m originally from Philadelphia. If someone waves from the car, it’s one finger.

But as I drove through Fort McCoy, a small army installation nestled in a rural town, I saw more people than I expected waving or using all their fingers as they passed. rice field. This is a gesture of Wisconsin friendliness, a jeep or no jeep.

Well, when in Rome… I found myself waving and laughing at every car that passed the installation. Anyway, as a commander, most people are starting to get to know my vehicles. I got a return wave of about 60% and it feels good to somehow connect with the hardworking Americans I pass by.

no waves
On one of my previous missions, a high-ranking visitor in the chain of command arrived. Each section leader was to guide this gentleman into his space and introduce him to everyone. I did some mental rehearsals, knew what I was going to say about each person, and was ready.

Upon arrival, to my surprise, he barely stopped to greet anyone. He passed quickly with a rough greeting and kept moving. The team wasn’t devastated, but it certainly made headlines for this guy to be perceived as not caring about people in the formation.

Of course, this leader cared about his men, but his actions that day did not show it. I’m sure he was either distracted, in a hurry, or just didn’t have enough time, but nobody knows this at this point.

hands-free time
This got me thinking: How many times will I miss a wave? As a leader and peer, how many times have you walked past someone without acknowledging their presence? How many times have I been the topic of conversation about how my boss walked by without saying a word?

This is hard. I have over 500 people working for her installation and hundreds of others who make our organization possible on a daily basis. And as hard as I try, it’s almost impossible to stop and have a conversation with each person while being productive all day long.

how to wave to everyone
The Jeep brand has it right. The CEO of the Jeep now owned by Stellantis doesn’t have to wave to everyone every day. Instead, Jeep has developed a culture with a mission to connect all Jeep owners with each other.

They ride around and band together spiritually in their realm. It’s not just CEOs who build brands of inclusivity and camaraderie, everyone has an obligation to connect with each other.
I can’t wait for the CEO to do this. We have to do it within our reach.

We leaders, along with everyone in our organization, must strive to connect with the people we work with every day. The whole team is lifted when the entire organization builds bridges and emphasizes lifting each other up with a wave of pure gratitude for meeting the other and a simple passing.

mccoy wave
I now wave and smile at every passing car. I always have to be somewhere, so I often fail. But these little gestures that everyone does go a long way in building organizational culture.

The jeep wave is a metaphor for connection, extending out the windshield. Leaders need to foster an environment that connects with their subordinates and continuously improves their relationships with each other. we will be stronger together.

The next time you see someone on the move, in the office, or at an organization passing by, we encourage you to simply connect with a wave, a smile, or a simple conversation.

Build a culture of caring for each other, no matter how small the gesture.

Small waves go far.

Acquired data: 2023.01.26
Posted on: 2023.01.26 11:19
Story ID: 437274
position: Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, USA

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