The Spartans, 300, and the UCI

  • Published
  • By Col. Ken Stefanek
  • 39th Air Base Wing vice commander
Those of you who saw the movie "300", which is loosely based on Spartan heroics against the Persians during the Battle of Thermopylae, know that the Spartans of Greece lived by a philosophy that stressed the importance of preparing for battle. The legendary Spartan warriors were trained from a young age to fight as a team and to never give up. They trusted their training, their equipment and each other, enabling them to enter any battle confident that they would be successful no matter the odds.

We have spent the last few months preparing for our own battle. Our enemy is non-compliance and in a few days we will show the USAFE inspectors how we have defeated this enemy. Our preparation has been as thorough and, at times, as difficult as that faced by Spartan warriors centuries ago. Instead of shields and spears, we are armed with an in-depth knowledge of our governing instructions and programs that we have scrubbed and re-scrubbed, honing them until they are razor-sharp. We have trained well, and like the Spartans, we must trust each other and should be confident that we will all do our part during our battle.

The evening before the Battle of Thermopylae, the Persian leader Xerxes sent scouts who saw the Spartans doing calisthenics, polishing their weapons, cleaning their uniforms and combing their long hair ... rituals the Spartans performed to prepare for battle. Like the Spartans, it is time for us to prepare for battle by polishing our "weapons," cleaning our uniforms and making sure our hair is tight. Also like the Spartans, who carefully selected the narrow pass at Thermopylae as the place to make their stand, we have selected our battle ground to maximize our strengths. It is now time to execute to perfection as the Spartans did; by doing so we will celebrate a great UCI victory together.