Adaptability: A Military Lesson and Core Value

The state of Georgia has the fifth largest military population in the United States. Because of Robins Air Force Base, our region is a temporary home to many active-duty military and their families as well as veterans who have chosen to make this region a more permanent home.

This Friday, November 11, will mark my ninth Veterans Day at Middle Georgia State University. During this time, I have witnessed first-hand the richness that veterans and military family members bring to our campus and our surrounding communities. Because of their diverse backgrounds and experiences, they serve as an example for one of MGA’s core values, adaptability.

Being adaptable means we are able to adjust in order to successfully deal with new situations. At MGA, our core value of adaptability requires “us to lead and manage change — not be simply affected by it.” Throughout history, change has occurred, but the pace of change is accelerating due to technology. How we view disruption will likely determine our success, individually and as a university. Do we fear it and avoid it, or do we fear it, educate ourselves, and embrace the opportunities that come with change?

Thankfully, in higher education the stakes are not as high as those faced by our military servicemembers, but we can find inspiration in their courage during times of uncertainty. Ancient historian, Thucydides, wrote “History of the Peloponnesian War” and is credited with the quote:

“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.”

This Veterans Day we will gather at the World War I Memorial on Coleman Hill to honor military servicemembers throughout centuries who have faced uncertainty, evaluated risks, and still took action to do what needed to be done. I invite you to join me in paying tribute to those that answered this call to serve.

With gratitude,