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Marching On!

With appointments being announced today, thought I would share excerpts from a book I am writing, still in its unedited form, the undergirding message being that LOVE always LEADS!


We were to experience a few of our own firsts on this trip. The memory is like yesterday, sitting in the Opera House balcony, surrounded by starry, wide-eyed kids watching and listening as the cadets received their first appointments. While attempting to shush up one of the teens, I thought I heard the Territorial Commander say to the next cadet couple in line, “…I’m appointing you to Flagstaff, Arizona as the Corps Officers.”

Looking at Doris questioningly, she was staring back at me wide-eyed, eyebrows raised with mouth frozen open. The kids looked at both of us disbelievingly as two of the older girls burst into tears, signaling the rest to follow. Pandemonium broke out in our little corner of the balcony. After carefully checking with some comrades-in-arms around us, it was clarified that we really did hear what we heard.

And so it was that we received our first set of “Marching Orders,” blindsided, roundabout, innovative, very public and extremely effective as an attention getter. Oh yes, it did get our undivided attention! Now that I have yours, read on.


Back at the office, exhausted, contemplating What next? When the telephone begins to ring rather suspiciously. I lift the receiver, hesitatingly, and a voice on the other end says, “Captain Noland, the Territorial Commander would like to see you in his office at 11 AM sharp,” and then “the voice” hangs up rather abruptly. Staring out into space, I shakily replace the phone back in its cradle. I've never ever been summoned by the TC. I’ve hardly ever spoken to the TC. I've never even been on that hallowed floor at THQ. My Lord! What have I done!

Nervously, I step into the inner sanctum. The TC, Commissioner Paul Kaiser, comes out from behind the desk, greeting me with a handshake saying, “Joe, so good to see you!” #really? #joe? #bosumbuddies. And to my surprise, standing next to him is the Chief Secretary, Colonel Harold Barry, who greets me likewise #dumbfounded #chiefsecretariesarescary.

The only thing I can clearly remember from all that followed is, “We've decided to appoint you as the Territorial Youth and Candidates Secretary” #everythingsablur. I seem to recall, through the blur, that the musical/drama productions and Sunday School Visitation Campaign played into the rationale behind this avant-guard appointment.

We had never been Divisional Youth Secretaries. We were Captains following a Colonel into that position. In those days it was considered a reserve appointment, meaning that The General had to approve it. This was pre Cabinet days where the TYS served as a department head directly under the scary CS. And my offices were on the same floor as the inner sanctum. Phew!

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