Fatherhood is a lot like the Army in that you’re dirty, shifts can last 24 hours, you’re grumpy before 0700, and who exactly just shit themselves? Luckily, army badass Frederick Edwin Garman came up with a formalized plan, known as the OPORD, or Operational Order. Leaning on this common sense training, I will quickly provide to you my Fatherhood OPORD:
So, you have one or more troops in an isolated environment with barricaded avenues of approach. Or, your kids are in the room with you, and your baby gate(s) is (are) closed. Your goal is to gain an idea of, well, the situation. Knowing where your kids are, knowing the weather, and having a plan is the first step. Now, you need to know what the adjacent force (see: significant other) is doing and how they are doing it. This only works with proper communication. You should develop this ability to communicate efficiently between your two brains before you have the children. Sometimes, that doesn’t work out. Fret not, as every day is a new opportunity to improve upon your skills. Fatherhood doesn’t take a day off and you’re up to the challenge.
The mission is the who, what, when, where, why, and how. You, the dad, are always watching out for the kids, wherever you are, however you can. Planning helps the ‘how’ become easier. Consequently, repetition within the day makes the planning easier. E.g. having breakfast from 0800-0830 every day helps all parties involved know where they will be from 0800-0830 and it’s one less unknown throughout your day. Add those known activities up, and the day is empirically easier.
Commander’s intent states how you are to perform throughout the day, in relation to different aspects. It is up to you to have a positive spin or a negative one. Hint: kids like the positive spin on the day. As far as force protection is concerned, have all of it. Especially if you have Irish-twin boys.
Every great team needs to eat, shit, shower and the men shave (fully optional). Sustaining the team includes foods and drinks, proper clothes for the weather, making sure any equipment is in working order, and maintaining the health of the team cannot be understated. A sick team cannot sustain itself. On top of the obvious food, water, and medicine, moral support can have a marvelous effect on a child’s emotional state. Don’t pass up opportunities to have great bonding moments full of realized epiphanies and emotional guidance.
Command and Control
This is the most important. Where is the commander? Is your significant other like an LT or PL, lost or misplaced? Don’t let that happen by communicating effectively with your teammate. Signal to one another properly and it’s like each of you gained another you. You two cannot let the half “yous” win, so get out there and be the best damn dad you can be! If your kids aren’t crying when you pass, you didn’t do a good enough job. So, get out there and make your kids cry. They’ll love you for it.