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I visited the Czechoslovakian border during the Cold War, when the 7th Armored Cavalry Regiment was responsible to monitor a likely means of invasion into Germany. The 7th ACR maintained a Quick Reaction Force to respond to any incidents or aggression. The QRF had 15 minutes to be in place. I also spent some time on the DMZ in Korea, an area which continues to be tense. I watched an unscheduled drill; border guards came running to their positions, some half-dressed, but ready to defend their area of responsibility. My first Army assignment was with a Military Police battalion where I learned the definition of law enforcement: “hours of boredom interrupted by moments of terror.” Readiness is not an option—it is absolutely essential.

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