What Military Units Can Learn From The Rules And Suggestions Of My Local Animal Shelter

The Long March

I recently signed up to volunteer at my local animal shelter. Their rules of behavior stuck me as pretty generally applicable to any organization, but perhaps especially to small military units.

Here are some of them.


  • Take responsibility for keeping yourself, coworkers, volunteers, visitors and animals safe.
  • Become adept at reading animal behavior to make sound, safe handling decisions.
  • Recognize each animal is an individual and should be treated as such. Avoid stereotypes and generalizations about breed, type, etc.
  • Be part of creating and maintaining a culture of safety, even when you're in a hurry.
  • Know your own limitations and seek help when needed.
  • Bring safety concerns to the attention of your supervisor.
  • Practice "we" thinking. We achieve goals together or not at all.
  • Lead by example.
  • Set each other up for success by sharing information, helping each other and keeping workspaces organized and stocked with supplies.
  • Share information that affects others with them in a timely manner.
  • Take time to listen and understand before responding.

(Hey, that last one might even apply to our comments section.)

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