PaintballX3 Magazine 2012 Oklahoma D-Day Special Edition - Page 117

haven't looked back, since. I became the Commanding Officer in 2005, when Jim Blakely couldn't make it to OK D-Day. I also wanted to give the troops something to make them a bit more cohesive, recognizable and to enhance their paintball experience. I quickly rearranged the rank structure to follow the Commonwealth rank structure of WWII, introduced affordable DPM uniforms and rank patches and a little bling for the parade, including a Pipe and Drum band. We also changed our name to the Commonwealth Expeditionary Force. This was also the first year of the High Tea that I put on for the Allied officers. In later years, we introduced CEF t-shirts, three different ballcaps, Polos, Hoodies, coozies, sandannas, key rings, wristbands, lanyards, laser etched glassware, insulated travel mugs, aluminum sport bottles, bumper stickers and decals. Commanding the CEF is extremely challenging. Any player in a position of authority over even a small group of other paintball players will tell you it's a hard job. I've sometimes heard it being referred to as trying to herd cats. Now multiply that by 50 times. Commanding a group, like the CEF at OK D-Day or globally, is like having another full time job. But, I learned a long time ago, I couldn't do it by myself. Along the way, I've been blessed to recruit some very talented leaders. Without their help, the CEF would be just another large group of paintballers. One of the rules in the CEF, is that any player in a position of authority is personally responsible for the safety and security of the troops under them. They must also ensure that these troops have the most fun that is humanly possible. That means that I have the least amount of fun. The ranks and responsibilities of these leaders isn't given lightly. Each of these men and women have earned their position through their attitudes, actions, and a willingness to lead. Although we are not the military, these ranks and positions have real weight and a military style chain of command is well used. The CEF also has a full battle staff, from S-1 to S-9. We have been dubbed the “Maroon Goons” by our opponents and we kind of like that. At any one event, a CEF member may volunteer to be in command and will simply become the “Lead Goon” for that event.