Are You On Radio Silence?

Remember the days of radio discipline and communications? You may not be carrying around a radio as a student, but are you operating on radio silence as a student?  Are you just receiving? Does the person transmitting know you “copy that”?

When we leave the military service we slowly move from a two-way “Over and Out” and “Roger That” form of communication to a one-way reception only style. Every day communications from the Department of Veteran Affairs, faculty, staff, even your STRIPES-VUB staff are sent out over the airwaves. Sometimes we get a response but often the person receiving is waiting until they are at a “mayday” level of frustration before they transmit back. We’ve still got your six and we will send the support you need. However, just imagine the time and frustration that could be saved if your ground and air support got a “wilco” or “say again your last” transmission from you. We can’t help you if we don’t know there’s an issue.

A few days ago a veteran came into our offices mad and ready to quit. The veteran had lost their temper at several university staff in other departments trying to get answers. By the end of the day the problem was resolved and the veteran is still on a pathway to success as a student. The source of the problem came down to lack of two-way communication. The department staff member misunderstand and the veteran had an unrealistic expectation. When we reviewed our correspondence with the veteran, at least 3 communications had been transmitted with radio silence from the veteran. They waited for a mayday situation to finally transmit back to us.

Here is what I ask you. What are you doing to ensure you are transmitting a “roger that” to the messages you receive as a student? How are you transmitting when you do not understand? Are you waiting until you need a “mayday” transmission? As a student it is critical that you continue your military communication and discipline training into your new student world. Your phone, laptop, email are all two-way communication devices, make sure you are effectively using that tool and you are on the right channel. Is that a solid copy?