Back in September of 2020, I was with a team of ALERT guys driving back from deployment. At some point the topic of the ALERT brotherhood came up. I had my thoughts as to how ALERT fosters such a close bond between men, but I wanted to see what the guys thought, so I asked them, “What do you think it is that builds camaraderie between ALERT men?” Half of their answer was exactly what I expected: the shared experiences are what brings us together. But then they added a second ingredient that creates strong bonds: a shared purpose.
While young guys are chasing all sorts of different things, and have many different focuses and aspirations, the majority of ALERT men are training here because they want to seek God’s Kingdom. They see their needs for growth in their own life and want God to work in them for His purposes. Those guys saw something I hadn’t identified before, but in the last year and a half I have seen it play out over and over again. While there is camaraderie between all ALERT men because of our shared experiences, the strongest bonds are between men here who share the common purpose of seeking the Kingdom of God.
Captain Phillip Vanderford | Unit 41
ALERT Battalion Commanding Officer