Precise Writing — Life-changing Call to Action
Once Upon A Time – No, wait! This is a TRUE story!
Precise, powerful writing was paramount from my earliest assignments (writing/delivering daily briefings to the Director, NSA) and throughout my career.
Three underlying themes: Love—of God, country, and family—an unquelled desire to help people—and a passion for precise, persuasive writing.
Carla D. Bass, Colonel, USAF (Ret) – 30 years active duty
a.k.a. “Young Girl Achieves Her Dream: Air Force Career, Wife, Mother, and now Author”
Family—unabashedly patriotic: Father served 30 years USAF active duty; mother was quintessential military wife—strong, determined, self-reliant. She had to be—husband was absent on military duty total of 6 of the 30 years (two tours in Vietnam war, among other duties).
Heroes and primary influences: Her mom, dad, John Wayne, and Bob Hope
Parents’ philosophies: Drummed into their children 1)”There is no such word as can’t!” and “Shoot for the stars—set your goals high and go get them!”
Prized possession [to this very day]: Photo autographed by John Wayne, “To Carla, good luck … John Wayne” [Great story here!]
Set her goal—career in Air Force intelligence—in 7th grade … never wavered. [Great story here!]
Most fascinating assignment: Defense and Air Attaché to Bulgaria (Jul 2002- Jul 2005). Represented the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, USAF Chief of Staff, and other senior military leaders to Bulgarian military counterparts. First woman assigned to this position.
Most “delicious” assignment: Commander, 694th Intelligence Group at NSA (Jul 1998 – Sep 2000). “Delicious” because of the unique aspects of this assignment.
Commanded 2,800 military, civilian, and reserve personnel in 7 squadrons.
Ran 6 dormitories; a dining facility; a gym; a fleet of vehicles, and personnel, legal, and finance offices—in essence, a mini-Air Force base on an Army post.
Created/launched several benchmark programs for professional development of assigned personnel.
Most meaningful assignment: Director of Intelligence, Operation NORTHERN WATCH, Incerlik Air Base, Turkey (Mar – Sep 2000). Directed intel operations protecting U.S. and coalition pilots as they patrolled air space over northern Iraq. Generated/provided timely threat briefings prior to launch and time critical updates during the missions. Saadam Hussein attempted to shoot down coalition planes; this was the only “shooting war” at that time.
Most personally fulfilling assignment: Commander, 324th Intelligence Squadron (Jul 1994 – Jul 1996)
Commanded 480 personnel.
In one year, and in conjunction with her senior enlisted troops, turned the most losing AF unit on Oahu into “the unit to beat,” demonstrated by her personnel regularly sweeping quarterly/annual All Air Force Hawaii awards.
With her senior staff, developed landmark “people programs” and initiatives lauded as benchmarks and replicated throughout her parent organization of 16,000 people and worldwide operations.
Developed her 10 Word Sculpting tools, composed a handbook, and taught in Air Force fora across Oahu–then taught thousands of others for another 15 years!
Most puzzling assignment: Osan, Korea. Worked for a boss whom she never did understand, neither did her colleagues. But, learning experience nonetheless!
Most momentous assignment: Again, Osan, Korea, where she met future husband of now 30 years. They have two adult children happily and successfully living their own life adventures.
In all, Carla served 30 years active duty, working directly with general officers and civilian equivalents, ambassadors, congressional delegations, and foreign dignitaries.
She wrote hundreds of personnel appraisals, award nominations, and other competitive packages; reports for senior military leaders; letters for executive-level signature; elevator speeches and executive memoranda, much of which was sent to Congress and senior leaders in federal agencies.
She composed and delivered succinct presentations to individuals for whom five minutes was significant. In all instances, every word and each second of the audience’s time counted…
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