In 1993 I joined the United States Army and found myself assigned to Fort Jackson, SC to attend boot camp. Very quickly I was introduced to my platoon’s assembly of Drill Sergeants, most in an overall very unpleasant manner! I fail to recall their names of all but one, Drill Sergeant Jackson. Drill Sergeant Jackson was an impressive soldier. His uniform was always impeccably starched, his black jungle boots always highly polished, and he wore the infamous Drill Sergeants hat in typical fashion, dipping low to the front of his head to the point it always made me question if he could see where he was going. He stood out from the other Drill Sergeants in several ways. He was muscular, broad-shouldered, his collection of tabs on his uniform showed the many schools he had attended and overcame. Airborne, Air Assault, Expert Grenade & Rifle Badge, Pathfinder, and the coveted Ranger Tab!
But the thing that always stood out the most in my memory was that he never hollered or raised his voice at his men. This was a highly unusual trait for a Drill Sergeant! He had a slow, steady walk and we would rarely know he was coming; he would just appear out of nowhere to review our actions and conduct as we went about our various tasks of learning to be soldiers throughout basic training. Although he never yelled, we quickly learned to respect Drill Sergeant Jackson the most, as if we failed to meet his standards, he would “smoke us” well beyond that of any other Drill Sergeant!
If you’re not familiar with the term “smoke us” it meant to discipline us with extensive and exhausting physical exercise. His imagination never ran out of ways of creative physical discipline and when we warranted his wrath, he would keep us doing a variety of physical exercises, in some cases for hours!
His simple message to “Do the Right Thing” has stayed with me throughout my life. It became a part of my personal ethos, which at times felt as much a curse as a blessing. If I had not done my best in any way, I would lose sleep, obsessing over the fact that I could have done better, and by default had not done what I considered, “The Right Thing”.
This mantra has served me well in all aspects of my life, personally as well as professionally and when the ALL STOP! concept came into being, from the very beginning this was one of the founding principles that the company has been built around. It infiltrates our Quality Management System, our interactions with all our customers, vendors, our environmental footprint, the type of personnel we invite to join our ALL STOP! family ~ literally everything.
It only makes sense that as we have surpassed our 2-year mark in business, that we honor this mantra officially, and make “Do the Right Thing” our creed. After all, if we failed to do less we would not be here today!