I was back in the military. The dream featured people I worked with from several units.
It began with an incident involving a major who had a handgun. This was morning. The duty day was just starting. I was a senior non-commissioned officer. I was walking through the HQ building with a cup of coffee. The major had spent part of the previous night threatening to shoot someone, incorporating a real incident that once took place. He’d been protecting himself, he told everyone. In the dream, I was involved because the commander walked by. As he did, he told the major, “Brief him on the incident. Make sure he’s aware.” He pointed to me. Then he told me, “I want you up to speed on this.” The commander went on.
No problem, I understood. That was part of how things were done. The major explained to me how he’d felt driven to defend himself by things he heard and saw. I had the gun removed from him and went on. Another pair of people found me. They’d been involved in a confrontation over suspected adultery. They’d been told to come and tell me about it so I could counsel them on what to do. As the day progressed, I was approached by others with things which had happened.
Several hours had passed. There were now four incidents involving eight people reported: the major with the gun; a couple accusing one another of cheating; some missing money and theft; and a fight over presumed insults and mocking. I suddenly realized that this wasn’t happenstance. Someone was coordinating pieces of misinformation to orchestrate confrontation, which resulted in division and distrust, and distracted us. By now, it was almost the duty day’s end. I went about, collecting the people who’d been involved so that I could specifically warn them that they would probably hear or see something else overnight to further anger, frighten, or confuse them, because someone was using them and their situation to sabotage us and our mission completion. After bringing the eight together, because I thought that by giving them the larger picture of what had transpired, they would better understand, I told them that they needed to be on guard against that, and to not react. After briefing these eight people, I headed off to tell the commander.
I’d seen the commander throughout the day. A little humorously, ‘the commander’ was played by different commanders from throughout my career. All were colonels, though, regardless of how they were later promoted. While going for the commander, I heard a discussion going on among a cluster of officers. Among them was the deputy commander.
She was complaining that the night duty officer schedule had been changed. As a result, nobody was scheduled to be the duty officer that night. The person on the schedule wasn’t available because they were on leave and traveling. Others were certain that this individual wasn’t the one scheduled to be on duty, regardless of what the roster said, but they weren’t sure who it was supposed to be.
I wasn’t surprised. I told the deputy commander that I believed the schedule change had been done deliberately by someone trying to hamstring our effectiveness to respond. I then told her it was the fifth incident and explained the previous four. After all, what were the chances that all of those things would happen at the same time? All were based on festering, long-term issues, but now they were suddenly coming to a head at the same time? I was dubious of that coincidence.
I then warned the deputy commander that I thought she needed to have a backup plan to her backup plan, and then contingency and backup plans to those backup plans, to the order of five. Further, that there was at least one person in the unit behind this, because the officer duty schedule was in a secure area. One of our people had to have been the one who changed it.