In the Huddle: Three Thoughts from Training Camp and the Preseason

The Chiefs Army Liaison gives an inside look at what he's been doing during Training Camp and the Preseason

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So I have been at the job for two months now, and I have to say this is everything I expected and more. The opportunity to work for Chiefs Kingdom will be something that helps me in my military and professional life. Over the last two months, I have had the privilege to work across different elements of the Kansas City Chiefs staff from game day production, digital media, sponsorship and community relations. In this addition of "In the Huddle," I will discuss the similarities I have experienced from planning military integration at training camp to the preseason game day production. Of note, this article will highlight how planning, rehearsals and after-action reviews are an important part of Army operations as well as Chiefs events.

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Planning: When I first arrived, our community relations team approached me to help coordinate support for our Military Appreciation Day at training camp. The community relations team shared with me the intent for the day and how our organization wanted to not only do something special for the service members, but also be bigger and better than last year. With this in mind, we identified local military units and coordinated for over 120 service members to come out and enjoy the day. We had members from the Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, British Army, Canadian Defense Force, German Army and Brazilian Army. We also planned and coordinated with the 139th Air Wing out of St. Joseph to conduct a C-130 flyover after practice had concluded. The planning that went into this event took several weeks and coordination with multiple sections of the Chiefs staff as well as military units external to our organization.

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Rehearsal, Rehearsal, Rehearsal:  When conducting a combined arms maneuver to seize a key piece of terrain, there are numerous pieces of the plan in motion.  Before our maneuver force engages an enemy, we typically prepare the target with air support and indirect fires. To continue operations so we do not lose the initiative, we must plan sustainment operations that can keep us fed, fueled and loaded. With so many moving parts and time requirements, these operations require detailed rehearsals so we understand timing and how to best support each other. This concept is no different than what I have observed with the Chiefs Game Day Production staff as they prepare and rehearse numerous elements ranging from the cheerleaders, pyro techniques, red coaters, K.C. Wolf and many others. We each have our role in helping prepare Chiefs Kingdom to actively support our team and make a difference in the outcome of the game, as well as provide quality entertainment.  Additionally, there are many games and network timings that we must maintain to protect the schedule of the game. The rehearsals that have been run are very professional and allow all members of our staff to have a shared understanding and see how we affect the bigger picture.

After Action Reviews: The Army strives to improve after every mission and we do so by assessing the activities we have conducted and determining what worked and what did not. We call these assessments After Action Reviews (AARs). This allows us to improve and learn from our mistakes to make the next mission even better. Attention to detail is what makes our military the best in the world. The Chiefs also conduct AARs after every game and identify areas to improve as well as maintain. The staff plays close attention to all aspects of game day and uses internal and external feedback to improve the experience we provide for future games.


Thanks again for your time reading this article and I hope you enjoyed it.  If there is something you specifically want to know about, ask me by emailing me atjrittenberg@chiefs.nfl.com.

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