Video Teleconferencing (VTC) is how meetings take place when the attendees aren’t located in the same town. In the case of my command, the units are spread all over the world so in addition to holding meetings via VTC, they’re also spread all over the clock. For the meetings to take place during normal business hours where the headquarters is, they have to take place either very early or very late in some parts of the world where we dial in from.

We had one of those VTCs tonight. For it to take place at 0700 where the command is (they did come in a bit early) it had to take place at 2000 here in Korea. That’s not too late, but when you figure on a two-hour meeting, it begins to get late.

Here’s a picture of the VTC screen before I was connected to the VTC. That’s me, what those on the other end would see.

Complicating the distance and time are the occasional technical problems which occur from time to time, which happened tonight. I was pulled into the VTC about 35 minutes late and my battalions down at Camp Humphreys didn’t get pulled in at all so I and my battalion chaplains connected telephonically, even though they weren’t on the VTC. Since they weren’t on the VTC, I texted them a picture and they sent me back this one, clearly excited to be there (or excited they were excluded from the VTC!):

My three battalion chaplains and one of the chaplain assistants at Camp Humphreys

Of course, I had to send one back:

Me in our VTC/Conference Room

So even with the VTC complications, we still had a good time -from a distance- while benefiting from hearing from our higher-headquarters chaplain team. Hopefully the next VTC will have fewer technical difficulties…or maybe it’s the technical difficulties that make them more fun!



Late night…same morning.

While there may be perks to doing a tour in Korea, there are definitely some down sides. One of those down sides is that with some of the more unique units, the higher headquarters is in the States. That is the case with my unit, above our brigade the hierarchy lands next near Washington D.C. While there is sometimes a benefit to being distant from your higher command (or from the “flag pole”), when it comes to meetings, it’s a bummer. Since the higher headquarters has the higher rank, they have the meetings when it is convenient for them which means, if you’re on the other side of the world (like 15 hours ahead), the time for the meeting falls in the middle of the night.

I just completed my first VTC (Video Tele-Conference) with our higher headquarters which began at 0930 for them but was 2230 for us. By the time it wrapped up and I walked back to my room, it was after 0100. And what else? There’s still work in the morning! I can skip the 0630 PT formation, but by 0900 I’ll be back at it.

At least it’s only a year…

World Time Zone Map