Three Magic Words for Endurance


Recently I heard this U.S. Marine Corp motto – Improvise, Adapt and Overcome. I hadn’t heard it before but I love it. Then I came across this post by Cory Harrell. He works in Digital Forensics, Incident Response (DFIR); basically he’s a digital investigator Jedi.

It’s not his work, but his using this motto in all areas of his life that caught my attention. Harrell explains it so well that I want to share that short portion of his post here:

Everybody has a story about how they became involved in DFIR. Showing the different avenues people took to reach the same point can be helpful to others trying to break into the field. I’ve been thinking about my journey and the path that lead me to become the forensicator who I am today. This is my story …

My story doesn’t start with me getting picked up by another DFIR team, being shown the reins by an experienced forensicator, or being educated in a digital forensic focused curriculum. My story starts many years ago when I took the oath and became a United States Marine. The Marines instilled into me the motto: improvise, adapt, and overcome. When I was in the Marines, I didn’t get the newest equipment, the latest tools, or other fancy gadgets. Things happen and it was not always the best of circumstances but I had to make do with what I had by improvising, adapting, and overcoming. This motto was taught to me when I first entered the Corps. Gradually it became a part of who I was; it became second nature when I was faced with any kind of adversity. Reflecting back on my journey I can easily see I ended up in DFIR by improvising, adapting, and overcoming the various situations I found myself in. Before I discuss those situations I think it’s necessary to define what exactly the Marines’ motto means:

Improvise: leverage the knowledge and resources available. You need to be creative to solve the situation you are going through.

Adapt: adjust to whatever situation being faced. Whether if its things not going as planned, lack of resources, issues with employment, or just adversity while doing your job. Whatever happens you need to make adjustments and adapt to the situation at hand.

Overcome: prevail over the situation. With each situation conquered you come out more knowledgeable and in a better position to handle future adversity.

He states and defines it so clearly that I wanted to share what Harrell posted. His complete post is for the most part about how he got into his line of work. If you are interested, you’ll find it by clicking here.

I Want You 01

I wanted to share that great U.S. Marine motto and let you, like myself, find strength and encouragement when facing any kind of difficulty. This week has been pretty challenging for me and this motto has helped give me direction and gain perspective. These three words, Improvise, Adapt and Overcome, may not really be magic, but they are powerful. I am going to memorize Cory Harrell’s description of what it means to Improvise, Adapt and Overcome.

Thank you Cory Harrell.


About VocareMentor

Walk with the wise and become wise - Prov. 13:20 A lot of my blog comes out of the way I grew up. My parents divorced when I was 6 years old and I didn’t see much of my father. I had no understanding of how the lack of his presence in my life affected every choice I made as I grew up. Much of my adult life has been attempting to sort things out and catch up. Thus, what you’ll find on my blog are musings, thoughts, wisdom and ideas from history and pop culture. Themes: mentors, father/son, male/female, self-discovery, courage, stepping up, friendship and more.
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