The lieutenants were conferring, and it didn’t sound good.

“The plan is scrapped! There is no way this mission can succeed!”

“The General will not be pleased. How did we let it get this far? Our plans were so clear and perfect!”

“Surely we have missed something. Surely it can’t be that far off course. Didn’t we think of everything?”

No, they hadn’t. Everything had been considered. And no, there was nothing they’d missed. They were far off course and nothing would save their mission’s success.

Fail. Failure. Failed.

The General called them in. Quiet voices and heads hanging low, the situation was explained. The General sat the whole time, not responding only asking questions. Is this verified? Is there any question left unanswered?

Yes. No. It is solid and unmovable.

Now the General stood. Slowly and with gravity.

We are soldiers. You have all done good work on this mission. Yes, it will fail. That is always a possibility on the field of battle. But failure is never an excuse to do poor work. And you have not.

The cost of battle is high. Bravery is needed. Right now we are called upon to endure failure. But that failure is not the end. The war is still before us.

Learn from this. If nothing else, learn that failure won’t kill you. Be proud. Don’t give up. We are soldiers, the failure has not erased that.

This is the time to move forward. Let us sit and plan for a new strategy. Failure will not be our end. We shall not let it be.