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"Typically in the business of the military, things don't go to plan," Johnson said. "You have a plan, you get on the ground and chaos breaks out, we want the soldier to be able to use his or her initiative to achieve the intent of the overall objective.
"Oh by the way, once referees are on the floor, they have to execute the intent, and the intent is to follow the rules like they do and make a judgment decision. I've refereed before, it's not easy."
Johnson said he's read up on the Donaghy situation, but hasn't yet seen the internal investigation that Stern ordered last summer, which won't be completed until after Donaghy is sentenced on July 14.
And even though he's the "new guy" in the office, Johnson shares Stern's belief that he's the right one to lead the referees through their difficult time.
"I'm a general. Everyone's got these preconceived notions about what a general is, and I'm just a guy that has some credible experience and been fortunate enough to lead people in war and peace, and peacetime areas and combat zones," Johnson said. "I've learned a lot doing that and I don't think leading people during hard times is foreign to Ron Johnson."
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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