Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
User Panel

Posted: 8/25/2006 6:35:58 AM EDT
Beetlebailey's thread got me thinking about this, since I am in a similar situation.

A little background:

I am in the military on special orders dealing with security at a headquarters facility.  From May 2002 until April 2006 I worked as a squad leader for our security force, doing NCO-type duties like training, supervising, and taking care of my soldiers, whose numbers ranged from 4-13 on varying occasions.  Good, solid work of the type I enjoy, and exactly the kind of thing I expected to do in the military.

Suddenly, everything changed this past April.  The three people above me in the chain of command (a SSG, a 1LT, and a CPT) all left the program to take positions elsewhere within about a month of each other.  Suddenly I am the only on of the four left, and I basically have to do all of their duties.  I'm no longer working as a squad leader or doing anything hands-on at all, I'm sitting at a computer working on paperwork projects, for a civilian boss (retired officer).

I've got absolutely no training or experience in an office environment. The only civilian type jobs I've ever had were in restaurants before 9/11.  I've made a number of mistakes in the past few months which I only now recognize in hindsight.  Last week I was nearly fired for how I worded a memo to some civilian guards.  I'm having to learn everything the hard way, because my civilian boss - while extremely intelligent and knowledgeable - is way to busy and unorganized to take the time to show me anything about what he wants, so I have to pick everything up on the fly, and constantly get corrected on how I do things.

So, now I recognize the importance of CYA in this environment.  I don't enjoy what I do anymore, but I also don't want to leave the program under bad conditions.  Here's a few things I've learned along the way:

Document all correspondence through email - have phone conversations backed up by a followup message.  
Save everything, no matter how insignificant - and know where to find it.
Constantly followup with my boss on my projects, since he always seems to forget.
Initiative=bad.  Run everything by him first.
Constantly back up everything on the server, in case of computer failure.

Any other advice?  I hate to have to deal with this kind of stuff, because it's not why I joined the military, at all.  There has been a silver lining to all of this, because I HAVE learned quite a bit about how to operate in a different working environment, and I'm also now self-taught on PowerPoint, Excel, and Word, which is good.  But I'm leaving the program on 30 September anyway, to go elsewhere, so I don't have to put up with it much longer.  Thanks for any advice.

Link Posted: 8/25/2006 6:45:31 AM EDT
SOunds like you have it covered.

The end is in sight, just chalk it up as a good learning experience and put your new duties and qualifications on your resume.

You do have a resume, right?  Even while in the military, you should have one.

Good luck!
Link Posted: 8/25/2006 8:58:02 AM EDT
Smart ass advice:  Stop surfing Arfcom at work.  

Serious comment:  Thank you for your service to our country.


Link Posted: 8/25/2006 9:22:09 AM EDT
It's HIGHLY,HIGHLY Recommended that you get as many signed nice letters of refrence/reccomendation as possible from the bottom to the highest you can get to in your (Food)Chain of Command, Even if you have to type them up for the supervisor who signs it . Also keep copies of Every Thing your conscience and OPSEC allows. Never forget the example you set for your subortinates will bear fruit long after you move on.
Link Posted: 8/25/2006 11:40:32 AM EDT

Thanks for the advice, guys - I appreciate it.

Also, I am on leave today so I am surfing from home, not work.  
Link Posted: 8/25/2006 2:56:56 PM EDT


I'm leaving the program on 30 September anyway, to go elsewhere, so I don't have to put up with it much longer.  

Close Join Our Mail List to Stay Up To Date! Win a FREE Membership!

Sign up for the ARFCOM weekly newsletter and be entered to win a free ARFCOM membership. One new winner* is announced every week!

You will receive an email every Friday morning featuring the latest chatter from the hottest topics, breaking news surrounding legislation, as well as exclusive deals only available to ARFCOM email subscribers.

By signing up you agree to our User Agreement. *Must have a registered ARFCOM account to win.
Top Top