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Posted: 11/1/2004 3:30:34 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2004 3:40:07 PM EST by EternallyIndebted]
I'm probably going to go ROTC and serve my required time, decide if I wish to re-up, then move on with my life. However, I was wondering how you all conducted yourself to inspire your men while at the same time grappling with fear and anxiety about the situation you were in? Do you feel that you were adequately trained to lead men in extremely stressful situations? My greatest fear, and I think the fear of many untried officers and leaders, is graduating from ROTC and not living up to the expectations set for me.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 3:35:04 PM EST
Read Small Unit Leadership, by Col. Dandridge M. Malone. You may as well buy a copy, it's worth every penny.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 3:38:41 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2004 3:39:34 PM EST by EternallyIndebted]
Thanks...


Has anyone else been through ROTC... do they have any information on what it's like after you graduate? The reading I have done says you graduate as a 2nd Lt. and you could be in charge of 30-40 men... that's quite a responsibility
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 3:40:34 PM EST

Originally Posted By EternallyIndebted:
Thanks...


Has anyone else been through ROTC... do they have any information on what it's like after you graduate? The reading I have done says you graduate as a 2nd Lt. and you could be in charge of 30-40 men... that's quite a responsibility



You get a lot of help from your NCOs.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 3:43:41 PM EST

Originally Posted By EternallyIndebted:
Thanks...


Has anyone else been through ROTC... do they have any information on what it's like after you graduate? The reading I have done says you graduate as a 2nd Lt. and you could be in charge of 30-40 men... that's quite a responsibility



I'm a senior in ROTC and I'm about to get my ranking on the OML list and should know my branch by dec. (hopefully). You get classes on different branches and when you goto LDAC along with dinners with former officers in different branches. Other than that and picking the brains of your officers and NCOs in ROTC you'll have obc (and now maybe oblc) but I think that's more job specific than actual leadership training. Basically learning the small unit tactics in ROTC IS your leadership training and you'll depend on your NCOs once you hit your unit to show you the ropes.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 3:46:35 PM EST
1 other persons life is a huge responsibility never mind 30-40. No Armed service's related position as such in my jacket, but lead by example was my creed when I was the leader.YMMV
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 3:52:28 PM EST
If its not to late I would recomend JROTC. Im in a unit now. They teach you alot about leadership.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 4:06:15 PM EST
you'll get all the theory in your classes, but the best pieces of advice I can give anyone is pay special attention to the poor leaders you will have in charge of you at some point.

Leadership depends a lot on your personal style, and the rest of it is remembering not to make the same stupid mistakes you've seen others make. You'll be given a lot of institutional knowledge in your summer sessions.

Good luck to you.

p.s. anyone whose currently in can you tell me if they are still on that Total Quality Leadership kick?
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 4:07:08 PM EST

Originally Posted By EternallyIndebted:
I'm probably going to go ROTC and serve my required time, decide if I wish to re-up, then move on with my life. However, I was wondering how you all conducted yourself to inspire your men while at the same time grappling with fear and anxiety about the situation you were in? Do you feel that you were adequately trained to lead men in extremely stressful situations? My greatest fear, and I think the fear of many untried officers and leaders, is graduating from ROTC and not living up to the expectations set for me.



The Military is good at putting aritifical stresses on you in training environments. While it cannot compare to combat, many veterans of combat credit that experience with their abilities to cope.

I personally have led a platoon in a peacetime deployment to Kuwait, and a commanded a company in Korea. I have never been tested under fire, so cannot speak from experience. I'd like to think I know what I'm doing, though. Crisis management is a daily activity for any military officer. - it's just the type of crisis that changes. You have to have faith in your training, your experience, and your team. I good NCO helps a lot, but even the best NCOs have stregnths and weaknesses - your ability to capitalize on strengths and mitigate weaknesses (your own, your subordinates, and you superiors) is key to your success.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 4:14:05 PM EST
I enjoy ROTC because out in CA hardly anyone is into the military, so I met a group of people who all like the military. I get along with the people really well

Although some of the MS4 cadets take their leadership to the next level almost where they act like Drill Sgts.

Its different because coming from a unit where you are treated like a person and then they try to start this basic training BS again. Many of the prior service guys get kinda tired of that stuff.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 4:18:48 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2004 4:23:06 PM EST by Lightning_P38]
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 4:19:22 PM EST
Of all the commissioning sources, ROTC has the greatest disparity of results. It is upon the individual in ROTC to determine the type of leader he will be.
1st off, remember Patton: Never take counsel of your fears.
Are you involved in sports? The Army is about results and so are organized sports. I have found that those officers who were involved in sports at a high level make very good officers. They are impatient with slackers, know that results are what matter, and are used to thinking on their feet when tired, in pain, and dozens of their teammates are counting on them to deliver.
My advise: join a Rugby Team, take up boxing, and read books about Patton and MacArthur.
You'll be fine.
Oh, and when you are done, go Armor or Infantry. Everything else is window dressing.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 4:21:50 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2004 4:22:49 PM EST by Palo_Duro]
Leadership is simple. Be the best you can be. Live an honest and noble life style. Lead by example. Never show weakness and never hesitate.

Wrong decisions are made, yes. But no decisions and delayed decisions are signs of weak leadership.

Leadership is simple. Follow what I told you.

Link Posted: 11/1/2004 4:22:34 PM EST
I'm no officer, but I can tell you that you are not alone. Thousands of officers before you have faced the challenge you face. The only thing you can do is your best. Trust your NCO's. The best officers do. They understand that they are not the ultimate power deciding the fate of their troops. They are not God. They are not perfect. They trust in their men, and train them as best they can. They lead by example.
Good luck.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 4:27:49 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2004 5:08:48 PM EST by Cincinnatus]

Originally Posted By EternallyIndebted:
I'm probably going to go ROTC and serve my required time, decide if I wish to re-up, then move on with my life. However, I was wondering how you all conducted yourself to inspire your men while at the same time grappling with fear and anxiety about the situation you were in? Do you feel that you were adequately trained to lead men in extremely stressful situations? My greatest fear, and I think the fear of many untried officers and leaders, is graduating from ROTC and not living up to the expectations set for me.

As you go through you training, you will develope tremendous self-confidence. Study hard, and be physically able. If you know your shit, and can handle any physical challenge, most things will fall into place.
Maintain your integrity, and guard your reputation like the crown jewels.

Be loyal to those below you, as you are to your leaders.
Set the example in all things you do.
Remember the mission comes first.
Trust and rely upon your SNCOs.
Don't be afraid to fire them, if your judgement tells you they're crap.

Be a mentor.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 4:29:47 PM EST
Do AROTC, you won't regret it one bit. It's their job to teach you leadership (cadre). As long as you stay motivated and participate you'll be golden. Don't be afraid to take charge and possibly **** up within your ROTC battalion, you learn from your mistakes and the military does not need on the job training as far as active duty goes (take not Edwards)...

I am currently a lowly sophomore in AROTC...btw I did the whole AFROTC thing for a year and it's worthless ;)....seriously there's a lot to learn and you can have a lot of fun, volunteer for everything...do Ranger Challenge, it is the ROTC's varsity sport.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 4:31:30 PM EST
You are going to get some detailed explanations in this thread. It is all good advice. But it will be difficult to remember. If you stick to leading by example, you will not go wrong.

The intricacies will come with experience and common sense. Of course you will heed the advice of those who have been there and done that.

But it is YOU who will be in charge. It is YOU who will make decisions. Don't faulter, don't delay.

Keep your chin up and your chest out.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 4:33:19 PM EST

Originally Posted By Sylvan:
Of all the commissioning sources, ROTC has the greatest disparity of results. It is upon the individual in ROTC to determine the type of leader he will be.
1st off, remember Patton: Never take counsel of your fears.
Are you involved in sports? The Army is about results and so are organized sports. I have found that those officers who were involved in sports at a high level make very good officers. They are impatient with slackers, know that results are what matter, and are used to thinking on their feet when tired, in pain, and dozens of their teammates are counting on them to deliver.
My advise: join a Rugby Team, take up boxing, and read books about Patton and MacArthur.
You'll be fine.
Oh, and when you are done, go Armor or Infantry. Everything else is window dressing.



What he said. Also, while in ROTC, take advantage of every extra program offered to improve yourself physically and mentally. Ranger Challenge is a program offered at nearly every school - with ONE exception (now CPT Jones) every cadet that was worth a shit at my school was on that team. No, it is not required, but unless you have serious job commitments that make it impossible, doing those extra things will improve your leadership considerably. Sylvan menitoned boxing - if that is not available, take up a martial art - preferably at a school where you will get some CONTACT (avoid the local "we will instill your 4 year old with discipline" McDojo).

Also, don't make the mistake I did - go Infantry or Armor. It really does suck to be window dressing .
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 4:42:34 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2004 4:44:56 PM EST by cyanide]
Just lead by example ---
they will watch you constantly. And that ain't bad.
BTDT.

US Army - NCO Academy 1975
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 4:51:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2004 4:52:59 PM EST by ISMO]
I did 6 yrs enlisted in the USN, then 4 yrs officer in the USMC before a med discharge.
1 - Listen to your NCO's, learn from thier experience.
2 - Lead from the front, set the example, etc
3 - Take care of your men, they will take care of you
4 - don't be afraid of making a decision, be afraid of not learning from your mistakes

The leadership principles from being an officer will carry you through life successfully. Good luck.

ISMO
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 4:54:30 PM EST
first if you are able, go into the SMP program with a reserve unit. you will probably be assigned a plattoon or as an assistant to the xo or captain. great learning exp. then while in rotc go to every school you can, airborne, air assault and ranger school if they still have that program available as a cadet. the wings on your chest set you apart from those you may command who are not so qualified. beleive me it makes a difference. you must lead by example. you dont have to be the fastest, strongest or smartest in your plattoon or company but you must be well prepared and knowledgeable, always look squared away, soldier on even when you are hungry tired or bored. dont bitch and complain with or to your men. remember familiarity breeds contempt. you must always be looking out for the welfare of the men as long as it does not jeapordize the mission. the little things count. always lead by example. be the first one in the last one out, and never take anything away from your men. give respect to the rank always of your enlisted men and treat them with respect. most of them have earned that right. work on your command voice and cadance. nothing gets a plattoon of men going more than great cadance on a run. there are tapes that can help you with that. there is nothing wrong with asking advice but be decisive and own the results, always giving credit to your men for a job well done. but most of all remember you are not their friend you are thier leader and they expect you to do just that. and keep your hands out of your pockets.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 5:19:13 PM EST
about the smp thing in certain states they will pay you a extra 350 if you agree to stay guard.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 5:33:15 PM EST
First, one suggestion. If you have not yet started college, go see your USAR or ARNG recruiter. Enlist split option, and go to Basic this summer and your AIT the next. The experience there and at your unit will be an immense help, both in your career and during the whole ROTC proccess.

Listen to the above advice, alot of good has been said that I won't repeat, except Adams statement about know not only your strengths, shortcomings and abilities but those of your soldiers, and learn to make them all work for you.

And a little suggested reading:

Battle Leadership by Captian Adolf Von Schell. This is actually a compliation of a series of lectures he gave at the US Army Infantry school in 1930-31. All relate to his personal experience as a small unit leader in WWI and psychological reactions of troops. One of the best books on battle leadership ever written, It was originally printed in 1933, and was reprinted by the Marine Corp Association in 2000. A copy may be hard to find, but it is defintly worth finding.

Pattons One-Minute Messages by Chalres M. Province. A great compilation of some of the many great words of wisdom by Patton. www.ballantinebooks.com ISBN 0-89141-546-7
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 6:47:57 PM EST

Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:
First, one suggestion. If you have not yet started college, go see your USAR or ARNG recruiter. Enlist split option, and go to Basic this summer and your AIT the next. The experience there and at your unit will be an immense help, both in your career and during the whole ROTC proccess.

Listen to the above advice, alot of good has been said that I won't repeat, except Adams statement about know not only your strengths, shortcomings and abilities but those of your soldiers, and learn to make them all work for you.

And a little suggested reading:

Battle Leadership by Captian Adolf Von Schell. This is actually a compliation of a series of lectures he gave at the US Army Infantry school in 1930-31. All relate to his personal experience as a small unit leader in WWI and psychological reactions of troops. One of the best books on battle leadership ever written, It was originally printed in 1933, and was reprinted by the Marine Corp Association in 2000. A copy may be hard to find, but it is defintly worth finding.

Pattons One-Minute Messages by Chalres M. Province. A great compilation of some of the many great words of wisdom by Patton. www.ballantinebooks.com ISBN 0-89141-546-7



Damn there is sooooo much military experience on this board it is amazing.
I got some reading to do.
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