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Posted: 3/13/2005 10:12:52 AM EST
This is my 2nd semester in rotc, i think i am doing well, good at land nav, BRM, TLP, PT is decent 275. But a few of the seniors get on my case because of my command presense??

If i need something done and am getting yelled at, i tell people what to do. I see no reason to yell and scream to accomplish a task. I know there are situations when yelling works but honestly i like to treat people as adults until they F things up. I have found many of my fellow cadets are very hard workers and want to do well, its not like they are some shitbag who has been knocked down to E1 for fucking around.

i have had some great PSG's and they are the type that if they have to talk to you one on one you just feel horrible for screwing up. Rather than the jerk guys who are constanly yelling and chewing ass.

another thing is i like to make small talk with the troops, but they are telling me i shouldnt be friends with the underclass? Some of the best PL's i have known would know every mans name and what he was all about.

If i am ever in combat i want to know my men. I want them to know I am looking out for them and they are looking out for me.

I am guessing many jerk Lt's have caught rounds when the SHTF
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 10:19:18 AM EST
It just depends, if your getting the job done then whats to bitch about? oh wait they are cadets
ROTC is a leadership program they want to see you take charge and make things happen this is where the term spot light ranger comes from.

IM me for my experiences i dont want to bad mouth the program.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 10:28:19 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/13/2005 10:29:11 AM EST by chromeluv]

Originally Posted By mike45acp:
This is my 2nd semester in rotc, i think i am doing well, good at land nav, BRM, TLP, PT is decent 275. But a few of the seniors get on my case because of my command presense??

If i need something done and am getting yelled at, i tell people what to do. I see no reason to yell and scream to accomplish a task. I know there are situations when yelling works but honestly i like to treat people as adults until they F things up. I have found many of my fellow cadets are very hard workers and want to do well, its not like they are some shitbag who has been knocked down to E1 for fucking around.

i have had some great PSG's and they are the type that if they have to talk to you one on one you just feel horrible for screwing up. Rather than the jerk guys who are constanly yelling and chewing ass.

another thing is i like to make small talk with the troops, but they are telling me i shouldnt be friends with the underclass? Some of the best PL's i have known would know every mans name and what he was all about.

If i am ever in combat i want to know my men. I want them to know I am looking out for them and they are looking out for me.

I am guessing many jerk Lt's have caught rounds when the SHTF



Same here bud, Im me if you have questions. I am about to graduate from one of the most 'prestigious' ROTC programs in the country, and you will deal with things like thi son a daily basis. In the words of John Glen, "Leadership is like pornography, you know it when you see it."

Drive on and get the mission done the way you see fit, of course within your commanders guidance :)
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 10:28:44 AM EST
Spot Light ranger is an accurate description of what must be done to get a good evaluation, unfortunately.

I've always preferred a strong and silent type of leadership. Unfortunately, rotc forces you to take on a 'directive' instead of 'participative' style of leadership in order to get good eval's. It's all in the name of "Command Presence." ...Sorry, 'sir', but screaming and yelling are something I try to avoid unless someone just can't figure it out.

--However, I can't ever remember someone telling me not to bs with the underclassmen. Like you, they are for the most part hard working and very willing to learn.

Remember, they're MSIVs...and for the most part, are just repeating what they were told when they were IIIs, like generations of cadolts before them.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 10:39:39 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/13/2005 10:40:41 AM EST by Happyshooter]
Your goal right now is to suck up to idiots who know slightly less than you do because you know enough to question them.

Do what they want for now, keeping in mind that they know shit.

When you get to the real army pick a leader you admire and who has the respect of their men. Look to see what they do.

When you get your own men to lead remember they want to respect you. Don't try to be their bud. Always be consistant. Expect good performance but praise great effort and success. Explain to your NCOs what is going on and give them goals and guidelines, not micro-mananging orders. If the time is short or extra effort is needed after you have given your orders and things look like they on track, strip off your cammie top and lend a hand with some crappy part of the task.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 10:49:27 AM EST
There are leaders and commanders.

A leader is followed because of respect.

A commander is followed because of position.


There is an art to being a leader and having a command presence because of those leadership skills.

People follow a commander because they have to and because it is their duty.

A leader is followed because of respect and a desire to follow due to that respect makes it a compelling act.

I have worked for some who I would follow into hell... but very few. I have worked for many I would not follow to a water cooler, if it were not for the fact that it was my duty to follow.


Follow your heart and good luck on becoming a leader!!!
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 10:56:28 AM EST
the biggest thing to remember is that 99% of the ROTC cadets couldn't lead a 2 man team out of a toilet stall. I say this with over 17 yrs experience working for those bozos...yes, I'm enlisted, and no, I don't have a lot of use for most ROTC grads. It sounds like you have more of a clue than the upperclassmen and your future troops will appreciate that--and follow your lead without having to be browbeaten.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 10:56:30 AM EST
i just hope i dont fubar everything up. Its tough everyone criticizes the guy in charge.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 12:50:43 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/13/2005 12:57:00 PM EST by Manic_Moran]
I have never yelled at one of my troops for screwing up, with the occasional exception of yelling at my driver when he got left and right mixed up. "God-damnit, I said right!!!" (Though I think TCs the world over, regardless of rank, have had such moments)

Since you're destined to become an officer, the first thing to know is let your NCOs handle the shouting, if required. By and large, disciplinary matters should be dealt with below your level. On occasion, I have deliberately looked the other way on certain issues. If you become officially involved in the disciplinary actions of your soldiers, it runs the risk of becoming a part of that soldier's permanent record, which is un-necessary in most cases. If your involvement is required, your NCOs will let you know. Only once in my year in Iraq did I make an 'executive punishment', and even that was limited: "Oi! Loudmouth! I'm hearing 2 minutes and thirty seconds of talking, and seeing only 30 seconds of work. Why don't you come over here and give these guys a hand carrying those sandbags to the roof?" (Well, he was annoying me!). If I noticed something amiss, I'd have a word with the Platoon Sergeant. I had a good one.

I personally have followed a policy of 'don't shout, if talking calmly can get the same results'. (I probably would never make a good NCO)

The catch is that you're still in training. If ROTC is anything like OCS, you're going to rotate through positions such as PSG, Squad Leader, and so on. As a result, you are in positions where you are directly responsible for enforcing discipline, as opposed to seeing that it is enfored (such as PLs do). That's where a little shouting, or colourful language, can come in useful. Then again, you ultimately have to remember that they are your peers, have as much experience as you have (most likely), and are all considered mature enough to be officers and leaders-of-men in training. We did make a mistake in OCS Phase III where we assumed that since we were pretty much all going to graduate that we trusted people to police themselves. Bad move: On the first four-night hop, we discovered one candidate who had disregarded the packing list and filled her backpack with pogey bait. Of course, those of us in leadership positions at the time got nailed for failing to carry out our responsibilities and inspecting.

As far as 'getting to know your men', I am possibly in an unusual situation as a tanker. Unlike infantry lieutenants, for example, I am an integral part of the squad, as opposed to being simply a person detached from the three/four squads telling people where to go. I'd spend hours at a time on the same intercom as three other guys, and you will gel. And, of course, since all sixteen people in the platoon are on the same radio net, and everyone can hear everyone else, the general slagging that goes around is pretty much ignorant of rank distinction. I'd take as much flak for my idiosynchosies as an E-4 loader. As a result, I would become much closer to my men than officers from pretty much any other branch. I wouldn't address them by first name, but I know some officers who do, at least on the intercom system.

There is a requirement for space between junior enlisted, senior enlisted, and officers. It's something of a fuzzy line though, and the US Army isn't as strict on it as, say the British or Irish. I don't think there is a 'right' leadership style. I'm more easygoing than most, and it works for me. You figure out what works for you. You can have a command presence without yelling. What's most important is that you let the people know that you have standards which you will not accept not being met. It also helps to show that you're not above doing what you want others to do: I got thanks from my driver, for example, for being the guy to walk up to an IED to inspect it instead of automatically giving the job to the lowest-ranking guy. (In hindsight, not a recommended course of action: We finally figured it out after I uncovered one with a shovel...). During the sandbagging, I was filling them with everyone else. Possibly I take this concept a bit too far though...

NTM
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 1:00:40 PM EST
unless your taking rounds there is no reason for an officer (in training) to yell. Since ROTC is Officer training just follow your own leadership style and accomplish the training mission. You should look at adapting and expanding your ability to use different leadership styles as all followers don't necessarily respond well to the same type of leadership.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 1:04:25 PM EST
You sound like you have a good heart.

Follow it.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 1:14:29 PM EST
I am not in the military, but I do supervise engineering tecs and other engineers. In private industry yelling at anyone = getting fired. The best way to get something done is to ask for what you want. Be specific. Tell them exactly what you want. For instance, if you want them to dig a hole, give them an exact location and dimensions. Then tell them exactly what time it should be finished. If there are equipment or cost considerations, let them know. Then let them do it however they want, unless it absolutely must be done a certain way.

Sometimes if you leave it upto people to figure how to do it, they will exceed your expectations. Other times, they will totally screw up (but make it a learning experience).

If people are not confident in their abilities to execute to the standards, then they will always screw up or need to be coddled in order to achive.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 1:17:36 PM EST
"Rogue Warrior" about Dick Marcinko.

Read it, get to know it.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 1:23:17 PM EST


If you have to choose between having the men respect you, but hate your guts, OR not respect you, but really like you - always take the path that involves them respecting you.

There is nothing wrong with talking to the men (and it can help morale and respect when you know details about them, their families, etc - because it shows that you care) - but you don't want to be their "friend" - it can be a tough balance to strike.


Ultimately I agree with you, yelling shouldn't be necessary 99% of the time. That way, on the rare occasions when you DO yell, people know without a shadow of a doubt that you are seriously pissed off.

Link Posted: 3/13/2005 1:31:32 PM EST
You have your own style. I have a similar style. The problem with that style is familiarity.

Your men-I'm not talking about in ROTC, I'm talking about in the real world- have to know that when you tell them to do something that it is an order and it must be done. Sometimes hesitation can be fatal.

What I try to do is answer the "why" questions after the task is accomplished. That does two things. One, it doesn't get your guys in the habit of asking why when something is time critical. And two, it lets the guys know you aren't just giving inane orders.

I agree that discipline should be left to senior enlisted. However, there are certain circumstances when you have to get involved. I've only had to do that twice as an officer. It should be infrequent. Sometimes bad behavior has to be corrected on the spot. It's a difficult balancing act, but you can't be like a mom who says, "wait until your father gets home."
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 1:48:12 PM EST

What I try to do is answer the "why" questions after the task is accomplished. That does two things. One, it doesn't get your guys in the habit of asking why when something is time critical. And two, it lets the guys know you aren't just giving inane orders.


Of course, inasmuch as possible I try to give the 'why' beforehand at the time, ie. during the oporder. You will get a much better result from your men if you let them know what you intend to be the end result, that way they can adapt to the changing situation using their own initiative. It also gives them an opportunity to chew on things and offer up suggestions of their own. (If your men have ideas, I strongly suggest you listen to them if there's time. Of course, there's no obligation for you to choose those ideas)

NTM
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 1:48:13 PM EST
The way the seniors act is typical ROTC/OCS attitude: Lots of noise. Play the games for now, but when you get to your first unit, just be yourself. Your troops will see through any facade you put up and have little respect for the acting. Talking to your troops, being genuinely interested in them, and getting to know them is also a good thing. Trying to buddies and hang out, is not. I assume you are Army ROTC since you refer to "E1s," "PSGs," and "PLs." Unfortunately, and this is NOT a cheap shot or a flame, my experience with junior Amry officers is that they do look down on their troops, pull rank when it suits them, and gernally treat their troops like dirge. This is not the way and if this is how your Seniors act, they are wrong.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 1:51:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/13/2005 1:52:38 PM EST by bull_8]
Sorry but the ole gunny has something to say:







j/k
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 1:52:31 PM EST

Originally Posted By SSeric02:
The way the seniors act is typical ROTC/OCS attitude: Lots of noise. Play the games for now, but when you get to your first unit, just be yourself. Your troops will see through any facade you put up and have little respect for the acting. Talking to your troops, being genuinely interested in them, and getting to know them is also a good thing. Trying to buddies and hang out, is not. I assume you are Army ROTC since you refer to "E1s," "PSGs," and "PLs." Unfortunately, and this is NOT a cheap shot or a flame, my experience with junior Amry officers is that they do look down on their troops, pull rank when it suits them, and gernally treat their troops like dirge. This is not the way and if this is how your Seniors act, they are wrong.



At least i knew what it was like to be junior enlisted i think that helps.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 1:55:15 PM EST
Certainly it does! Not always necessary, but it helps. One of my regrets is that I didn't serve as an enlisted Marine before being commissioned. Of course, I've seen plenty of prior service officers who were/are complete assclowns too. Being a leader is really all about understanding one's responsibility, not just being in charge.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 3:14:10 PM EST

Originally Posted By Manic_Moran:

What I try to do is answer the "why" questions after the task is accomplished. That does two things. One, it doesn't get your guys in the habit of asking why when something is time critical. And two, it lets the guys know you aren't just giving inane orders.


Of course, inasmuch as possible I try to give the 'why' beforehand at the time, ie. during the oporder. You will get a much better result from your men if you let them know what you intend to be the end result, that way they can adapt to the changing situation using their own initiative.
NTM



Good points about pre-op planning. I was referring to "on-the-go" situations.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 3:16:02 PM EST
Simple really, either earn respect (the hard one) or demand respect (the easy one).
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 3:20:05 PM EST

Originally Posted By MrClean4Hire:
Simple really, either earn respect (the hard one) or demand respect (the easy one).



I just can't stay away from this topic for some reason. Here's another good point that I want to bore people to death with my opinion on. I never ask my guys to do something I wouldn't do. If they see you're willing to do what they do it will go a long way towards earning their respect. The time to do this is in training. Remember as an officer in combat/on deployment your job is not to be doing the dirty work. You are supposed to keep your hands free to evaluate, plan, and issue orders.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 3:21:48 PM EST
ROTC, it's a game.

Play the game to the best of your ability and follow the rules.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 3:22:50 PM EST
It's funny. I really didn't carry a big stick on officers one way or the other...but now that I have more education than most of them, I don't have a shitload of respect for most of them.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 3:38:16 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/13/2005 3:38:45 PM EST by DK-Prof]

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By MrClean4Hire:
Simple really, either earn respect (the hard one) or demand respect (the easy one).



I just can't stay away from this topic for some reason. Here's another good point that I want to bore people to death with my opinion on. I never ask my guys to do something I wouldn't do. If they see you're willing to do what they do it will go a long way towards earning their respect. The time to do this is in training. Remember as an officer in combat/on deployment your job is not to be doing the dirty work. You are supposed to keep your hands free to evaluate, plan, and issue orders.



One of the nice things about the Danish army (just in case anyone other than me even remotely cares ) is the every officer served as a private and as a sergeant.

Normally, to become an officer, you start out a private like everyone else. You go through a minimum of three months basic, sometimes longer - and then the best privates can apply to sergeant's school. After finishing eight months of sergeant's school, you have to serve as a sergeant (usually as a squad leader) for about six months, and then the best sergeants can apply to officer's school.

You can then either go through a short, 6-month officer's training program (that is designed primarily to make you a platoon commander, with an emphasis on platoon and company-level tactics), or you can go through a longer, 42-month formal officer's school, that trains you to have a career in the army, but also starts you out as a platoon commander.

Either way, the nice part about the system is that EVERY officer in the Danish army used to be a grunt who was digging holes and crawling around in the mud, who was trained and proficient on all the weapons systems, and who worked as a sergeant for at least 6 months (often more) before ever stars on his shoulders.


I like the British and U.S. systems too (all have their advantages and disadvantages), but the one benefit to the the system described above is that everyone knows that you can do (and have done) what they are doing - and you can probably do it better than they can.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 3:39:56 PM EST

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:


I like the British and U.S. systems too (all have their advantages and disadvantages), but the one benefit to the the system described above is that everyone knows that you can do (and have done) what they are doing - and you can probably do it better than they can.



one advantage is officers have to do lots of paper work and sometimes a degree helps.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 3:44:34 PM EST
DK,
I was prior enlisted. It goes a long way with the troops. ROTC or academy grads don't get the benefit of the doubt priors do.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 3:56:42 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/13/2005 4:06:07 PM EST by Manic_Moran]
Irish Army has a relatively similar policy, at least for the reserves. The military is small enough that all regular army officers go through the Cadet School (Our version of Sandhurst or West Point) for a couple of years, so you know they've gone through some tough times, unlike (I'm sorry to say) ROTC. Nothing personal, but ROTC is easily the least stressful way of earning a commission, I think. Not to say there aren't good ROTC-produced officers, just they did it the easy way!

Reserves follow a similar policy to the Danish, it would seem. With the exception of doctors in the medical corps, and those entering the corps of engineers with a civil engineering degree, in order to be an officer you must have been prior enlisted. Which basically means go in as a recruit, then go to 2-star and 3-star rank (3-star = PFC), take the corporal's course, become a corporal (that means you've been in at least three years), usually get to sergeant but not always then go to the POT's course (Potential Officer Training) which is a two-year process (Weekends and occasional week, kindof like traditional National Guard OCS). So on average, even a 2nd Lieutenant in the Irish reserves has five to seven years of experience behind him.

None of this helps our original poster, of course.

Most of my soldiers had degrees, it's no longer a distinguishing factor between officers and enlisted these days. (Especially in the National Guard, where you can bet that a lot of even your E-4s and E-5s are mature and educated. To even it out though, I was a 27-year-old 2LT). Less so in the regular army, where a lot of privates joined up to get the money to go to college in the first place. Bear in mind that intelligence and education are not the same thing. You can have smart, if uneducated troops, and educated officers who are complete idiots.

NTM
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