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Posted: 10/17/2003 11:16:27 AM EDT
From Strategypage.com

It's more important to look good than to be good.

Non-matching furniture is a show-stopper. Untrained troops are not a show-stopper.

A unit that has no money for new computers or spare parts will still manage to afford a big-screen TV for Powerpoint slide shows.

A bad plan with good slides is better than a good plan with bad slides.

Three sergeants thinking about an issue dealing with their MOS for four months and coming up with a detailed plan, is not as good as a colonel who knows nothing about their MOS or the problem thinking about it for 30 seconds.

When you achieve high rank, the difference between what you know and what you feel fades away.

The schools officers go to aren't any better than the schools NCOs go to. But an NCO who goes to the ANCOC that deals with his MOS knows he's not necessarily smarter about his MOS; an Army officer who goes to an Air Force graduate school or a Joint College thinks he now knows more about the branch he's been away from for two years.

A year's hard work by the troops can be destroyed because of some minor incident that happened to the Colonel when he was a lieutenant.

Officers sit around thinking a lot. In a vacuum. This is not a good thing.

Officers think they're businessmen. They think the principles used in business, like "corporate vision" and "TQM" can work in the Army. This is because officers spend a lot of time trying to sell things, usually grand ideas and catchy names.

Officers believe that a plan won't succeed unless it has a good name, like "Operation Intrinsic Action." NCOs would rather give it something simple, like "Operation Beat Their ******* Heads In 5," and get on with it.

Officers really do believe that a soldier is happier when he's busy, even if he's not doing what's important. NCOs know that nothing is so useless as doing well something which should not be done at all.

There are a lot of officers out there who would have been better as NCOs, and a lot of NCOs who would have been better as officers.
NCOs NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES refer to other soldiers as "customers."

Creating a twenty-minute slide show that makes the commander look good will get you the same medal as working your a-- off for 12 months for the same commander.
Link Posted: 10/17/2003 1:15:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/17/2003 1:15:29 PM EDT by MickAr15]
Well said brother, well said.

(A former Army SSG)
Link Posted: 10/17/2003 3:25:07 PM EDT
Guess I was lucky, always had good officers. Maybe because I was Aviation, don't know.

One thing I do know is even after being out for 10 years and some of those officers have since retired as Majors or higher, I'm still in touch with them through email.

They haven't forgotten their NCO's and soldiers.
Link Posted: 10/17/2003 3:33:27 PM EDT
an education or degree does NOT make a man a leader....my experiences tell me that 9 times outa 10, if an officer wasnt a field grade officer...they didnt know their ass from a hole in the ground...of course there were exceptions...but not many.
Link Posted: 10/17/2003 6:19:19 PM EDT
About sums it up for the Air Force also. Pretty bad when a lowly knuckle dragger of an NCO knows more about the PRACTICAL laws of physics than an engineering officer with a nice degree on his wall.
Link Posted: 10/18/2003 7:42:48 AM EDT
You've gotta be careful, many officers have served at one time as NCO's, or at the very least as enlisted. If you ever go through officer training after having gone through enlisted training, you'll understand why officers seem so peculiar.

And leave PowerPoint out of this. It makes war possible.
Link Posted: 10/19/2003 12:24:21 PM EDT
CAR-10

In GEN Patton were alive today he'd probably say something like this...


No poor bastard ever won a war for his country by making powerpoint slides, he won it by making the other poor bastard make power point slides for his country!


Former Army D+SGT and creater of many-a Power Point Slides for Senior Leadership who really didn't know WTF I was talking about.
Link Posted: 10/20/2003 1:52:48 AM EDT
The officers that were once NCO's were better,it's the officers right out of school that don't know their head from a hole in the wall.
I had a good major and captain that was special forces that were really good and actually cared about their troops. The others didn't even know their jobs!!!!!.

Link Posted: 10/20/2003 10:00:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/20/2003 10:01:47 PM EDT by Zardoz]
Early on, you can tell which of the LTs will turn out to be good officers. They're the ones that leave the NCOs alone, and let them do their job. They also actually listen to their NCOs. I had a Battery CO at FT Hood who was an outstanding officer. We hardly ever saw him in garrison, except for inspections and formations. And in the field he'd brief the NCOs, issue whatever orders were neccesary, and let us handle it. He didn't EVER "micro-manage".
Link Posted: 10/21/2003 7:48:57 AM EDT
I concur that officers who have the perspective of being prior enlisted tend to make pretty good decisions.

Of the non-prior enlisted officers, I've seen two general types:

1. Those who understand the limitations of their knowledge and experience and look to the wisdom of their NCOs for counsel. These guys tend to thrive.

2. Those who think a piece of metal on their collar means they have all the answers and tell their NCOs, "Just do it my way." (Actual quote) They tend to have a tougher time and do more pissing off than production.
Link Posted: 10/21/2003 11:25:10 AM EDT
Ive prob met about as many brain dead jr. NCOs as I have cherry Os. I think its really on an individual basis. Whoever said the comment about telling whether and LT will be an idiot or not right off the bat is pretty right on though.
Link Posted: 10/21/2003 11:44:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Brohawk:
I concur that officers who have the perspective of being prior enlisted tend to make pretty good decisions.

Of the non-prior enlisted officers, I've seen two general types:

1. Those who understand the limitations of their knowledge and experience and look to the wisdom of their NCOs for counsel. These guys tend to thrive.

2. Those who think a piece of metal on their collar means they have all the answers and tell their NCOs, "Just do it my way." (Actual quote) They tend to have a tougher time and do more pissing off than production.

That's a pretty good assessment. I know it sounds weird, but officer training doesn't teach you how to think, it teaches you how to lead. And it can only go so far in that, too. The rest of it is up to the individual soldier. Since, in the military especially, one learns the right way to think through experience, the best way to figure that out as a "cherry O" is to lean on your NCOs. Sometimes it's your baby bucks, sometimes it's Top. I've seen pretty braindead E-8s and I've seen shy and naive E-5s. I've also seen a lot of both who were stellar NCOs, too.

I'm one of those "Cherry O's", by the way. I've been a PL for less than a year. Had an interesting conversation with my PSG a while back ... "Hey, Sar'nt Martin, I don't have a clue how to do this." "You know, sir, I don't either." "Well, I guess that means we'll just have to figure it out."
Link Posted: 10/21/2003 9:56:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/21/2003 9:57:43 PM EDT by AF-Lineman]
For all of the ragging that I tend to do on Officers:
1. I don't want their job. I've got my own BS to deal with, they have MUCH more.

2. I have a Shit Hot Lt. that I work for. He is the head of a very diverse team and knows how to get the best out of his people. He trusts us and will (has) put his ass on the line for us. Can't ask for much more from anyone, officer or enlisted. (BTW, he is NOT prior enlisted, but his Dad was.)
Link Posted: 10/24/2003 2:53:59 AM EDT
I am currently in IOBC at Ft. Benning. About 40% of the LTs here are prior service, and many of those (including myself with 14 years) were SNCOs. I believe it is vital to the health of our military and the officer profession to retain high quality NCOs and SNCOs by promoting them to the officer ranks. BUT...we also need those same high quality NCOs and SNCOs to remain where they are, because they are the ones that make things happen. A bad officer can rarely make an NCO look bad but a bad NCO can always make and officer look bad.

The SNCOs here at the IOBC cadre are of the highest caliber and will produce an excellent basically trained infantry LT. But that training must continue once the LT arrives at his first platoon by the platoon sergeant, the squad and team leaders. If those NCOs fail to teach the LT the right way to do things then you get bullshit officers in high ranking positions.

But regardless of how fucked up the military is, we still win wars.

2LT Smith
A Co 2/11
IOBC 01-04
Link Posted: 10/24/2003 4:40:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By PONY_DRIVER:
CAR-10

In GEN Patton were alive today he'd probably say something like this...


No poor bastard ever won a war for his country by making powerpoint slides, he won it by making the other poor bastard make power point slides for his country!



Funny!

Link Posted: 10/25/2003 9:26:41 PM EDT
Exactly why they put the holes for a padlock on the outside of a HUMVEE...
Link Posted: 11/1/2003 2:28:46 PM EDT
I don't know what goes on in the rear in peacetime, but I expect a lot of it is just killing time.

I do know from my experience that LT's in platoon size operations have a lot to do and not a lot of help doing it.

If I didn't go out with a patrol every afternoon, we didn't get to where we needed to be. Even Platoon Sergeants would slack off because the had to live closer to the troops than I did.

And I had to work the encoders, which was a pain and took any of the NCO's even the experienced ones, twice as long.

Calling defensive fires for the NDP and even daytime fire missions carried a lot of responsibility that most NCO's don't want.

So like I said before, I don't know what goes on in peacetime and I don't even know what goes on at division in wartime, but I know that LTs and Captains take a lot of responsibility for keeping it all together.
Link Posted: 11/6/2003 5:46:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/6/2003 5:48:19 AM EDT by Cincinnatus]
I was an NCO, now I am an officer.
Thank God things in the Corps aren't as bad as what's posted above.

From my perspective, some of the best officers I have known were prior enlisted. BUT, some of the WORST officers I have known were prior enlisted.
Only a prior enlisted officer knows how to "skate". That's a skill that is only learned as an enlisted man.
Having a high GT score, and a clean Page 11 is sometimes all that propels an enlisted man towards OCS. What makes a college boy decide to become a Marine Officer?

I'm in the reserves now.
The one thing that separates the Marine reserves, from the other services is this:
All officers in the Marine Reserves have served at least four years on active duty. Plt Commanders are Captains.

The idea of having to deploy with a CO who has never served a day on active duty is horrifying.
Link Posted: 11/8/2003 2:49:21 AM EDT
I'll agree with joshuaseverson...I did 20, mostly in ABN units, I've worked with many fine officers and some dead beats and the same with NCOs...seen both who made me wonder why I never became an officer and some NCO's that made me think they went to the board by correspondence course...a man is a man (or woman/woman) and its what's in the heart that counts, you cannot hide it from the troops and leadership is a skill not a position or rank...
Link Posted: 11/8/2003 5:25:47 AM EDT
An odd, but true observation made recently by my current C.O., about a certain SNCO in ouur unit....

The SNCO in question isn't a very good SNCO. He lacks the non-stop attention to detail, ability to see things through, and follow up on them, that all good SNCOs possess.
He hasn't stopped being a "pal" to the Sergeants. The SNCO in question was an outstanding Sergeant. He's just a shitty Staff Sergeant.
But what the C.O. said struck me as odd, because it was so true;

"He would have made a better officer."

I didn't take this as a slight on officers. Quite the contrary. An officer made this keen observation, after all. It just shows that good SNCOs, NCOs and officers are all wired differently.
An E3 or E4 rarely has the ability to know the scope and responsibility of being a Commander.

The be
Link Posted: 11/8/2003 5:33:50 AM EDT
Interesting post!

My CO, permanent party, was a Mustang and excellent officer. He was replaced by a VMI grad.

Tj
Link Posted: 11/18/2003 10:46:21 AM EDT

Academy grads are outstanding. Either outstanding soldiers or outstanding idiots.

I once saw an EOBC company commander violate the "No POV's Beyond This Point" sign at the demolition range only to have a 400 pound boulder land RIGHT NEXT TO HIS BMW after the cratering charges were blown. Idiot and yes, a ring-knocker.

ROTC grads are generally good soldiers because they do not bring false pretenses to their command. The better ones are those that spent time before college as enlisted SM's.

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