ABSTRACT of knowledge in dealing with lower enlisted soldiers.

ABSTRACT

Promoting
Soldiers in leadership roles with little experience may cause negative consequences
to the army. As I look back to the date I joined the United States Army, Noncommissioned officers who
were in leadership position, knew what it meant to be an NCO. They have worked
hard to earned their respect and the trust of soldiers. Ten years ago, you
could ask any NCOs about their soldiers and they could tell you everything
about them. It doesn’t matter the cost; these NCOs were very professional. In
my opinion, the Army is steadily changing. The more we promoted inexperience Soldiers
to the Corps, the more we lose good Soldiers and NCOs who want to make a
difference for the Army. Soldier and NCOs who are promoted back to back in less
than a year do not have enough time for development. That time is not enough to
help establish a good relationship with their Soldier or even learn their job. That
situation happened on every rank in the U.S. Army. Solders in today’s army are
being promoted faster to the noncommissioned officer rank with little to know
experience in their MOS and lack of knowledge in dealing with lower enlisted soldiers.
In my opinion, Soldiers need more time as a squad leader or section sergeant to
be successful in their military career.

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Who is an Army leader? Everyone
in the NCO Corps would gladly say they are a leader. Are they really a leader? In
my opinion, no. Not because you accept a leadership role makes you a leader. An
Army leader is someone who
assumes role, assigns responsibility inspires and influences people to
accomplish organizational goals. Army leaders motivate people both inside and
outside the chain of command to pursue actions, focus thinking, and shape
decisions for the greater good of the organization. 12 October 2006 FM 6-22
pg1-1 par 1-2.

I joined The United States Army because I wanted to make a difference
in my life and other people life. As a young sergeant in the Army I realized it wasn’t
all about me but the Soldiers standing to the left of me.  I had to set aside time from my busy schedule
to help them with their issues, whether it was physical training, counseling or
family issues. As an NCO, my job never
stops, I make sacrifice to be there for your soldiers seven days a week. These
last few years as NCOs are increasing faster in ranks some have not grasp the
concept that they now have larger responsibilities. Yes, we all want to achieve
the next level but there are circumstances along the way. Remember Soldiers are
looking at you for direction and motivation. An example of this is within my
battalion. We have NCOs who are certified as Equal opportunity leaders and Master
resilience NCO and has never volunteered to teach a class.

Basically, they obtained these
classes to get more points to get promoted faster. I select NCOs based on their competence, experience and knowledge to
complete the mission and peer them with an inexperience NCO or soldier who are
lacking in training.

 

Currently in my brigade, the Modification
table of organization and equipment (MTOE) has been
deficient of staff sergeant. Due to the limited amount of staff sergeant at my
battalion, our higher echelon has declared that we promote from within. This
would be to fill those essential position that need to be fill by E6s. Anyone
can clearly see this as an issue. Most of our sergeants even with time in
service and grade have not fully develop and still learning how to train,
mentor and lead soldiers. I think that promoting a young specialist to sergeants
with a slight amount time of service do not know about leadership skills. That
would be a bad decision for the NCO Corps. especially when they must execute task and provide information to Soldiers
from higher leadership while making tough decisions. For example, now we have
sergeants taking on greater responsibility as a staff sergeant who didn’t quite
meet the standard as a sergeant.  The Army
relies on NCOs who can execute complex tactical operations, making intent
driven decisions, and who can operate in joint, interagency, and multinational
scenarios. At what point, will we
senior leaders step in and refurbishment some of these promotion areas where
inexperience NCO and soldiers are being promoted.  

In
my opinion, the promotion processes for “Primary Zone” and
“Secondary Zone could use some modification.

The current primary zone to
Sergeant (E-5)
is 8 months TIG, that should be change to 1 year 6 months.  As an E-4 TIS is 36
months (3 years), no issues there. For Staff Sergeant (E-6) is 10 months TIG, should
change to 1 year and 6 months. As an E-5 is 84 months TIS (7 years) not a
problem. As far as the Secondary Zone (Exceptional Performers) goes, a Sergeant (E-5) is currently 4 months TIG and 18
months TIS. I would change it to 8 months TIG and 18 months TIS. Then Staff Sergeant (E-6) is currently 5 months TIG and 48 months (4
years) TIS. It would change to 9 months TIG and 48 months TIS.  A little more leadership time in that rank
wouldn’t hurt but would help mold them into better leaders.

Another reason
promoting early without knowledge and experience can hurt a unit? You have NCOs
in your formation, using their rank for personnel gain. The NCO creed states,
“I will not use my grade or position to attain pleasure profit or personnel
safety”, and yet we have NCOs out there abusing their rank. This is not news but the commander is responsible
for establishing leadership climate of the unit and developing disciplined and
cohesive units. We as NCOs need to uphold the army standards within our units. I have a sergeant now who just got transferred to my company
from another company because of adultery. So, what are we not doing as junior
and senior leaders? We teach quarterly Sexual Assault Prevention and
Response Program (SHARP), Equal Opportunity (EO) and Master Resilience Training (MRT) classes and
yet we have misconduct continuing in our ranks. Relationships between Soldiers of different rank are prohibited. If
they are involved, or appear to be involve, this is an improper use of rank and
position for personal gain. As well when it clearly has predictable adverse
impact on discipline, authority, morale, or the ability of the command to
accomplish its mission.  Army regulation
600-20 paragraph 4-14 (b) 

Through the years I’ve often heard “Leaders are born, not made”. Being a
leader or in a leadership position takes great responsibility which was
entrusted to us. Having discipline will make you a better leader.

Here’s a
quote from Steve Jobs which is posted in my office. “My job is to not be easy
on people. My job is to make them better. My job is to pull things together
from different parts of the company and clear the ways and get the resources
for the key projects. And to take these great people we have and to push them
and make them even better, coming up with more aggressive visions of how it
could be.” Most America’s Most Admired Companies March 7, 2008.

Conclusion

With
inexperience Soldiers and NCOs being place in demanding job position,
counseling and training is vital to these young warriors. Due to the Army’s
shortage of NCOs, automatic promotion for
enlisted personnel with the rank of E-4 to sergeant, or E-5 in the Army’s
hierarchy of service ranks was put in place. I believe the current promotion policy will continue to
cause some issues in the promoting of NCOs. Just remember, to be a leader you must have followers. To have
followers you must be able to direct influence and motivate your soldiers. Continue
to be all that you can be as a leader. Use your words to shape and inspire others.