Time, training, care make future leaders

| December 21, 2013 | 0 Comments

Master Sgt. Q.P. Bean, 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command

Bean

Bean

During my 20 years of military service, I have seen many changes in uniform and to policy.

Some of these changes have been for the best, and some not so much.

I have also witnessed the basic standards and discipline that once shaped the very fabric of our profession steadily decline.

I contemplated the reasons for this decline and decided to ask leaders what they thought contributed to this decay in the standards and discipline within our military. Out of all the responses I received, I was led to the same conclusion: A loss of the basic skills we all were taught at basic training has steadily been pushed to the back of our things to do list.

As I look around our Army these days, I see young Soldiers not respecting their leaders, and their leaders not respecting them. I set out to find a solution to at least fix the problem in the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command.

After much deliberation and studying, the answer became clear to me: We must go back to our beginning.

The leaders of the communications section of the 94th AAMDC have committed themselves to bridging the basics in respect to training our future leaders. Each month, the noncommissioned officers and Soldiers huddle together to discuss some of the new regulations that affect our profession. We look at how these changes can improve our section as a whole. We also help them develop clear and concise counseling for their Soldiers. We owe it to our Soldiers.

This method may seem simple and somewhat trite, but this practice is the first step in bridging that gap because we can’t expect our Soldiers to know what we expect of them unless we tell them and counsel them on their performance.

The next step we are taking within our team is training. I know training can be very tough given the budget cuts we are facing, but we, as leaders, have to be creative and come up with ways to train our Soldiers on the basics. We take them outside and teach them how to march, extend a physical training formation or even set up a radio antenna.

This training doesn’t take money, just our time. Telling Soldiers to go and accomplish a task that we have never taken the time to teach them only creates a cycle of failed leaders.

Finally, we must get back to showing Soldiers we care. To some, this telling might sound as if we are babying them. However, I believe it shows the total opposite. From a seasoned senior NCO’s experienced viewpoint, with many years of first sergeant assignments, when my Soldiers figured out how much I genuinely cared for them and their families, there was simply nothing they wouldn’t do for the mission and me.

Within the communications section, we always talk about dignity and respect from the highest to lowest ranking. We always allow the junior Soldiers to have a voice in the decision process in our section, because if Soldiers don’t feel they have a say in the planning, they will not be very happy Soldiers. Thus, the mission will fail and the section will lose in the end.

If all leaders start at the few simple points I have mentioned, we will see a major shift in the discipline in the Army and, in turn, preserve the pride and respect given to us by our nation from those who came before us and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

(Editor’s note: Bean is the 94th AAMDC communications section senior enlisted leader.)

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Category: Leadership, News, Standing Columns

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