B2B is maintaining standards, discipline in garrison

| May 2, 2014 | 0 Comments


Sgt. Maj. James H. Jackson
45th Special Troops Battalion
45th Sustainment Brigade
8th Theater Sustainment Command

As the backbone of the Army, noncommissioned officers serve as front-line trainers, small unit leaders and standard bearers to ensure that order, discipline and proper guidelines are maintained.

We are charged with the duty to supervise Soldiers and to shape, mentor and ensure that the welfare of Soldiers is always at the forefront.

Command sergeants major are standard bearers, gatekeepers and servants to the system. Our job is to ensure that all NCOs are taking care of our young Soldiers and teaching them how to be leaders.

We should carefully assess all junior leaders and ask ourselves the following questions: Did I provide them with all the right tools? Did I really show them what they needed to know? Did I do all I could have done to make them successful?

These are questions most parents will ask themselves when faced with children who have ventured off onto the wrong side of the law or simply found themselves in a bad situation. Similarly, noncommissioned officers in the Army feel just as responsible when their Soldiers do not always live up to the Army Values.

My mentality coming into 45th Special Troops Battalion was to establish a new foundation and conduct proper coaching, teaching and mentoring of my NCOs. I have used several approaches to help foster this environment and get junior leaders back to the basics. It starts with memorandums to all NCOs on standards of conduct while assigned to the STB, addresses what they can expect of me as the battalion command sergeant major and also what I expect of them as NCOs assigned to the battalion.

I schedule quarterly meetings with the battalion’s senior NCOs and solicit ideas on how we can continue to develop our junior leaders, stressing the word “our.” This method fosters relationships with senior leaders and reinforces their required involvement and need of support to ensure success.

We hold weekly battalion-level formations and conduct in-ranks inspections for adherence to AR 670-1 (Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia), conduct drill and ceremony, and barracks inspections. We acknowledge and reward the best Soldier, squad, platoon and company.

For NCO professional development, we select topics that allow young leaders to foster thought, interact with each other and discuss similar experiences in small groups. These sessions include instructions on standards and discipline, lessons learned from the different blotter incidents occurring within the battalion, and thinking through how they could have been avoided or better handled.

We also discuss topics such as NCO Education System preparation and attendance, the Army Physical Fitness Test, vehicle and weapons maintenance, profiles and the impact of these statistics on unit readiness.

Every quarter ends with a battalion-level Warrior Challenge or athletic event that focuses on team building, esprit de corps and resiliency.

Sure, some may say these things are pretty basic to the average junior leader. However, you’d be surprised how many young leaders don’t address or enforce violations on basic standards, such as saluting, uniform standards, not walking and texting on one’s cell phone — more so simply enforcing the standards and discipline within their organizations.

When Soldiers are out of control and fail to maintain standards and discipline, they embarrass not only themselves, but also the entire military community. Soldiers must understand that they represent their unit, installation and Army when they are off the installation.

Remember, get back to the basics of soldiering and remind yourself that you are leaders and the guardians of standards.


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Category: News, Standing Columns

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