Bridging the Basics: Leadership begins with junior enlisted

| May 23, 2014 | 0 Comments
Irvin

Irvin

Sgt. Maj. Joe N. Irvin
130th Engineer Battalion (Provisional) 130th Eng. Brigade
8th Theater Sustainment Command
Are leaders in the Army created or developed?
Some would say that leaders are developed through mentorship of other leaders, the Noncommissioned Officer Education System schools or that they’re born.
The real answer is through Soldiers.
In the Army, every officer, warrant officer and NCO achieved his leadership status from the hard work of a Soldier. The biggest asset in the Army is the Soldier. Ninety percent of all missions are completed with Soldiers, because good leadership and trust from the Soldiers made them possible.
How is this possible?
It is because the Soldier was introduced to good leaders from the very beginning. Basic training and advanced individual training is the first place a Soldier encounters a leader, an NCO.
This first impression is critical because the Soldier is looking for good guidance and strong leadership at all times. If the leader is a strong leader, then that Soldier will perform his best and emulate that leadership style because he is receiving the guidance he needs.
Leadership is a power-ful tool, and if used correctly, it can have a positive
effect throughout an
organization.
If the Army is looking to improve its structure of Soldiers and leader performance through bridging the basics, then it must start from the root, and that is leadership at the basic level. As leaders, if we are more concerned about ourselves and not the whole team, then we have already failed.
Trust, discipline and sound leadership are key elements Soldiers want and need at all times. If we fail them at the very beginning of their career, then what does that tell Soldiers? It tells them that we do not care for their well-being or their future.
We have the best leaders in the Army, and it is our job to ensure we take care of them from start. The first steps have to be the correct ones, which are achieving the standards and setting the example.
Part of the NCO Creed talks about a basic responsibility being “the welfare of my Soldiers.” This responsibility must be an everyday lifestyle for a leader, specifically the NCO.
There is nothing more basic than that.

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Category: News, Standing Columns

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