Posted on Oct 4, 2015
SSG S3 Operations Nco
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Are Soldiers losing their military bearing and feeling more sense of entitlement?

Are we failing to enforce and demonstrate place & position?
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SFC Equal Opportunity Advisor
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It appears Soldiers are losing their bearing because of the type of Soldiers we are bringing in to the force today. This younger generation was raised with parents who hovered over them in an overly protective mode. Children were told it was ok to challenge authority figures if they felt they were being abused. This was done with the the best of intentions but it did not foster thenrightntype of challenges. What one considers abuse, another may consider it just being enforcement. Children are given participation trophies or medals and many events don't have winners and losers. This fostered the mentality that you should get rewarded for basically just showing up. It didn't matter how little or how much effort you have, you all got the same reward so then why bother going above and beyond? So now we have Soldiers that believe they can challenge EVERY order given, not just the immoral or illegal ones. They feel they deserve recognition for doing their job. If my SGT passes an inspection for her meal card program, then she gets "good job" from me. That's it. No award should be given because it IS her job to pass an inspection. Now, if she had inherited a program where the last inspection had been "red" and this time it was "outstanding", then maybe I could see an award being given. I'm all about recognizing Soldiers for deserving acts, but not for just doing your job. I mean seriously, if a Soldier failed the APFT and then passes the next one, do they deserve to be rewarded for that?
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PFC Shower/Laundry and Clothing Repair Specialist
PFC (Join to see)
6 mo
Um...……..This Narrows down to Leadership....To add so many more details to this topic is a no brainier….Keep it short and simple, if you are a NCO be prepared to Lead, and if you are lower enlisted do not be afraid to see and react. What it's all about.
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CPL Jack Baker
CPL Jack Baker
3 mo
The Military is one of the last true Meritocracies , for the most part, you get what you earn. Most kids these days never really had to earn anything. Also adolescents is lasting longer as lifespans are lasting longer. Adolescents now is not ending until soldiers are in their mid 20's . You have soldiers whom were pulled out of adolescents earlier by trauma, they seem to do better in the military structure as they have been forced to mature ahead of their peers, thus responsibility is given to them earlier, causing a wider meritization and maturation deficit among the peer groups.
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PO1 Richard Cormier
PO1 Richard Cormier
3 mo
Sadly, newer recruits do NOT understand that the purpose of "Basic, AIT, Boot Camp,..." is to stress you to the point so that they know you can handle yourself and help others WHILE being stressed. Have seen senior NCO' s yelled at by juniors and taking no action for fear of them reporting them to their seniors and risking their service. Stupid but true.

Wall to wall counselling, punishment details, ... were all things to help juniors understand military life without NJP and Article 15's. Now all they get is a pass to the Chaplain and time in the "weep Locker".
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SPC Scott Verdin
SPC Scott Verdin
3 mo
I failed the APFT then passed it but never did once ever expect to be rewarded for it. It was some thing that just had to be done and that was it. By the way my time in service was from 89-96.
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SGM Steve Wettstein
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SSG (Join to see) Great question SSG Carter. I first noticed discipline problems in lower enlisted when I was a 1SG in 2007. IMO when the promotion points dropped, there were a lot of NCOs that got promoted to quickly or shouldn't have been promoted at all. There were, and probably still are, NCOs that didn't have the intestinal fortitude to make corrections on Soldiers because either A) they were friends with said Soldier or B) they didn't have the balls to make corrections. I saw it a ton of times. I lost count of how many times I had to correct a Soldier and then an NCO because they wouldn't do their job. Another factor in all of this was the Army granting waivers for Soldiers that prior to GWOT would not have been allowed to enlist. Lots of malcontents came in in the mid 00s.
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SGM Steve Wettstein
SGM Steve Wettstein
>1 y
SgtMaj Mark Davis - Mark, I think we (at least the Army) is going back to the pre GWOT military and hopefully the situation gets rectified.
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SFC Wesley Arnold, Jr
SFC Wesley Arnold, Jr
>1 y
SSG Tyshaun Cater, 1SG Steve Wettsin great question and on point 1SG Wettsin. Unfortunately for me from '01 - '04 as a Ft Jackson Drill Sergeant, we (TRADOC) initially still enforced the same enlistment standards as ... the last 30yrs? I had the misfortune of removing potential Soldiers who signed up immediately after 9/11 ... some even unaware of this devastating day. As we got closer to "Big Army's" move to the deployment for OIF/OEF they opened the flood gates with waivers for almost "everything". Once we were getting deeper into OIF/OEF, I was graduating Soldiers with the same medical and physiologic problems that were prior reasons for discharge.

Two examples the still stand out to me was "PVT Please" after a simple visit to sick call was ask by DR if he "ever had tubes in your ears?" Answer to this issue was an unwanted medical discharge. After the flood gates open I graduated "PVT Tubes", a soldier that had gone on sick call specially for ear problems ... Who was the better? PVT Please was the better Soldier hands down. The PVT all NCOs dream of coming out of Basic Combat Training (BCT) and PVT Tubes was a floater with minimal effort. (One of ??? that almost cost me my hat and stripes)

The second example that still curdles my stomach is "PVT Crazy", on psych medications ... Yep, you guess it, I couldn't ask why. I don't think our CMD or 1SG knew either ... all because she had no SI or HI. Yes, PVT Crazy graduated. A real hard hitting example iso PFC/SGT Bergdahl who was denied entrance to the US Coast Guard, but managed to join the Army. This flash flood of Soldiers to bring "Big Army's" numbers up I think also just pushed everyone too; you either went up the ranks or just continue to slush mud.

To many Soldiers with nothing but Down Range knowledge, which we all know unfortunately is not the same as Garrison. You take the Soldier out of that environment and back to "spit & polish" and they don't know how to act. Top that with Juniors NCOs who left Garrison as Privates, did great things, got promoted, and did a great job keeping his/her Soldiers safe. My guess is that more than have of all JR NCOs Army wide, were not leaders when they left. This is only caused a snowball effect, that will take time to fix. NCOPD needs to be on the forefront of training with mission oriented training simultaneously (that why we get/got the big bucks); and lower enlisted need to be mentored how to be a PVT and not slack wrinkle bag. To learn more about their job not just the one key mission that units conducted down range.
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SFC Don Ward
SFC Don Ward
6 mo
Fort Leonard Wood - 3d BCT Commander - A letter to the local newspaper told that the Cdr's intent was that his Drill Sgt's were to be "nice" to the Trainees. No hell week, no shakedowns, no yelling, and especially no cursing. The BCT POI changed to reflect no testing because the soldiers of this generation had "test anxiety". Things are not improving.
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SGT Team Chief
SGT (Join to see)
3 mo
SSG Jason Penn another reason while I do t miss the military.

I was asked to create training for my unit for we were about to deploy. I got in trouble for the training was too scary.

Also, I got counseled for counseling a soldier who failed the apft. I hurt his feelings.
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SSG Orders Action Officer
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Edited >1 y ago
I believe Soldiers are a product of their leadership. One NCO can't enforce the standard; it has to be a team effort by a cohesive NCO team.

I don't believe it has anything to do with the type of people coming into the Army. I was pretty messed up coming in, but I had leaders that took me under their wing and invested in me. Looking back on those leaders actually stirs up emotions for me, because they cared.
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COL John Maus
COL John Maus
>1 y
One NCO can enforce the standards. That's part of the problem, so many are looking to someone to do it
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SSG Orders Action Officer
SSG (Join to see)
>1 y
COL John Maus - I know what you are saying Sir. The SMA can't enforce all Army standards by himself. If one NCO is enforcing the standard in one unit and a Soldier moves to another unit where another NCO isn't enforcing the standard it can ruin that Soldier. It takes a combined effort throughout the Army to sustain Army-wide discipline. An NCO can either think he is an individual enforcing the standard or part of a team enforcing the standard, which would be more effective? I think the latter would be more effective for any organization.
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SFC Don Ward
SFC Don Ward
6 mo
Heard an old NCO say "We set a new standard every day ' lower than they day before.
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CPL Jack Baker
CPL Jack Baker
3 mo
Many NCO's have forgotten that they have to teach soldiers to be a team, don't just say it, give examples and foster that example. excellence is a habit, you still have to show soldiers what excellence looks like.
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