Posted on May 5, 2015
PO1 John Miller
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Though I have been retired for almost 3 years, I noticed this for a few years before I retired and it seems to be getting worse on the military pages and sites I follow.

Example: You get a Sailor (Soldier, Airman, Marine, etc.) fresh from Boot Camp/Basic Training and A School (MOS training). Upon being assigned to you they feel it is appropriate to call you by just your last name. When you assign them a task such as cleaning, they feel the need to ask why they're being told to do it.

"Explaining" how the chain of command and respect works falls on deaf ears, or you end up hurting their feelings and they feel the need to file an Equal Opportunity complaint or go crying to the next person in the chain of command that you were "mean to them."

At first I thought maybe I just wasn't the strongest leader (I wasn't), but I noticed it happening a lot and not just to me.

I'm looking for opinions, thoughts, rants, how you nip the problem in the bud, etc.
Posted in these groups: 141102-z-il062-067 Military bearing
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SGM Brigade Operations (S3) Sergeant Major
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If a kid coming out of basic training/AIT called me by only my last name, there would be nothing left of him to bury.
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PO1 John Miller
PO1 John Miller
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Old age habits I guess SSG(P) (Join to see). This particular person I had been in the Navy longer than she had been alive!
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LTC Bink Romanick
LTC Bink Romanick
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Smoke em SGM!
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Lmao. I love it.
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SGT Mark Rhodes
SGT Mark Rhodes
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You took the words right out of my mouth SGM Oldsen. Thank you
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Capt Retired
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Asking "Why am I picked" for a job is older than most posting. I heard that in the early 60s.

The other things mentioned are frankly not a problem with the newbies, but the old timers.

The standard is not what is tradition or regulation. The standard is what is practiced and enforced. If you permit it you have allowed a new standard to be set.
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GySgt Wayne A. Ekblad
GySgt Wayne A. Ekblad
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Excellent point!
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Capt Retired
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I was once in an awards ceremony for Junior High kids. The ceremony had not been held for several years because the kids would be too rowdy. As a parent's group we fought to bring it back because we felt the kids deserved to be recognized for their work.

As the ceremony progressed the kids were in fact getting more and more "out of line" Then the football coach had his turn to present. He went to the mike and in a commanding manner said how his presentation would be and that expected all cheers and jeers to be held until the whole group had received their awards. On the first name a kid started to cheer. A Look as if I will kill you if you don't wait was all that it took to have the utmost respect for his rules and the rest of the assembly was very orderly.
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Cpl Jeff N.
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If there are lower standards, more familiarity, less discipline, respect for authority etc. it is not the boot's fault. It is the fault of the leadership structure for allowing it.

I know it is harder today than it used to be to go after a poor performer or someone not getting the job done, to apply some appopriate alignment etc. Hazing, in almost any form, is frowned upon and, if reported can get an NCO in hot water. NCO's taking matters into their own hands could end you up in trouble these days.

Keep in mind though, the boots didn't make the policies that allow them to be the way they are. Senior military leadership set policy, regulation, expectation etc.
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Cpl Jeff N.
Cpl Jeff N.
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Unfortunately, that appears to be the case. You have to look at the way hazing is defined.

A snipet from the Army website:

Changing the tradition of hazing

Hazing, in all of its forms, needs to be eradicated from the Army, as it is incompatible with Army values, tradition and leadership, Chandler said.

"Hazing can be something as simple as a gantlet, where you may have a Soldier who has been recognized for something outstanding or been promoted," Chandler said. "His platoon would line up on either side of him, and then he would walk down the middle and be punched in the shoulder as hard as they could. That's an example of hazing.

"It could be anything as simple as that to forcing someone to lie on the ground doing flutter kicks until whoever has ordered him to do that tells him to recover. Minor forms of correction are acceptable. But when it's excessive, that's when it becomes hazing."

Sgt. Maj. Ralph L. Phillips wrote an ethics paper on hazing in the Army in 2008 while a Sergeants Major Course student at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas. In the paper, he discussed some of the ethical implications of having to stop certain types of hazing that he himself had witnessed.

In one such instance, Phillips recounted when a Soldier was promoted to sergeant. The first sergeant of the unit had all of the NCOs in the unit line up and take their turn at striking the new NCO. The hitting became a competition among the 40 NCOs to see who could hit the new NCO the hardest. No one stopped the process; however, a few NCOs chose not to hit the Soldier as forcefully, seeing that he was already in pain. To stop that type of behavior, Phillips ensured that all his junior Soldiers knew that striking a Soldier was never acceptable.

"Before a promotion ceremony and advancing a Soldier to the next grade, the first sergeant should state that striking or punching the new rank of the Soldier is, by definition, hazing," Phillips wrote. "If Soldiers hear this at every monthly promotion ceremony, then we are using effective leadership, enforcing standards and teaching what right looks like."

All NCOs need to understand Army policy and uphold it as their standard in their units, Phillips said.
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SGT Richard H.
SGT Richard H.
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Some of that actually is hazing (though not really all that wrong in my book, as I have fond memories of "blood rank" and "blood wings"). Flutter kicks for screwing up...NOT hazing.
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Cpl Jeff N.
Cpl Jeff N.
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I'm with you. We did far worse that push ups and flutter kicks. Sometime you need someone's immediate attention and alignment. Nothing will get that quicker than snatching someone briskly and with great energy.
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PO2 Skip Kirkwood
PO2 Skip Kirkwood
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Changes in terminology over time? What used to be "extra military instruction" is now hazing. And I would have felt like an outcast if the crew had not "tacked on" my dolphins the day I qualified!
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