Posted on Nov 5, 2015
SPC Matthew Birkinbine
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So when I was coming up (granted I haven't gotten far, but if you see my DOR, you can see I've been around a while), when an NCO put someone senior to me in charge, it usually came with some kind of warning (spoken or implied), that s/he had the authority of that NCO; not to mention that I was taught, as long as it's not illegal, do what you're told by your NCO, without asking questions.

So, I have to ask, as someone who often finds him/herself in the position of being "in charge" without being the "first-line" supervisor (even though I am senior under our "first-line"), how do you deal with all of the questions when you give instructions to your subordinates, or when you try to teach them something and they seem to have better things to do than pay attention to you?
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Capt Mark Strobl
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Edited 5 y ago
(If I read your question correctly,)There are plenty of times where subordinate-ranked members are "in charge." Here's some examples: PMI's oversaw the rifle & pistol ranges. They worked in concert with the RSO's. The SgtMaj --He "owned" the parade decks... and directed all the officers who marched about. We had a SSgt who was our "resident" NBC NCO --He was in charge of the gas chamber and training of both the CO & XO. I worked with a Cpl who was my "truck-master" --He oversaw maintenance & records on all our vehicles. These weren't leadership positions, per se, but everyone reported to these people. Bottom line: Respect the billet as much as the rank.

Regarding the inattentive subordinates: Well, that's a "leadership challenge."
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SSgt Canvassing Recruiter
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I'm going to assume you are all peers in the situation. In the Marines we have a saying "Billet over Rank." Make it clear that you are in charge but like SSG Ryan R said you need to be clearer with your instructions and the their intent.
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SFC Patient Service Tech
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When in charge, be in charge. If your "peers" don't like that, then that is their problem.
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