Posted on Mar 14, 2014
SGT Brandon Baba
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I got pinned sgt in november 2013. There is this one specialist in my squad that always asks why or why should i do that or just questions anything i say. And i have proven him wrong everytime but he still thinks he knows more than i do. When i came in the army i would get smoked for looking at someone the wrong way muchless questioning an NCO. But im not sure what i can do in this new army. This new army really affects soldiers discapline... Even if i could smoke him hes on profile. What can i do to get this SPC in check??
Posted in these groups: Discipline1 Discipline
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SFC First Sergeant
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There is a difference between asking why and insubordination. Whenever I give subordinates a task, I show them how to do it, participate with them, and I also do my best to say "...and this is why." I do it out of respect to them and their time, and to mitigate an endless line of questioning. Once your subordinates start to trust that you have sound judgement and aren't wasting their time, they will probably just happily go along with whatever you ask of them. Then you know that you have become a true leader that they are choosing to follow, and you will rarely have to discipline them.<br>
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SFC First Sergeant
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>1 y
Respect is definitely something that needs to be maintained, and that is something that I did not touch on. I am very quick to enforce standards of respect in all directions inside and outside of the classroom. Sometimes explaining why does not do the trick and in those cases, you have to say, "This is what the mission is and this is what your task is and if you will not execute it to standard and with respect, then we are going to work together to correct this deficiency."
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SFC Michael Whipple
SFC Michael Whipple
>1 y
SFC Watkins is correct, from what I read. So when you give the proper purpose, direction, and motivation for a task, they should have no reason to ask why. Think about it. "The BC is coming to the motorpool to spot check for cleanliness(?). So I need you to keep him off our radar and straighten out our vehicles, police any trash and this might lead to an early release." It's all there, purpose, direction, and motivation. As for the discipline, put it on paper. The pen is mightier than the sword, and with the Army drawing down, an early separation is enough punishment.
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CW3(P) Property Accounting Technician
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>1 y
I also agree. You now as a leader may have to cone up with a slightly different approach as to when you were the spc. If the soldier is genuinely curious then you may need to explain things a little. Some soldiers need to analyze everything (guilty). But now if this soldier just wants to be a thorn in your side, i suggest you have a sit diwn with tjis soldier
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CW3(P) Property Accounting Technician
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>1 y
Have a sit down with this soldier in the way of a formal counseling. Let him kniw what is expected of him as a soldier but also let him know what they can expect from you as a leader. And after that point if things dont change, i would start a paper trail. Because if this one does it and they dont fear any kind of repercussions you could have a potential problem on your hands. Good luck
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SFC Center Commander
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Well one problem is just a few months ago you were both Specialist. If you weren't moved to another Company, your leadership did you an injustice. I know this is supposed to happen and rarely does, but it just requires more creativity from you. SFC Watkins makes some great points. What she is suggesting is referent or charismatic power. This is the strongest way to lead Soldiers. When they trust and respect you, your word becomes law and can even defy science.
Now understand that every Soldier responds different to varying styles of leadership. Some of these kids grew up without fathers, some in gangs, or simply were just never taught respect. With time you will learn to read each individual and determine the best way to get their attention. I too struggled as a young newly promoted Sergeant with simlar issues. As I watch the different techniques of my leaders, I molded my own leadership style.
A few of my personal philosophies....

Never come in soft and try to crack down after. Always the opposite.

Speak to all Soldiers with the same level of respect as you would any CSM. Remembering that they too chose to do the same job you did a few years ago.

Be very strict, but fair. Always more strict on yourself! Do not become cocky because of your new promotion.

As a last resort....If all else fails with this guy, then you just have to counsel him with a good ole magic bullet at the bottom. Do this three times for like incidents and boom you have an Article 15. If he or she values their career at all in today's Army, they will abide by the rules like everyone else.
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SFC First Sergeant
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>1 y
I LOVE what you just said there, "Speak to all Soldiers with the same level of respect as you would any
CSM. Remembering that they too chose to do the same job you did a few
years ago."
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SGT(P) Bryon Sergent
SGT(P) Bryon Sergent
>1 y
This is good food for thought thanks SSG Austin.
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SGT Brandon Baba
SGT Brandon Baba
>1 y
Thank you. Yours and SFC Watkins advise is extremely helpful. I am going to make sure to explain why more often now. I almost forgot that when I was a joe i respected when my leaders explained why too.
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SGT 94 E Radio Comsec Repairer
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SGT Baba,

If you genuinely care for your Soldiers, and show yourself to be disciplined and knowledgeable while maintaining the standard and treating others with respect, then your Soldiers will eventually come around to not just displaying respect (e.g. standing at parade rest, etc.) but actually respecting you.

"People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."
- Theodore Roosevelt
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PO2 Brian Rhodes
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SSG Randy Talbot
SSG Randy Talbot
12 mo
Part of your role as a leader I see to train your troops to take over from you should anything happen. There is nothing wrong with pulling this SP aside, and put them in charge of a detail or task. Question what they did, why they made the decisions they made allow them to see "inside" what leadership means and how it works. This gives the sp in question to have to think through things. Do the same with other members as well. Let them have a chance, then do a one on one with them as a hotwash. This is where you critique their leadership abilities, and their "followership" abilities. Actually, if done correctly, you will bring the section together as they now have an understanding of the things you have to go through each day and how much you care.

To be a good leader, you have to be a good follower.
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