Posted on Apr 7, 2014
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In today's Army, how do you feel and think about the word "why" in the Army vocabulary texts?
Posted in these groups: Train2 TrainingDiscipline1 Discipline
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Responses: 26
CSM Michael J. Uhlig
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<p>If the mission is time sensitive, I expect you to move out and execute once the order is received.&nbsp; The "why" is part of the orders process, if you do not issue clear orders you should be expected to answer why.&nbsp; </p><p><br></p><p>Understanding the changing culture, the younger Soldiers want to know the why of the mission, and how their contribution supports the outcome.&nbsp; It all goes back to issuing clear concise orders.</p>
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LTC Engineer Officer
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>1 y
I agree, CSM: if time allows. I like the "why" question because it shows that they care about what the purpose of their task is.  As you mentioned, f we issue clear orders, we should be including the "why" already.
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CPT Brandon Christensen
CPT Brandon Christensen
>1 y
I'm the same way Sir. I encourage my Soldiers to ask why after the mission is complete (ie an AAR). That way they understand the picture/reasoning behind it and also I learn different ways to accomplish the mission.
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CPT Brandon Christensen
CPT Brandon Christensen
>1 y
I agree with you too CSM. BUt I would still expect them to ask the "why" when giving the concise order. Reason being is maybe we missed something (NEVER, right?) or there is something we overlooked and by them asking why, it could save a Soldiers life. Nothing is more important than safety.
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SFC Brigade Cbrn Nco
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8 y
CSM Michael J. Uhlig said it perfectly.

There is a time and a place for why, and if situation allows, answer the question. By doing so, you are enabling your Soldiers to learn a more broad view of how these taskings will tie into the big picture. In doing so, you are developing future leaders to see the bigger pictures. If you are not delivering the entire view in your orders, answer their questions. If time doesn't allow, simply tell them, "execute, and I will answer afterwards."
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SSG Physical Security Nco
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Edited >1 y ago
A soldier asked me "why" today in fact.&nbsp; We start flag detail tomorrow.&nbsp; He have practiced at the company but not at the actual site.&nbsp; We are meeting nearly an hour early in order to find out the fine details I found out it today and to practice at least once since this is new to all of us.&nbsp; So we are meeting early and this soldier asked me why so I told him.&nbsp; I just said we need to practice and learn what the old detail showed me.&nbsp; His response was roger.&nbsp;
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SFC Platoon Sergeant
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>1 y
Because I said so! If they ask why in combat I don't want them risking lives. But back at home station if we have time and not risking anybody then ask away. I always tell my Soldiers what needs to be done and tell them why we are doing that.
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SSG Physical Security Nco
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>1 y
Out of ten, only one asked why?  Most soldiers don't care why; they will follow orders.
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LTC Engineer Officer
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>1 y
Great example, SSG Martin. &nbsp;There should be no issue in providing a bit of the "backstory" so Soldiers better understand what's going on ... as long as there is time to do so. &nbsp;If not, move out and execute!&nbsp;
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MAJ Deputy Director, Combat Casualty Care Research Program
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I love being questioned by NCOs. There is a time and a place for rank - and that's when things have to move quickly. But with that said, you should always have a rational for your choices. I don't feel that "because I said so" is ever an appropriate response. Have logic behind your actions.
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