Posted on Oct 16, 2016
PO1 Leading Petty Officer (Lpo)
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Here's the background. You're a senior E5. Your troops are in formation and you're handing out work for the day. You hand out an assignment to a fresh E2 with less than a year in and only a few months at your command. They blatantly complain and tell you to choose someone else. You calmly tell them they will do this task and they tell you to shove it and give it to someone else. How do you react?
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GySgt Kenneth Pepper
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It must be nipped in the bud quickly and without hesitation. Having had a few minutes to think about it, here goes....
PFC Shitbird and his team leader stand fast. All others fall out and carry on.

Have PFC Dipshit stand by while I ensure his team leader knows what my expectations are; "Instant obedience to lawful orders. Period. Any other answer is unacceptable. The fact that PFC Dipshit thinks it is okay to open his trap is a direct reflection of your leadership. Take a look at how you are leading and determine how this could happen."

To PFC Dipshit; "If you have decided to end your time in the military you have chosen a sure-fire method. If you do not comply with lawful orders, it will eventually end with you on a bus headed for home. But only after spending the next few weeks/months becoming the example of what not to do. If that is what you want, we will go there. If not, get your ass moving on what you were ordered to do."
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PO1 Lyndon Thomas
PO1 Lyndon Thomas
21 d
Nailed it GySgt Kenneth Pepper. Well said!
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SGT Joseph Yost
SGT Joseph Yost
15 d
Absolutely!
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SGT Stephen Jaffe
SGT Stephen Jaffe
14 d
I was in the Army in the '60s. This E-2 would have been on a shit detail until he got squared away. I've heard in the Marine Corps this E-2 would have had his ass handed to him in a basket. I don't they can do that anymore.
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PO1 Don Rowan
PO1 Don Rowan
13 d
he would think he was living in hell because I'd make his life miserable until he changed his mind or he'd be gone.
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CPL(P) UH-60 Helicopter Repairer
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Edited >1 y ago
Praise in public, punish in private. "You stand fast after formation." Give him a chance to explain insubordination. Mandatory counseling. If he is defiant in private after getting the chance then burn him. ART15. Sometimes people are defiant because something happened and they feel out of control so they try to take it wherever they can no matter how inappropriate. Sometimes a wife cheated or a parent died. Sometimes the hospital calls and congratulates you on having cancer. To outright burn a Joe without gathering the facts is irresponsible and we would want someone breathing down our neck to take that extra moment to consider what might be going on too. If it's nothing more than attitude and a shitty personality then by all means light that dead Christmas tree and know you probably saved lives downrange.
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MSgt Steven Harris
MSgt Steven Harris
22 d
This seems like a cut and dry case of insubordination but like was said, you do not know all the facts so how can you wisely provide a solution to the real cause. Many in charge, especially new flight leaders jump to foolish conclusions and make matters worse. This is one of those typical situations that all people in charge of personnel and work-crews have faced or will face. It shows the differences in the responses on who thought allot before answering and who just quickly responded with punish the sob disrespectful loser! Kick him in A and show him who is boss attitude is not professional and we are not in the movies. These are real people with real issues that it is the supervisor's job to deal with and help the E2 get on with his life. It is rewarding to see a person make a mistake due to temporary conditions and then rise above it all and become an outstanding soldier. I agree with the counseling approach and investigate the situation fully before making rash decisions that could end a carer before it really starts! I only have 23 yrs of leadership and counseling, training, education, and experience behind me so I may be wrong.
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CPT Lawrence Cichelli
CPT Lawrence Cichelli
17 d
Reminding the SM that you have given a lawful order is NOT a reprimand. The reason you do this is now you have a lot of witnesses to see that the SM was given an order. So if it comes an Article 15, the SM can refuse, thus demanding a Court Martial but given the number of witnesses, this would be fatal to the SM. Giving an Article 15 is done in private because that is a reprimand, or a counselling statement, same thing.
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Sgt Michael Clifford
Sgt Michael Clifford
11 d
There is no explanation for insubordination.
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SP5 Leo Fitz
SP5 Leo Fitz
11 d
I was in in 69 to 72. I was unheard of refusing a direct order. No room for such behavior.
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PO1 David Gibbens
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I can speak from experience on this one. On my first boat( yes I'm a submariner) as an E3 I was made Deck Div LPO, AKA Leading Seaman. While passing out the day's job assignments, I was told "f@#k no" by one of the new seaman. I was shocked to say the least. I went to the 1st LT, a TMCS, and informed him of my situation. He told me in no uncertain terms to take said individual to the back of the work barge and show him the error of his ways. I did so, physically. The young man never questioned me again.
Now, before everyone jumps on me, let me give you my opinion on this matter. This was the late '70s. We were still in the Viet Nam mind set. However; when did the military go from being a gung ho military organization to a job? "Ask him what's wrong". Really?! When you're at 400ft and there's a fire in the Torpedo Room, or you're someplace where people are shooting at you are you really going to take no as an answer?? Or are you going to kick him in his ass, and get him motivated to move in the right direction? I spent 20 years in the Submarine Force and I've seen people come and go. And the ones that went were sent haze gray and underway on surface ships. Which, BTW, was the same as failing. Next time someone tells a senior NCO he doesn't want to do something, point out that the contract he signed doesn't say anything about liking it. He (or she) doesn't have to like it. They just have to do it. STS1(SS) USN, Ret
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SGT Mary Martel
SGT Mary Martel
1 mo
SP5 Bruce Mori - lmao....my response was, "that little mofo would push until his mouth stopped running"...
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Sgt Ronald Harris
Sgt Ronald Harris
1 mo
SGT Mary Martel - Back in the '60's, he'd be shown some "hand to hand combat training", if you get the drift.
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PFC Mark Steskal
PFC Mark Steskal
21 d
I remember those days too. Blanket parties, etc. But in the early 80's as a Marine Zero, I had an E-5 who refused to get his Comm section to put up camo nets over their trucks, which the Skipper gave me heat for. Dung rolls down hill (or does it?). I had the entire section dig a by the numbers fighting hole at the next position (a couple cubic yards of sand) with e-tools. The SSGT went to the CO who gave me hell for imposing the additional instruction. Talk about undermined! What did the entire section learn?
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SSG Paul Forel
SSG Paul Forel
17 d
PO1 Gibbens It all comes down to combat readiness. I witnessed, after the fact, a similar situation and since it makes for an interesting story here we go: I was a dustoff medic with Eagle Dustoff, 101st out of Camp Eagle, I CORPS in '71. We got a call and enroute was told we were headed for Eagle Beach. Eagle Beach? That was a rest/kick back place for those who could get to the beach for a change, why would we be called, the beach was just off Highway 1 and surely they must have a ground ambulance nearby so what kind of injury would require us? Trying as usual to anticipate the injury type, I decided on a particular size of bandage and had it at the ready as we came in to the LZ. Clearing the LZ while holding the bandage at the ready, I saw a platoon size group and one guy in particular who seemed to be our patient. But wait! He was walking up to our bird! He had both arms, hands, legs and feet and was not apparently bleeding or having problems breathing so WTF? I was thinking. As he got closer, I saw his chest area (you remember those jungle jackets being open in a v so a person's chest was readily visible) had a reddish, mottled look. I stared, watching him get into our H model on his own while I'm still holding onto my bandage, then cleared the LZ ("clear up left!") and once we were clearly uh, clear of trees, etc. I turned back to hiim, thinking he looked like he had just been rifle-stock-butted repeatedly. I signaled to my CE I was putting myself on 'private', swung my mike outward and leaning toward the patient, loudly asked, "What's wrong?", indicating he should speak into my mike. (I'm still holding the bandage) He had a glazed look and said, "Oh man! I got caught with a doobie while we were in the field and when we got to the beach, a bunch of the guys hit me with their rifle butts!". Huh. Thinking they should have done this when they were still in the field and there were no witnesses, I gave him a disgusted look, tucked the bandage back into my M5 and turned my back on him, going back to my primary job of watching for traffic (other birds and fast movers). I watched him get out of our bird when we hit the PSP at 85th Evac, Phu Bai and was a bit po I had taken a perfectly good carlisle bandage out of its wrapper for that moron and of course mentally patted myself on the back for correctly diagnosing the cause of his 'injury' before I had spoken with him. Discipline was a problem in Vietnam and although there is a time and place for everything, sometimes you need to do what you need to do.

One person, as everyone here knows, can get a number of others killed and Vietnam was not the place for a Doctor Phil moment.
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