Posted on Jun 12, 2019
SPC(P) Medical Laboratory Specialist
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We have a new 1SG and new commander. The 1SG noticed one day that only 5 people in the whole company showed up to PT. Now he put out to all the platoon Sergeants that everyone must show up to PT at either the 0530 formation or the 1600 formation.

However, my section is the only one in the hospital that has a 1600-0000 shift. I am being told by my first line that the 1SG says that I have to be at the morning formation, no exceptions.

I don’t want to sound like I’m whining but at the same time it’s unfortunate that I have to explain to myself as to why this isn’t right.

As a junior enlisted I do feel stuck.

How do I bring this issue up and solve this effectively and professionally?
Also: Do you know of any Army Regulations that can support anything?
Edited >1 y ago
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SFC Michael D.
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I can remember coming home from a club just in time to change into PT uniform and go to PT. We held each other up and maybe one or two puked but we made it through. If you can't work on only four to five hours of sleep, you may want to pick up a new career. If you get deployed you will get less sleep than that. Plus you have two different time to go. I believe command is being very accommodating. You may need to do some time management.
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PO2 William Leonard
PO2 William Leonard
7 d
Anybody who has done time in service knows sleep is secondary I would have been happy with two hours of sleep during deployment. In your case as a hospital worker, fo lack of a better term, you are in a unique position to learn how to adapt so stay focused and keep up the good work
PS the LC makes a outstanding point
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PO1 Lyndon Thomas
PO1 Lyndon Thomas
6 d
After reading this, I can remember countless days where I literally rolled back into town, changed and made it to work, PT or some early morning duty with an hour or two of sleep. Soldier (Young Lady), you don't have to be back at work until, 1600. Unless you intend to do a PT for 6 hours. You ave plenty of time to rest, shower, and show up to work refreshed and fit! My advise, do the PT. You'll feel better, sleep better and there's a high possibility you'll perform better.
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1LT Project Manger / Systems Architect
1LT (Join to see)
6 d
CPT (Join to see) - I wasn't one of the drunk ones, but I was one of the ones holding up my buddies. The Plt Sgt came up with a Monday cure for that, we ran in the old M17 masks. You wouldn't believe how nasty it gets when you look at your buddy and there is puke all the way up to his eye pieces! Monday PT got a lot soberer really quickly (or at least not so drunk that troops couldn't do the daily dozen and then run 2-3 miles!)
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SGT Nickolas Ortiz
SGT Nickolas Ortiz
6 d
CPT (Join to see) - In the Army of the 80's and early 90's the motto was "Train as you fight". There WAS no differentiating between garrison and the field. You trained, every day, as if you were preparing for battle. You didn't "fluff off" because nothing was going on. Even during down-time, off post, you knew you could be called back to base at any moment. No, from what I've seen, the Army isn't doing a good job at changing with the times... there is NO NEED to "change with the times". Your enemy doesn't care if you're tired, if you're lacking sleep, if you've had a bad day and Jody is banging your wife. The enemy cares if you're alive and how to stop that.
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SGT (Other / Not listed)
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FM 6-22.5 and FM 22-51 Are good reference points to start.

However, I’d ask, how are you only getting 4-5 hours sleep? If you work 1600-0000, and now the 1SG makes a 0530 PT sesh mandatory, there’s plenty of time for sleep. It seems as though you have a time management issue with a now inconvenient PT formation.

Alter your pattern to adjust working the night shift. For example.
1430: wake up, personal hygiene
1500: first meal
1600: work starts
0000: work ends
0000-0530: personal time (to include naps if you want)
0530-0730: PT
0730-0830: last meal, personal hygiene
0830-1430: sleep

I get it. It sucks. It might not be the best leadership decision, but it’s not an illegal leadership decision. However professional your approach might be, the most effective approach (for everyone) is to just show up, sound off like Forrest Gump in basic training, and after the 1SG feels like his point has been made, things will go back to normal.

Best of luck
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SSG Cliff Richardson
SSG Cliff Richardson
1 mo
In my day the 1sg, amongst others didn't give a rat's ass how much sleep you had, you were expected to drive on, no matter what. In schools, basic, and other hard training schools, ie. Rangers, SF Q - course, etc. you only were allowed 4 - 6 hrs.
Basic I don't know, I was a branch transfered from USMC - Army. Basic and schools are the only place you are guarrenteed rest, if you are in a leadership position you can just about forget this. There is no rest for those deployed, or in a combat zone, you get what you get, once again leadership in combat zone gets very little, and sometimes nothing!!!
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LtCol G6
LtCol (Join to see)
1 mo
Something for you to consider as you develop. The question here isnt about how much sleep this soldier gets or how she schedules her time. The question is: does the leadership make the same demands of all its people to ensure no one is carrying a heaver load (ie no favoritism, especially one of convenience for the commander / SgtMaj).
When you have shift workers in your section, you have to a. ensure the unit functions are accommodating of all schedules as best you can, or b. hold the same event multiple times to accommodate.
Here is a question back to you and all the others here to turn this around. - Why is the CO and SgtMaj so lazy they arent holding multiple pt events during the day that accommodate each of the schedules? Can they not hack the extra PT? Can they not manage their time properly to do so? What is the excuse of the SgtMaj and the CO that THEY need so much sleep that they cant do additional events?
Bottomline, the onus is on the CO and the SgtMaj to ensure their soldiers arent being punished for having the off shifts.
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MSG Lon Averkamp
MSG Lon Averkamp
17 d
SSG Cliff Richardson - Been there; Done that.. I spent over 8 years in Special Forces: However.... The solder who brought up the question works in a Military Hospital. If you are a Paratrooper, Ranger, or regular Infantryman, you can "Drive-On" by putting one foot in front of the other. A Hospital is a bit different. I do not know if the soldier is a Medic, Clerk, Corpsman, or Lab Tech, but they are not the kind of job that you want a sleep-deprived soldier doing -- especially a soldier working the 16:00-24:00 shift.
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SSG Cliff Richardson
SSG Cliff Richardson
17 d
MSG Lon Averkamp - Granted, the individual works in a hospital, nothing specified about job, take into consideration that if the individual did work in an area as you say" you don't want a sleep deprived soldier doing " I'm sure that his COD would make sure that he had all the rest required to do that kind of a job. Since nothing was stated as to what type of section he worked in, most of us that are not of the modern army thinking pattern, or geared in the brain housing group to do so, assumed that it in general is a time management problem. Maybe we should think deeper into the subjects train of thought, and try to see the unforseen things that help make the wheels spin. I knew the PA, and his staff of medics that were assigned to our batallion, they drove on just as we did sometimes with little or no sleep, a buddy of mine was with 10th SFGA in Bad Tölz Germany as an 18 D, they he said often trained that way, his comment on that was, " Battlefields don't have time schedules, neither do we ". Question is this person stationed in the states, where it is most likley a peacetime secnario, ie when I was stationed in FT. Polk LA, there was no combat true mission, be combat ready, and improve the quality of life. Maybe he is in one of those places???
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CW3 Kevin Storm
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Edited >1 y ago
Some of you are going to have your ego hurt by what I am writing, but read this this all the way through and think long and hard on this before you hit that dislike/vote down button.

I have read some of the most bizarre, asinine, dare I say fool hardy comments, I have ever seen on Rally Point on this thread. Leaders, get a fracking clue, we are talking about soldiers who work in hospitals, not CQ, not Duty NCO, but soldiers who are treating YOUR soldiers! Would you want a civilian hospital to do the same thing as your loved one is laying in the ICU, NICU, or ER? How would you feel if you knew the staff only got 4-5 hours of sleep for weeks to months on end, and now your child is in their care? Feel good about yourself now? Feel like this is the way it should be for those who work these shifts? Feel like their soldier who got medevacked in deserves the best care we can give them, or some sub-standard level of care because we need to have full PT formations?

If you have never worked in health care, never had to work second or third shifts for prolonged time periods, had to work a person dying in front of you, well I got news for you: you haven't a clue! Ever watch a cardiac monitor for hours on end, try doing that in a sleep deprived environment, see how well you work out, or how well you like telling the survivors that their loved one passed away last night. With all the shortages in medical staff in the civilian world you don't think this kid is going to walk when his/her time is up? This is a case of Ego's, not leadership, or a lack of it. " I need to see a big unit in front of me." Hey Top, you run a hospital, that kid in ICU with the traumatic brain injury is far more important then your sniveling PT formation. That Kid in ICU is some ones loved one, if your second and third shift people are passing their PT tests lay off, or you will lose them, and won't be able to replace them, then you have bigger problems.
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Lt Col Leslie Bryant
Lt Col Leslie Bryant
16 d
Thanks for your comments. Even Senior Medical Leaders fail to understand that low ranking enlisted and officers need sleep! For some reason they seem to think that mid shifters and night shift workers should be held to the same standards as people who work a regular dayshift. Research studies have repeatedly shown the sleep quality of night shifters especially but also mid shifters is poor! And for Military interns and residents pulling shift from 6 am to 10 pm and all nighters every 3 days even worse! Imagine making life and death decisions on little to no sleep. Unfortunately our senior leaders believe because they survived it so should everyone else. Nothing will change until senior leaders actually become compassionate and caring and say enoughs enough!
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Lt Col Leslie Bryant
Lt Col Leslie Bryant
16 d
Congrats on getting the Expert Medical Badge! That is a big deal! Yes, maybe you survived on little sleep but the question is should you have? Nothing changes if people simply live with the norm. You should know from experience that not all doctors or nurses short of sleep do well with life making decisionS and it’s too bad we don’t do a better job of tracking and investigating deaths on mid shift and night shift because I strongly believe we would see poor decisions from too little sleep.
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PO2 William Leonard
PO2 William Leonard
7 d
You tell em chief
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MAJ Matthew Arnold
MAJ Matthew Arnold
6 d
CW3 Storm, you have persuaded me to a more reasonable, logical, healthful solution. Thank you for your comments.
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