Posted on Aug 7, 2017
CPT Brigade Assistant S1 Oic
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Responses: 484
1SG Stephen Burgess
913
913
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When I was a 1SG I would have put my foot up a civilians ass for trying to impose corrective actions on a Soldier. Now that I am a GS civilian...I would put my foot up a civilians ass for trying to impose corrective actions on a Soldier.
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SSG Garry Hendricks
SSG Garry Hendricks
16 d
When I was a Instructor at the Intelligence School at Ft Devens there were times when Department heads were civilians. Some of us were rated by them and we had to follow their orders within the department. All corrective actions were always referred to the Commanding Officers.
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SPC Mark Spivey
SPC Mark Spivey
12 d
There were times in my enlistment where civilian government employees were out of line but I tried to remain professional when dealing with them. My worst memories was at basic training at Ft. Dix probably my second or third day of active duty when we were getting our uniforms and underwear, etc. The distribution was done all by civilians and these folks were so disrespectful and most of our company had missfitting or incomplete gear as the DI rushed us through the process. I laugh now but I wanted to put my know nothing boot up a few of their asses but I had the restraint not too. I remember our platoon DI taking the entire platoon back two days later to get us all the correct amount of clothing. He had words with the worst offender the boot guy, he was throwing the boots at us recruits and many of us got the wrong size. This guy should have been fired.
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1SG Leon Espe
1SG Leon Espe
4 d
If I remember correctly I swore to obey the Officers and Noncommissioned officers appointed over me when I enlisted in 1948 and later reenlisted several times. I don't recall being asked to swear to obey any civilian's orders. I am not a legal eagle but it would seem to me it would be difficult to punish an enlisted man for disobeying an order from a civilian under the Military Code. I distinctly remember the words "obey the officers and noncommissioned officers appointed over me" in the oath but the words "noncommissioned officers" are not included in the following version: "I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." It seems to me that unless the term "Officers" is meant to include civilians appointed over me they would not have the authority to give lawful Military orders.
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MSG Thomas Currie
MSG Thomas Currie
4 d
Interesting question and even more interesting response from the former NCO who claims to now be a DA Civilian.... As another former NCO and former (now retired) DA Civilian, I have to say that I never ran into the situation because the NCOs who worked for me were professionals, but guess what guys - there are units where there are enlisted soldiers and NCOs who have a DA Civilian as their first and second supervisors... Yes, somewhere up the chain there is generally another military supervisor -- so apparently your solution is that a GS supervisor in charge of military personnel is really not in charge of anyone and should bring any military problems in front of the first military member of the chain of command -- that would certainly make the military boss happy, after all O6's and O7's have nothing better to do than handle minor discipline of junior enlisted personnel. Personally, I have never considered pushups as an appropriate form of discipline, but if that is the practice in a unit, then it should be available to the entire chain of command.
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Maj John Bell
478
478
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On Embassy Duty, as the Company "F" OpsO, I had a State Department General Services Officer (sort of the embassy S-4) tell me he was the equivalent of a Brigadier General and demand that I stand at attention when I addressed him and render a hand salute upon arrival or departure of his presence. The Ambassador (a Former Marine Artillery Officer) and I laughed so hard we couldn't breathe. When the Ambassador could finally speak, he said "Not even in pay grade... dumbass." Then we laughed some more.
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SFC Jim Dorsey
SFC Jim Dorsey
2 mo
1SG Angelo Villavicencio - WTF with all due respect, the operative word is civilian, regardless of gs rating... I met the honorable Dick Cheney, and Caspar Weinberger back in the day...protocol from Bde. S1 no salute necessary!
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CDR Tom Davy
CDR Tom Davy
1 mo
I work at State these days and can picture that happening. I've seen many senior civil servants say things like that. On the other hand, I knew an outstanding Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy who was the equivalent of a 2 or 3 star. She stressed that it was for protocol purposes, that her husband, a former POW, was the officer. I saluted her anyway.
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Maj John Bell
Maj John Bell
1 mo
CDR Tom Davy - Gross generalization here, but I'll make it. Remember Sub-Saharan Africa was a backwater so it probably wasn't getting a fair shake on the quality spread.

_Career FSO's who were appointed Ambassador or DCM were THE ABSOLUTE BEST, with only two exceptions. Political appointees were at either end of the spectrum, there was no middle ground. Unfortunately, the political appointees were so nice to the Marines that many of the young usually in their very early 20's thought they flew in the same social circles as the Special Executive Service (SES) pay grades. Guess what happens when you fly too close to the sun?

_I never met a Consular (passports and visa section) officer of ANY grade that wasn't exceptional.

_I only met one Regional Security Officer that was worth a damn, the rest didn't know which end a bullet came out of and learned their close quarters combat skills by watching Roadrunner Cartoons.

_I never met a GSO (DOS supply/logistics) I liked or that liked me. They took care of the Marines just fine and I rarely asked them for anything. They were just socially #$%@*^ jerks.
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SSG Garry Hendricks
SSG Garry Hendricks
16 d
I once worked for a civilian who was a Department Head. He was also a Colonel in the Reserve. He told us that on the job we did not have to sir him or salute him. We always addressed him as sir anyway out of respect. He was a great guy.
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Col Joseph Lenertz
359
359
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From my operational background (not legal, not a JAG), the legal requirement to obey legal orders given by superior commissioned officers is well known and established. A GS civilian is not a superior commissioned officer, and is not in the direct chain of command. The only situation where I could imagine a GS civilian having any authority to direct even one push-up would be a doctor or nurse during an examination following an injury to determine readiness, or during physical therapy, but even then these would be considered medical advice and not orders. If you failed to follow medical advice and as a result you harmed yourself or prevented recovery, then your commander could legally punish you, but that's about as close as I can imagine.
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CPT Thomas Cofield
CPT Thomas Cofield
8 mo
Certain GS employees are first line supervisors of military people in places like the medical field and I'm sure in other administrative positions. So yes, civilians can give lawful orders to military people, can counsel and in some instances write evaluations, although this is discouraged.
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SgtMaj Raymond Roughton
SgtMaj Raymond Roughton
7 mo
I spew forth again. Give orders, when they pertain to the duties being performed in conjunction with that persons job/mission. Unless this dandy is leading morning P.T., push ups my azz !!!
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PO2 Dan Shulla
PO2 Dan Shulla
6 mo
CPT Thomas Cofield - Capt, in the instance where a GS civilian is in the working chain of command, I agree they can give direction where it pertains to the job,. I spent some time working at NSA. I was attached to Naval Security Group Activity but worked at the NSA Medical Center. My immediate supervisor was a civilian RN. If she had tried to tell me to do push ups, I'd politely tell her no. Her husband was a Marine Col. He could order me to do push ups all day, even though he wasn't in my chain of command.. If the nurse had a problem with me, she had to go to my X.O, at NSGA. One day she did, complaining I was giving military medics/ Corpsmen guidance that I wasn't supposed to even though I was the senior military Corpsman in NSA Medical (concerned military stuff, not the job directly) and as I was such a disruption (to her control) for the military personnel, she asked my X.O. to remove me from NSA. He did and I said thank you, Sir. At which time I returned as Medical Rep for NSGA for Navy and Marine personnel.
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SSgt Ryan Sylvester
SSgt Ryan Sylvester
5 mo
There are possible instances that a government civilian could impose those types of corrective actions. My first assignment, we had a GS-14 serving as my squadron's CD (Deputy Commander). She had the full authority of the billet as a GS, and was considered within our chain of command. Granted that I never actually witnessed her impose corrective actions on any airman in the squadron, but I could see it possibly happen based on her position and authority within the squadron.

Then again, as Chair Force, we don't usually do corrective action with PT past tech school...
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