Posted on Jan 16, 2016
SSG Terminal Operations Nco
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As the years I've been in the Army go by I'm noticing less military bearing being displayed. I see soldiers going straight to the First Sergeant or Commander with an issue instead of using their chain of command, not standing at parade rest for NCOs or attention for officers. Soldiers questioning an order given to them by their superior instead of just executing. Further more, I see soldiers, both lower enlisted and NCOs , looking lost when it comes to the simplest thing of drill and ceremony. I'm one who is a stickler for military bearing and for that reason there are some soldiers in my unit and other units who think I'm too uptight or too serious which doesn't bother me in the least. I don't know if this is just in the reserves or both active and reserves , but am I the only one who is noticing this?
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SSG Sr. Ops Nco / Asst Team Leader
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Edited >1 y ago
There are several issues here, and just about all of them have to do with a failure in leadership rather than a failure on the part of the soldiers. As an enlisted soldier, I quickly learned which NCOs in my unit were actually able to resolve issues and offer guidance. These NCOs (or even the 1SG or CO) weren't part of my direct chain of command, but I wasn't about to let other people dictate the direction or progression of my career if I could help it. Now that i'm an NCO, I do everything I can to make sure not to fail my SGTs and soldiers in this way.
~ NCOs need to not be afraid to spot-correct their soldiers, SGTs, and even each other when there is an issue. This also means that we need the support of senior NCOs and officers, so that we don't have to be afraid of getting called into the CO's office for dressing down a soldier.
~ I go back and forth on your point about soldiers questioning orders instead of just following them. I completely agree that soldiers should not question orders. On the other hand, I always want my soldiers to understand why I'm giving them [insert direction here], so that when they get promoted they know how to be a decent leader.
~ Being lost with D&C, addressing NCOs by name instead of rank while on duty, not standing at parade rest when addressing an NCO, etc... not okay.

Any soldier that looks at you like you're taking things too seriously is wrong. Keep doing what you're doing, and know that you're not alone.
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SSG Seth Bevans
SSG Seth Bevans
>1 y
I dont think it really falls on the soldier, or the NCO to much...do not get me wrong the NCO needs to square his/her sh!t away (i think that is E/O compliant.)
Though the bigger issue first starts at the basic training level, we have softened and forgotten to do basic necessary skills to instill discipline into new soldiers, and the Army is not willing to weed out the F@#$sticks along the way.
Then when they get to the units they are in what are called life cycle units so all the Joes know each other from IET, and all the NCOs are mostly young, and they deploy so it is all relaxed cause lets face it your not trying to add stress to an already stressful situation unless you are a F@#$ stick. Then when the unit returns the Joes are now the NCOs and a new round has showed up. So the cycle begins, now the war is winding down, and the ones who were around prior to 9/11 who were good, are gone in some form or fashion and you are mostly left with the bottom of the barrell trying to teach good warfighters to be good "statesiders." Somethings just don't work shit only knows how to be shit and eventually will make everything smell.
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1LT Christopher Gonzales
1LT Christopher Gonzales
7 mo
I think "questioning" is a loaded term. When I was a wee PV2, I asked a question about an order. I asked for the why. My NCO told me to execute and stop being insubordinate. I said I'm going to do it, but I dont understand why we're doing it this way. He shut it down.

When I became an Officer, I didnt want that. I believe that knowing why something is being done helps guide the end state and, more importantly, let's people make decisions that ensure the end state without having to waste time asking permission.

Point being, asking questions to clarify: good. Arguing about a task: not good. But we lump them both into "questioning."

Being clear in direction and mission makes Soldiers better
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MSG John Hundahl
MSG John Hundahl
7 mo
I remember learning 40 years ago that if you could not answe the WHY of an order/directive then maybe that order or directive should not have been given,
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1LT (Other / Not listed)
1LT (Join to see)
7 mo
Ssg Benjamin Garett, how do you expect soldiers to listen to you now knowing that you did the opposite of your argument as a lower enlisted?
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MAJ Ken Landgren
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If the Army was a football team, who is responsible for lackluster performance? Just food for thought.
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SSG Instructor/Writer/Evaluator
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I've seen this trend as well. But, every generation of leaders says this. I'd honestly say it's the "millennial" generation doing the most questioning of orders. Gen X and Millenials learned about what following orders blindly led to in Vietnam and how some of the vets suffered because of it. This new generation is also taught that no person is better than another, regardless of position. They learn not to trust the government.
Now, I'm not arguing that any of this is right. In fact, I'd argue that this means we just need to tighten the reigns in BCT and AIT instead of adding more restrictions to the individuals conducting the training.
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SSG Ait Platoon Sergeant
SSG (Join to see)
>1 y
Come on over to the TRADOC side and see where you can tighten up said reigns. Before you make a comment I would recommend studying TR 350-6. I use to say the same thing about BCT and AIT being a root cause, but after going through the DS Academy for my current job I understand why TRADOC is the way it is. I'm not speaking for all of us, but I know me and my fellow cadre enforce the standard in AIT the best we can without violating TR 350-6.
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SSG Instructor/Writer/Evaluator
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>1 y
I am in TRADOC and I understand exactly what you're saying. My comment was meant to state that those of us who train these soldiers have our hands tied. Us instructors aren't even allowed to give them PRT as corrective training. All we can do is counsel them.
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SSG Battle Nco
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>1 y
Looking at today's Army and hearing well we have to tighten reigns is a little naive on your part it is the new generation of people never having been taught by both parents and society to have respect for authority. When in TRADOC on day one of basic as scared as we were we were told that that day forward we stopped being civilians. That day we've came soldiers never again would we be civilians. When asked what the difference was he said Civilians have jobs, while Being a soldier is lifestyle. Unfortunately today we have civilians in uniform. It is no longer a proud lifestyle. For some it is just a job. So with that you get the substandard effects of which you speak
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SGT Mechanic
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7 mo
No, it isn't the "millenials" its the newest I generation. The millennial are the ones who are mid 30's to late 20's. The new 18, 19 year olds are the ones who are being the issue. The kids whos mama did everything for them, was their best friend instead of parents. I'm dealing with one now. Last thursday had an incident where i had to call the chaplain, our PSG, amd 1sg was involved. Today he is looking to ask a chick hes known for 3 weeks to marry him. Asked the kid to clean the bathroom, he didnt know how, never had choures, his mom amd dad did everything for him. Those are the kids who are the issue.
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