Posted on Feb 17, 2014
CSM Christopher Irwin
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As a young Soldier in the 101st, we had a weekend corrective training session dubbed "School of the Soldier". <br><br>The premise of the "school" was Soldiers who behaved badly or would otherwise be eligible for punishment under UCMJ would be required to attend 0615-1700 on Saturday and Sunday. <br><br>The training was conducted at the Brigade level, supervised by one E-7, and conducted by two or three E-5/6s (depending on the number of Soldiers). <br><br>It was a DA-6 run mission that all NCOs (assuming they are not flagged or barred) rotate through.<br><br>It started with PT and ended with final formation; consisted of drill and ceremony, battle drills, uniform inspections, regulation study (particularly regarding the infractions that brought the Soldiers there), and whatever else the unit-specific mission entailed. <br><br>In lieu of UCMJ, which I believe is too often used today, I think it was a very effective corrective measure. One of the single biggest impacts we can have on a young Soldier when correcting their short comings is through the use of their personal time.&nbsp; <br><br>When you comment, don't belabor the post with the typical "JAG won't let us" or "Soldiers are too sensitive" - that is far too easy. <br><br>I hope to hear from junior and senior enlisted and officers (yes, you too Warrants).<br>
Posted in these groups: 1938e4f5 Corrective Training
Edited >1 y ago
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SSG Shawn M.
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CSM Irwin I personally love this idea. We already take soldiers time with extra duty for Art. 15's. Instead of having them cut grass that doesn't need cut or sweep sidewalks and streets that don't need swept we should educate them. This will only help them in the long run.
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CSM Christopher Irwin
CSM Christopher Irwin
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I concur. We've become afraid of the power of a little embarrassment. Being seen by their peers working as the others head out to enjoy the weekend is powerfully effective. I abhor UCMJ as a corrective training tool when it can be avoided. What is a weekend of pain compared to a loss of rank or pay? What is two days of training compared to 15-45 days of extra duty or restriction?
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SFC Arnold Tijerina
SFC Arnold Tijerina
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I agree with both SGT Shawn M and the CSM. We need to educate our young Soldiers and School of Soldier is a great tool But with the direction the Military is taking this would be hard to implement.
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CSM Christopher Irwin
CSM Christopher Irwin
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SFC T,

It would be hard to implement ONLY because senior NCOs aren't willing to push forward. As the senior enlisted adviser to the commander, I can influence this at my level. Remember that a commander has incredible power...IF they are willing to use it. JAG, like Doctors are ADVISERS to the commander, they do not dictate policy. Local level policies (while difficult to publish) are just that.
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SSG G3 Tasking
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I agree that in lieu of UCMJ, programs that you speak of
would work. Back in 2005 our BN had what they called "Fit to Fight", so
basically it was a program that was up to you to get off of (min 3 weeks). The
program was held on Saturdays at 0600. The 1st week APFT, if you passed with 60
in each event you moved on to week 2, if you failed then you stayed on week 1 until
you could meet the standard. Week 2 was a 4 mile run in 36 min, if you met that
standard you moved on to week 3, if not you went back to week 1. Week 3 a 12
mile road march in 3 hours if you failed to meet the standard back to week 1
and start over again from there. To get off the Fit to Fight program you had to
pass all 3 events consecutively to be removed.
This seemed to work for us, for some reason Soldiers were more afraid of
the Fit to Fight program, than losing the pay or rank.



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CSM Christopher Irwin
CSM Christopher Irwin
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I concur.....and that program...things that make you go, HMMMMMM...I like it!
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SGT Aircraft Mechanic
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Uh oh! CSM's wheels are turning!! lol
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SGM Command Sergeant Major
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So we developed a program called the DART Program. It stands for Drug and Alcohol Response Team. When we get "volunteers" either through UA or the local Police/MPs for a drug or alcohol issue, the Soldier is given the opportunity to volunteer for the DART program. Whenever a Soldier has a drug or alcohol issue, all members of the DART program will report to the SDNCO desk within two hours in their full Class A uniform. They will welcome the new "volunteer" to the program and stay with him/her until they are sober from whatever substance they are on. At that point on the weekends, each member of the team will give a class on an assigned subject area. The class must be a full power point presentation and it will be on something related to leadership, drugs, alcohol, or training. The NCOIC is a PSG, who is briefed by myself on the last duty day of the week. Myself and my 1SGs provide oversight to the NCOICs on a rotational basis. And yes we vetted this program through legal. It must be a voluntary basis, and the reward for volunteering is that the Soldier will receive some lienency for any UCMJ.

That being said, if you do not vet your programs through legal you are setting yourself up for failure. It is not about being scared, it is about being as smart as the young Soldiers. When we were PVTs, we did not have the wealth of information that technology provides, like the PVTs today. Nor were taught to ask why, we simply obeyed and complied. Generally speaking it takes legal 24 hours to validate that program is legal/illegal. If you need to implement your program in less than 24 hours then you have already waited to long. The reason I am so adament about using the tools available, (JAG, IG) is I have seen to many NCO's careers tossed because they went "old school" on a Soldier. As a Senior NCO we have a legal and morale obligation to protect our NCOs and shame on us if we fail to do this because we are too proud to ask JAG an opinion. If you disagree with the opinion you simply ask them to show you in the regulation where you cannot do it. Often you will find that their opinion is based on personal feeling rather than regulation. You can educate the JAG Officer on what right looks like and sway them to your side. At the end of the day, no NCO's career is worth taking a risk, especially not when we have so many assets available, and when all else fails we have UCMJ.

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SGM Command Sergeant Major
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I am currently downrange and traveling around seeing my Soldiers. When I get back to FOB Ghazni, I will root through my stuff, and I am pretty sure I have the policy letter on a disc from my home station computer. If I do I will get it too you so that you can use it as a base model and form it to how you want it. I hope it helps.
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CSM Christopher Irwin
CSM Christopher Irwin
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Hell yes, it will help...If the SMA wants to bring back the basics and instill a more regimented discipline commensurate with days past, I believe this will help! BTW, Did you go through both phases of the MWS or just one? Where did you attend? I did the Winter phase in 1991 in Jericho, Vermont but never got the Summer phase because all the ROTC cadets took all the slots. 3/172 IN (MT) ran the course if it was in Jericho. That was my first unit (ARNG).
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SGM Command Sergeant Major
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I did go to both phases and got my Echo Identifier. I went through the Northern Warfare Training Center in Alaska. About two years after I went, they did away with the Echo Identifier (though I heard they could still get it by going to the Vermont one). It was a great school. I always wanted to go to the one in Vermont (I am from RI), but never had the opportunity. I ran into a guy in 99 or 2000 that I was in Alaska with, and he was teaching at the Vermont school.
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CSM Christopher Irwin
CSM Christopher Irwin
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Loved it when I went.
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