Posted on Apr 17, 2015
SGT Squad Leader
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Was there ever an event in your career that changed everything you had ever planned on doing based on negative experiences?

For example, when I was a Private First Class, I was a very motivated soldier with aspirations to go to any school possible (Airborne, Air Assault, Ranger, SFAS), there wasn't a thing I didn't want to do in the military.

My work ethic and motivation was noticed by my leadership and I was told that I was being put in for a waiver for Specialist, which would have put me on the fast track to getting my career moving where I wanted it. Time after time I was passed up for my waiver by soldiers who were far less worthy of the waiver being that they were PT failures, had discipline issues etc. I found out later on that my leadership was using the idea of giving me a waiver to Specialist as a kind of carrot to dangle in front of me so I would continue being their "go-to" guy.

From that moment on, I had had it. Gone were the days of me volunteering and putting myself out there, I was burned out from all the things I had done for absolutely no gain. I decided from then on I would do my job and nothing more, though I wouldn't become a delinquent and do anything to ruin my career.

I made a promise to myself that if I ever became an NCO, I wouldn't treat my soldiers the way I was treated, and any soldier who would demonstrate to me that they would go above and beyond would get the recognition they deserve instead of dangling that metaphorical carrot over their faces.

Has anyone had a similar experience? If so, please share.
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CSM Brigade Operations (S3) Sergeant Major
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I have been bent and beat up but I will never let the Army break me!
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SSG Melvin Nulph
SSG Melvin Nulph
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CSM M. Oldsen, I back you with that 110% here are just a few of my reasons why (I'm sure you will also agree and know its only a few) 1) I didn't join the military to impress that or those people, didn't even know they was in here with me until I was already in.
2) my standards has never dropped as low as the so called, "Good enough for government work" or Army standerds (i took it as the minimun amount exsepted). I exspect more of myself, not even when I was given the title of "Handicapped", it just took me longer to get things right.
3)I was as lost as any E-1 that entered the military, but once I was given a job that I knew about, got the hang of things I had to do, no uniform ever made me the person I was at the time or the soldier I was when I retired. It was the man hidden inside the boy that joined and he grew because of the man I am with the assistance of the great Men and Ladies in the military.

Note: I said Ladies instead of women because if you know me you have seen me get dropped for it, paid money for saying it and enjoyed the extra duty I did because of using it a few times (with a smile on my face) It was always the highest form of respect taught to me by my fathers friends (Vets) he taught them! & I've not changed to this day. Good things should not be changed.
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SFC Combat Engineer
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I can tell you that busting your ass, going above and beyond, out shining your peers or whatever you want to call it and watching those that underperform get promoted or rated top of the line never stops as you get more rank. I can sympathize with you on this one. I work with other "NCOs" who should probably be E4s as that is how they act. When I call them out during a one on one conversation there feelings get hurt. I really wish Leaders and other NCOs would call these Soldiers out, but no one will!! They are too scared of hurting feelings and telling these under performers what they really are. Instead they get promoted and get lazier and breed other under performers by setting that example!!
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SGT Squad Leader
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I've kept my promise to myself since I was promoted to Sergeant. I have a good squad of soldiers with two or three that really go above to get recognized. I have PV2s that are already done with SSD1, nearly maxing their APFT, and weapon qualification, as well as demonstrating top proficiency in their MOS. Because of that, they are being recommended for the Soldier of the Month board, and even though I will PCS in two weeks, I'm still putting their packets together as well as providing any information they will need to succeed once I am gone. These things weren't done for me when I was a new soldier, and any soldier under my leadership will get all that they ask for from me so long as they show that they are willing to put in the effort and do the work.
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SFC Combat Engineer
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As long as you lead by example, Soldiers will follow you anywhere!! Minimize the double standards and always keep your word!!
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SGT Squad Leader
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I tell my soldiers on a daily basis that I am not like other NCOs and though that doesn't make me better or worse, it just means that I have a different philosophy on leadership than they do. They can take whatever they want from my experiences, but I want them to remember that I was always there to help them no matter what with anything, no matter how seemingly insignificant. If I can positively influence and motivate just one of my soldiers, I will look back on all the work I've put in over the years and see it as a success.
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SPC Danny Cannon
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I worked outside of my career field as a Small Arms Repair for unit level Supply. I hurt myt back severely. I am finally, after 18 years, able to claim disability for it.
My problem came when my new First Sgt. called me I his office and chewed me out for falling an injury. Several times called me a name rhyming with "wussy" and asked me if I intended to be a burden on the U.S. Army and the American taxpayer for the rest of my life.
HIS TALK WITH ME FOLLOWS. I WILL NEVER FORGET IT.

"Are you the kind of broke [Richard] who wants somebody else to have to support your lazy [bottom] because you can't handle your job? You signed up for this, boy. Are you going to try to take the [bull manure] route and get a medical discharge? Or are you going to try tho grow a pair of [testicles] and though out your last 9 months of duty? I know you just joined for the college money you little piece of [feces] and your type makes me want to vomit on your mother. Now which is it? You gonna make me have too explain to my CoC that I have a company full off broke [Richard] soldiers who can't cut it or are you going to grow a pair and do your times like a man?"

I tried to tough it out. I went to therapy. I did every thing I could but he gave me 2 weeks to get off of profile or he said he'd write me up for dereliction of duty. In ran my PT test too soon and went SPLAT on Geronimo's Trail, out back of Ft. Still when my left knee gave out. Rather than show concern and respect for my attempt, he began trying to chapter mine out for "pattern of misconduct". I was helped by the NCOs who knew my work ethic and trusted me. They taught me to cover my steps by using a paper trail. That is the only thing that saved my butt.
I had never had a "bad" 1st Sgt before. I felt betrayed. I didn't know what to do. He had just gotten to the unit when the accident in my Arms Room happened. I caught 8 .50 cals with no barrels as they fell out of a wall locker. I've never been the same since. He said that if I couldn't show physical proof of my injury, it didn't exist.
When I told him that I really didn't know what to do because now I needed surgery on my knee, and X-Rays could prove it, he called me a waste of flesh. He said, and I quote, " I will make it my mission to insure that you never get to use that college money that means so much to you. I promise that I will have you Chaptered out of MY ARMY with the worst possible discharge I can make you have."
Again, thanks to REAL leaders, my locations were all documented and I left with 60 days of paid, accrued leave (he would not sign off on any leave, not even to go watch my littlest sister graduate from High School). I also received an Honorable Discharge, but I had to use JAG to do so.
When he did all of that, I decided that maybe I did need to be a civilian again.

I miss my old friends but we're still in touch. At least, all of the ones who really mattered to me.
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SSG Melvin Nulph
SSG Melvin Nulph
>1 y
Like most things in life, it takes all kinds. I've seen his kind, they make me sick as I know he did you at the time. Glad you had a few real NCO's to guide you past his ass.
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SPC Angel Guma
SPC Angel Guma
>1 y
Danny, you show immense amount of character and class by being able to move on. You're presence here on rallypoint and keeping up with your old friends show's it. Thanks for fighting the good fight.
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SSG Founder
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Sorry to hear about what you went through, and should've file an IG report on that 1SG (and possibly a Congressional).
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SGT Team Leader
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I have heard the exact same thing when my back started to bother me a few years ago my command kept telling me that I needed to suck it up and deal with it because that is what soldiers do. After about a year of sucking it up I finally couldn't stand the pain anymore and saw a specialist that told me that my disc above my L5 is almost gone and that I needed to change my habits. I have heard it all from leadership since getting a permanent profile, and have made the comment to several of them that they can do what they please with their body but for me I plan to be able to enjoy life when I get out. I do feel your pain though and it always sucks to treated like crap by those who are suppose to look out for your best interests.
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