Posted on Jun 27, 2014
SFC Unit Supply Specialist
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What branch of service do you believe has the best professional working relationship between officers and enlisted ? During my time in the military I always felt that a strong professional relationship between myself and the officers I worked for led to a higher rate of mission accomplishment and espirit de corps in my unit. Now I am not knocking any branch of service down. I just wonder what branch of service do you feel has the better working relationship between officers and enlisted. Is it a factor in a motivated unit and does it determine greater sense of mission accomplishment.
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Responses: 33
CPT Ahmed Faried
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definitely not the Navy. Too much of a caste system going on there.
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PO2 Johnathan Kerns
PO2 Johnathan Kerns
4 y
I'd agree with that statement.
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PO3 David Miller
PO3 David Miller
4 y
I could not agree more.
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SFC Marcus Belt
SFC Marcus Belt
3 y
As a Navy veteran, I agree. It has almost certainly changed a great deal in the 22 years (!) since I was in the USN, but there was an adversarial relationship between "blueshirts", the "goat locker" and the wardroom.
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CPT Ahmed Faried
CPT Ahmed Faried
3 y
I witnessed it at Camp Atterbury when I was training up a PRT getting ready to go to Afghanistan. I had briefings that I gave them and the CAPT (Navy) was visibly surprised when I walked in with my PSG for the briefing. We both noticed it, and decided to have a little bit of fun. When he asked me some questions I bounced it off to my PSG to answer or I did the whole "Great question Sir, SFC Shepard, what do you think?" It was a good experience for him I hope.
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Capt Andrew Cosgrove
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I have only served in the Corps as an Officer. That being said, having been out of the military since 2005 I have worked with people from both Officer and Enlisted from every branch. This is an inevitable point of discussion in some form or fashion when eating meals together on the rig.

It basically boils down to how the junior member chooses to interact with the senior member. When I was on active duty in the late 90's in the Air Wing, we relied on the enlisted Marines to be subject matter experts. The Infantry did this as well, but focused much more on enlisted being "labor" for the vairous requirements.

Professionalism and discipline are a huge "thing" in the Corps. This is something that no matter where you go, someone WILL instruct you on the proper courtesies if you fail to render them.

That being said, if the junior member did not try to be "buddy, buddy" with the senior, the interactions were generally professional and most times collegial. We all were working for the good of the unit and trying to accomplish the mission at hand.

That being said, I have heard stories about service members going out and drinking with their officers and such. I blame the officers and would have had some serious ass chewings if they were my officers. As it was I had 2nd Lieutenants who thought it was OK to fraternize in uniform, on base, with opposite gender enlisted because they weren't in our unit.

All of it boils down to the type of leadership that was illustrated time and again in the HBO Series "Band of Brothers." I was never more touched as when a former enlisted Marine sent me an email to share some good news about his family and he mentioned how he and his other "Lance Criminals" always knew that I wanted them to succeed.

As an officer, if your troops know that you are loyal to them, they will kill themselves to perform better than every other unit. Simple things like volunteering for night ops when it was hot and sunny at CAX or WTI so they could sleep during the day in the A/C went a long way. Always making sure that there was at least ground coffee stashed somewhere in the unit's containers and all we needed was hot water because the Captain had filters, that kind of stuff always served me well.

Take care of your troops, model the behavior you want from them, and remember that they ALWAYS eat before you. That was my golden rule and I never had a single problem.
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Sgt Tom Vaughn
Sgt Tom Vaughn
4 y
SEMPER FI Sir,
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1SG Jeffrey Bergeron
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I think it a individual unit standard. Some units have great relationship between officers and enlisted and others don't. The command teams create this atmosphere. I have been in both situations. However I can only speak from an Army stand point. I think the relationship between officers and enlisted has become more more relaxed.
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SPC Brandon Bare
SPC Brandon Bare
5 y
I agree with you First Sergeant. I know that in the Army Nation Guard we had a level of respect for our Officers but they in no way treated us a separate team. Chain of command was respected and I was left with a sense that I was in my proper place. And that by no means that I was disrespected. I am not sure if it gets more complicated as you increase in rank and experience that you have. My favorite Platoon Leader was a E-7 before he was commissioned so in this case I believe that I had the best of both worlds in my unit. We all worked together as a single cohesive team, everyone in their proper place. Everyone learning from one another. By no means was it Utopia but I think that my unit had it figured out.
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