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Command Post What is this?
Posted on Apr 30, 2018
LTC Paul Yingling
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CPT Corporate Buyer
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I like the idea. It poses a few question in my mind though.
1. Are these surveys mandatory? If so, I've seen too many people blow through the already mandatory surveys we have to do in the Army to trust the outcomes. I've even heard people say "It'll just take 10 minutes if you just select 10 on everything and don't read the questions". If it's voluntary I feel like the majority of survey takers would do it because they have a gripe. That would skew the results too. Just a thought.
2. I'm trying to imagine an E-2 answering the questions you listed and can't see a lot of beneficial information coming from it. For instance, 'Does the unit treat people with dignity and respect', will be answered with only the squad leader and maybe platoon leader/sergeant in mind. That answer is not indicative of a battalion or even a company necessarily. 'Does the unit tell the truth?' Again, most soldiers answers will be limited to a select few individuals. And I'm guessing that 95% of a battalion has no idea how the unit spends money.

However, if the soldier taking the survey has to enter his name, company, platoon, squad, etc. then I see us getting somewhere. That way, even if across the battalion 95% of the soldiers say they're treated with dignity and respect but all of A Co. 2nd PLT, 3rd SQD say they're not, then we know where the problem lies.

Not trying to knock the idea. I think it could be beneficial if done correctly. And you may have already addressed issues like this or they may not be the problem I suspect them to be. Just throwing them out there.
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LTC Paul Yingling
LTC Paul Yingling
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CPT Evans, you've raised a several important issues.
1. The feedback would be optional for each individual, consisting of ten questions with a 1-10 scale.
2. You're right. The survey would include a "don't know / no opinion" answer. If a unit is doing things right, then the troops don't have much to say about how a unit spends money. On the other hand, if a unit is violating the law in using tax payer funds, chances are the troops have seen it happen.
3. You've raised a great point about attribution. One reason I want to work with RallyPoint is that the site does such a great job in preventing trolling.
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SSgt GG-15 RET Jim Lint
SSgt GG-15 RET Jim Lint
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LTC Paul Yingling - I think CPT (Join to see) has some interesting points. Remember when people put their name on it, the week before a promotion board to SGT or SSG....those troops may want to make it look good for themselves. We are dealing with humans! Pual, you sound like a great data cruncher... We could have used you in MI.
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LTC Jeff Shearer
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Paul, it has been a few years since I was BC I guess things have changed. I spent as much time as possible away from a desk on ranges, in airplanes, in remote ugly place with my guys. I am sure modern technology is making the military a better and more efficient place. I love technology, however, big caution coming from a knuckle dragging barbarian, I have a feeling this would almost isolate the command. I am sure there are many positives and some negatives I would be very cautious about letting that replace on the ground taking and observing your unit and men/women. I have no idea how many hours, many, many hours I spent with different members of my Battalion all different ranks, discussing every thing. I discussed everything from death in family, new births, parts of the unit that were broken and needed to be fixed. Many more times they would pass the information through different O's and NCO's. I did my best to have an environment if something was broken or could be done better it was suggested. Dont get me wrong I was all about fixing things but I did not have much patience for bitching because your little girl parts hurt. My response was normally something along the lines of this is a fucking SF unit they did not give that green beret so you could be a sissy. Paul my guys knew I loved them, I considered them my family, and I was in the middle of whatever I could physically be in.

I realize I am just ranting about my glory days but I never used the 360 program and I am sure it can benefit. Maybe it is good thing I got hurt and had to retire hahaa
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LTC Paul Yingling
LTC Paul Yingling
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LTC Shearer, I agree on the importance of spending time on the ground with the troops. My profile picture shows me doing combatives with one of my soldiers, getting the worse end of a clinch drill :)

360 feedback wouldn't replace such contact. Instead, it would be another tool to learn more about a unit. As a commander, I believed that there was no such thing as knowing too much about my soldiers' thinking.
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LTC Jeff Shearer
LTC Jeff Shearer
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LTC Paul Yingling - Paul it sounds like you are all over it. FYI there is no exception for combatives training. There is nothing like putting your hands on another human not only for the training benefits but aids in the warrior mindset. Great stuff!!!
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SGT David A. 'Cowboy' Groth
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Thank you sir for the info.
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