Posted on Oct 16, 2016
PO1 Leading Petty Officer (Lpo)
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Here's the background. You're a senior E5. Your troops are in formation and you're handing out work for the day. You hand out an assignment to a fresh E2 with less than a year in and only a few months at your command. They blatantly complain and tell you to choose someone else. You calmly tell them they will do this task and they tell you to shove it and give it to someone else. How do you react?
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GySgt Kenneth Pepper
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It must be nipped in the bud quickly and without hesitation. Having had a few minutes to think about it, here goes....
PFC Shitbird and his team leader stand fast. All others fall out and carry on.

Have PFC Dipshit stand by while I ensure his team leader knows what my expectations are; "Instant obedience to lawful orders. Period. Any other answer is unacceptable. The fact that PFC Dipshit thinks it is okay to open his trap is a direct reflection of your leadership. Take a look at how you are leading and determine how this could happen."

To PFC Dipshit; "If you have decided to end your time in the military you have chosen a sure-fire method. If you do not comply with lawful orders, it will eventually end with you on a bus headed for home. But only after spending the next few weeks/months becoming the example of what not to do. If that is what you want, we will go there. If not, get your ass moving on what you were ordered to do."
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SSG Senior Desk Sergeant
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15 d
Yes!
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CWO3 Sr.Vsr San Diego County Veterans Office,Retired & Cwo3, Usmc, (Ret.)
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The Gunny, sounds like we served together in the Marine Corps. Bottom line is the belligerent PFC just had his Six handed to him. Semper Fi Gunny.
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CPL William Spence
CPL William Spence
1 d
On the bus home? In my time it was the brig or stockade.
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GySgt Thomas Lieb
GySgt Thomas Lieb
20 h
The Gunnery Sergeant has made the correct call, although my approach was similar it included a greater degree of clenched jaw, profanity laced, neck vein pumping “accentuation” to impress the message even further ( but yes praise in public, etc) there is s point in boot camp where you team people mush to reinforce the concepts that one mans fowl up can get us all killed but I seldom used that technique in real garrison life ( unless a thief or thieves was stealing from his brothers and failed to come forward when called out. Then, until restitution was made, or the thief identified himself to face his punishment, .... well we had other tools to employ. I’ll just leave it at that
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CPL(P) UH-60 Helicopter Repairer
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Edited 3 y ago
Praise in public, punish in private. "You stand fast after formation." Give him a chance to explain insubordination. Mandatory counseling. If he is defiant in private after getting the chance then burn him. ART15. Sometimes people are defiant because something happened and they feel out of control so they try to take it wherever they can no matter how inappropriate. Sometimes a wife cheated or a parent died. Sometimes the hospital calls and congratulates you on having cancer. To outright burn a Joe without gathering the facts is irresponsible and we would want someone breathing down our neck to take that extra moment to consider what might be going on too. If it's nothing more than attitude and a shitty personality then by all means light that dead Christmas tree and know you probably saved lives downrange.
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CPT Lawrence Cichelli
CPT Lawrence Cichelli
1 mo
Reminding the SM that you have given a lawful order is NOT a reprimand. The reason you do this is now you have a lot of witnesses to see that the SM was given an order. So if it comes an Article 15, the SM can refuse, thus demanding a Court Martial but given the number of witnesses, this would be fatal to the SM. Giving an Article 15 is done in private because that is a reprimand, or a counselling statement, same thing.
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Sgt Michael Clifford
Sgt Michael Clifford
1 mo
There is no explanation for insubordination.
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SP5 Leo Fitz
SP5 Leo Fitz
1 mo
I was in in 69 to 72. I was unheard of refusing a direct order. No room for such behavior.
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MSgt Steven Harris
MSgt Steven Harris
17 d
I was taught to be a leader you must be able to assess the situation quickly by knowing your troops experience level current state of professionalism and respect for authority and then take the appropriate action and some the older styles beat them into submission is not always the correct approach. However, my fellow leaders are also correct in sometimes it is necessary for the hard-ball approach with some troops because they lack the respect for the high standards of our military branches today! each person took an oath when they volunteered, not drafted as before in Vietnam War. We saw the problem that created! We can learn to adjust our techniques as the situations and people. However I agree that our jobs as NCO's in charge of troops is to weed-out the bad candidates and keep the right ones who have the right attitudes towards the rules and protocols and will follow orders out respect. Respect is not always earned in our military but is given by higher authorities for other reasons than experience and years of dedication and development of proficiency and leadership skills in their areas of assigned expertise! But that is the truth of how some promotion systems are. The ideal and reality will eventually point out who are the best at what they do! My TI's in bascic showed that had 2 sides of a professional and could switch it on and off as needed for training purposes or real world personal issues with us! I as another airman out of college and with a family respected them for that and understood why!
Some NCOs in my squadrons, would say I am not a baby sitter, I don't have time for this! I said, as their peers or supervisor-- Yes, You are Sgt and if you do not recognize that then you missed part of the oath and list of NCO responsibilities, you took to receive those stripes and star!
The young troops are like "babes" and young children in a new environment and new greater expectations placed on them than ever in their lives and some do not know how to properly behave and will cause trouble to get the attention they need. Others are spoiled and need to be disciplined accordingly to the regulations, when othermilder actions do not work. I have taken many leadership courses in my career and placing oneself in a subordinates shoes is helpful to finding the real problem and helping that person to fix it. In basic training, the hard ball kick your ass is necessary.

But after they enter their real careers then they are one of our own and need to know that we are there to support them and guide them through the difficult times of adjustment and personal issues. because it all makes a difference how they perform thir duties each day. We are truly as brothers and sisters in arms, only ones who can understand what they are going through! I call it walking in the shoes of our predecessors, whom we hold respect and honor by being our best! Some forget that truth and reality!
That is the type of relationship that will enable a person to push their bodies, hearts, and minds to the limits and even willingly die for their nation and fellow soldiers! Isn't that the true goal and objective of it all! Politicians have interfered allot with our roles and resources, but never will stop true warriors from rising to the challenges and victory! So it takes some adjustments in a professional world of warriors. So what, to be the best of best, as we call "ourselves' in the military branches! Then we MUST be ready and trained to make the critical personal changes and discard the old ways to bring in the Better and MORE EFFECTIVE and HIGHER QUALITY in life and our beloved professions. It is not just a job but a lifestyle and membership to elite societies & missions, that few can belong! If you don't love it, you won't be your best, no matter what a superior orders you to do! Would you die or get shot for someone you did not love? In Gung Fu class, we had visualization drill, you imagine you beloved spouse or child is held at knife or gun point by a enemy. You are only person to save them. What do you do? Then you come out fighting! This is a warrior's mentality in combat and any conflict and true reason for all the training and education. not money or pins on our uniforms or certificates in folders. you do it for love of people, nation, flag, defend and protect US laws & US Constitution, and all its rights and benefits and support all who support those things. Fight against those who seek to take it away from us! For that any of us who wore the uniforms would pay the ultimate prices! Those who hate will never understand why we do it!

More than that is the mission to pass down that SPECIAL LOVE & RESPECT that MANY NOT ALL have for our military positions to go fight together and come home alive to our families for a job well done! Maybe my ideas and approaches seem strange to the old guard but our goals are similar! The Wars and type of fighting today's enemies are far different and so are the needs of our soldiers and level of responsibilities and the intelligence and disciplines required to operate our technology not just a rifle or security patrol are different than anything before. So the systems used prior were good for their times but to be a leader of people and make the right decisions, you must be willing and able to adjust to your environments and new situations in a moments notice.

We managers and supervisors need to know how to talk to a stressed out or emotionally disturbed troop to help them deal with these great new pressures that marching and exercises in formation and academic classes do not! I have studied human behavior all my life and one fact is clear, the same approach does not work for everyone, but everyone needs help in their early stages of development and along the way in our military operations and so the training of our managers must incorporate human counseling skills and attitudes that produce independent thinkers & wise decision makers as they dedicate their lives out of desire and respect for all the good, which we in those uniforms represent in our nation. We must be able to show the mindset and professional mature attitudes and self-control required to protect and defend their fellow soldiers from real, deadly, hateful, highly skilled enemies, that may need to die at their hands and from their developed skills as well as our own! This is our unique calling to arms and as great warriors and master teachers & counselors to execute for great success in our unique profession. We shape the future by what we think and do, but also how we correct the wrongs in our processes and systems!
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PO1 David Gibbens
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I can speak from experience on this one. On my first boat( yes I'm a submariner) as an E3 I was made Deck Div LPO, AKA Leading Seaman. While passing out the day's job assignments, I was told "f@#k no" by one of the new seaman. I was shocked to say the least. I went to the 1st LT, a TMCS, and informed him of my situation. He told me in no uncertain terms to take said individual to the back of the work barge and show him the error of his ways. I did so, physically. The young man never questioned me again.
Now, before everyone jumps on me, let me give you my opinion on this matter. This was the late '70s. We were still in the Viet Nam mind set. However; when did the military go from being a gung ho military organization to a job? "Ask him what's wrong". Really?! When you're at 400ft and there's a fire in the Torpedo Room, or you're someplace where people are shooting at you are you really going to take no as an answer?? Or are you going to kick him in his ass, and get him motivated to move in the right direction? I spent 20 years in the Submarine Force and I've seen people come and go. And the ones that went were sent haze gray and underway on surface ships. Which, BTW, was the same as failing. Next time someone tells a senior NCO he doesn't want to do something, point out that the contract he signed doesn't say anything about liking it. He (or she) doesn't have to like it. They just have to do it. STS1(SS) USN, Ret
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PFC Mark Steskal
PFC Mark Steskal
1 mo
I remember those days too. Blanket parties, etc. But in the early 80's as a Marine Zero, I had an E-5 who refused to get his Comm section to put up camo nets over their trucks, which the Skipper gave me heat for. Dung rolls down hill (or does it?). I had the entire section dig a by the numbers fighting hole at the next position (a couple cubic yards of sand) with e-tools. The SSGT went to the CO who gave me hell for imposing the additional instruction. Talk about undermined! What did the entire section learn?
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SSG Paul Forel
SSG Paul Forel
1 mo
PO1 Gibbens It all comes down to combat readiness. I witnessed, after the fact, a similar situation and since it makes for an interesting story here we go: I was a dustoff medic with Eagle Dustoff, 101st out of Camp Eagle, I CORPS in '71. We got a call and enroute was told we were headed for Eagle Beach. Eagle Beach? That was a rest/kick back place for those who could get to the beach for a change, why would we be called, the beach was just off Highway 1 and surely they must have a ground ambulance nearby so what kind of injury would require us? Trying as usual to anticipate the injury type, I decided on a particular size of bandage and had it at the ready as we came in to the LZ. Clearing the LZ while holding the bandage at the ready, I saw a platoon size group and one guy in particular who seemed to be our patient. But wait! He was walking up to our bird! He had both arms, hands, legs and feet and was not apparently bleeding or having problems breathing so WTF? I was thinking. As he got closer, I saw his chest area (you remember those jungle jackets being open in a v so a person's chest was readily visible) had a reddish, mottled look. I stared, watching him get into our H model on his own while I'm still holding onto my bandage, then cleared the LZ ("clear up left!") and once we were clearly uh, clear of trees, etc. I turned back to hiim, thinking he looked like he had just been rifle-stock-butted repeatedly. I signaled to my CE I was putting myself on 'private', swung my mike outward and leaning toward the patient, loudly asked, "What's wrong?", indicating he should speak into my mike. (I'm still holding the bandage) He had a glazed look and said, "Oh man! I got caught with a doobie while we were in the field and when we got to the beach, a bunch of the guys hit me with their rifle butts!". Huh. Thinking they should have done this when they were still in the field and there were no witnesses, I gave him a disgusted look, tucked the bandage back into my M5 and turned my back on him, going back to my primary job of watching for traffic (other birds and fast movers). I watched him get out of our bird when we hit the PSP at 85th Evac, Phu Bai and was a bit po I had taken a perfectly good carlisle bandage out of its wrapper for that moron and of course mentally patted myself on the back for correctly diagnosing the cause of his 'injury' before I had spoken with him. Discipline was a problem in Vietnam and although there is a time and place for everything, sometimes you need to do what you need to do.

One person, as everyone here knows, can get a number of others killed and Vietnam was not the place for a Doctor Phil moment.
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SGT Randall Smith
SGT Randall Smith
10 d
Sgt Forel: I was there a little before you. We had to make sure our men could come and talk to us about problems but we would put up with no crap from them. I never ask one of my guys if they wanted to pull guard, run with a convoy or fill sandbags. If they did not like the job given to them they had a choice, Run into the jungle and hide or go to LBJ for R&R for a couple of months. Everyone had a weapon so you had to let them know you were boss and not afraid of them.
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SrA Lisa Hunt
SrA Lisa Hunt
3 d
You asked when did it stop...it stopped when Americans got tired of military suicides. We are still at 22/day. Everything has changed for good. We instill pride & loyalty through compassion & common-fucking-sense, not barbaric hazing & corporal punishment. We learned. We grew. We still have a long way to go. And working with broken people is what you get, because that's our last option for an escape, especially at the age of 18. Discipline with focus in no uncertain terms with fair consequences and an open door to get-the-hell-out if you can't handle it, will keep those destined for military greatness & good mental health upon discharge. If you don't understand the difference between a proud, strong military force & a buncha tin soliers, you don't belong in today's military.
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