Posted on Feb 17, 2017
CPT Company Commander
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Here's the background. You are an experienced Soldier. You walk in to the commissary to see a young 2LT shopping with a headset on. You professionally and politely get the 2LT’s attention and address the deficiency. They blatantly are rude, dismiss your comment, and tell you that those rules do not apply to him as an officer. Whether you are an Officer or Enlisted, how do you react?
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Responses: 282
1SG Mike Case
143
143
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If I approached this 2LT and he was unprofessional, I would continue to follow him and remain professional, but would in a very loud voice, continue to remind him of his uniform discrepancy. Eventually someone who outranks both of us would find us and step in. I would then explain the situation and if I received a reprimand for my actions, so be it, but GMA gives us all the right to make those on-the-spot corrections. Before I sewed my name tapes on, I walked into the shoppette and I heard a very timid voice say "1SG" like three or four times and I finally turned around and saw a young female PV2 standing there and she proceeded to inform me that I had two U.S. Army name tapes on. Talked about embarrassed but I thanked her for squaring me away and I walked out of the shoppette and got my name tapes sewn on that day.
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SGT Dan Gray
SGT Dan Gray
5 mo
SGT Randall Smith - How long did butterbars last?
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A1C Randall Layton
A1C Randall Layton
5 mo
This reminds me of something I saw one day in front of the 50TFW headquarters. A Woman Command Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps walked out with a large box and coming in was a new 2nd Lt. She couldn't salute but greeting vocally the 2nd Lieutenent as she was moving to her car out front. Instead of offering to help , he laid her out for not saluting. She put the box down and saluted him and took the repermand. After he was done, she put the box in her car and headed back into the headquarters building. It ended up that she was enlisted adviser to a 4 star general and they called the LT into the Wing Commanders office and boy did they eat him for lunch.
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SFC Charles McVey Sr.
SFC Charles McVey Sr.
3 mo
SGT Randall Smith - That 2LT is lucky to still be alive, Charlie had some very accurate snipers all through Nam. I was First Cavalry Division (AM) 3BDE 65-66 Central Highlands.
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A1C Randall Layton
A1C Randall Layton
1 mo
SGT Dan Gray - Not long on the BBQ
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CPT Nicholas D.
125
125
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Edited 10 mo ago
If you are junior in paygrade, you make a respectful correction. If he (or she) blows you off, you can pass it up your chain to whoever cares. If you are senior, you can make a more demanding address, but should still be courteous and not made with a scene. (Praise in public, punish in private) I have never understood however, why some believe that things like uniform infractions are fair game to dump all other Army regulations. There is always THAT GUY who is springloaded to jump into people's faces. Courtesy costs nothing.

Story time...

Taji Iraq, a few years ago, I was in the gym with a few fellow Warrant Officers. While using the bench, a soldier approached us, identified himself as a SFC, and asked if we were NCOs. We replied that we are Warrant Officers. He then asks "how can we let him... (pointing to a comrade) get away with that?" We were confused. I asked whether my fellow pilot was demonstrating poor form with his dumbell flys, and the NCO started getting heated over the black socks my CW3 companion was wearing. He wasn't polite or courteous about it. We acknowledged the uniform infraction, thanked the NCO for his attention to detail, and that we'd be making sure he didn't come to the gym again with black socks for the next two weeks (until then SMA Dailey finalizes the official uniform change.) Dropping all custom, courtesy, and respect... the NCO demanded my friend leave the gym immediately and "fix his sh*t." To avoid a scene, my teammate exited stage right and the NCO walked away with a big cocky grin on his face. Was my friend wrong? Yes. Did the "on the spot correction" need to get hostile... in a gym... in a combat zone? I say No. Was the NCO out of line with his "display?" Oh yeah!!!

So, I stewed on it for 10 minutes grinding my teeth through our last set until I decided it was time to make an "on the spot correction" to the "on the spot correction." I meandered back to where NCO Socks was finishing his gluteal stretch and asked him if he knew what AR 600-25 was. He gave me the blank stare and blinked. In a polite and informative tone, I explained to the Senior NCO that AR 600-25 is the regulation where we derive a lot of our customs and courtesies. When we had identified ourselves as Warrant Officers (and senior Warrants at that), his tone got inappropriate. Just as "out of order" as my friend's socks were that day, so was the way he addressed our group. I asked him to in the future when administering on the spot corrections, to please "fix his sh*t."

This begs a question. What poses greater damage to good military order and discipline? Deployed Black Hawk pilots with incorrect sock color in the gym or Senior NCOs that can't speak to Senior Officers in a respectful tone?

Everyone hates 2LTs. 2LTs hate 2LTs. But if we believe in good military order and discipline, we don't sacrifice our respect for each other to be uniform martyrs. If a 2LT is wearing headphones in the commissary, you are well within your right to inform the officer of his inappropriate headgear indoors. If he is disrespectful and indignant, then in my humble opinion, his attitude is a bigger infraction than the headset. That's definitely worth addressing. But I have never been impressed by stories of NCOs giving some idiot officer a piece of their mind while tossing courtesy in the garbage can. That's not being a good NCO.
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CDR George Sharp
CDR George Sharp
6 mo
Well said. However, I'm not sure what's scarier...an NCO getting bent over the color of socks in a gym, or a rule directing the color of socks in a gym.
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A1C Randall Layton
A1C Randall Layton
5 mo
People make mistakes. Fallibility knows no rank.
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SSG Small Arms/Artillery Repairer
SSG (Join to see)
5 mo
Sir, I've come to realize most people that are senior to me would rather I tactfully corrected before somebody with a lot of rank did. As an NCO when you identified yourselves and said we got it, even if the socks in the gym in a combat deployment bothered me, I would hand it off I did my due diligence. This way I addressed the issue, and was assured senior officers had this, and I was respectful at the same time. Honestly I've never been that gym Nazi unless it was lack of clothes in a environment where both genders were possibly going to be there I go to the gym to work out
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1LT William Clardy
1LT William Clardy
1 mo
CPT Nicholas D., I disagree wholeheartedly. Some of us appreciate 2LTs for being the unending source of entertaining tales that they can't help being.
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SSG Environmental Specialist
56
56
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Well I can say, when I was in Afghanistan I had a 1LT, good guy did his job, but one day walking back from the DFAC, an CSM stopped him and asked him where is eye protection was, his answer to the CSM was I don't wear it. He kept right on walking, but unfortunately for LT the CSM was accompanied by a LTC, who them came up and asked the LT to "unf**K" himself and apologize to his CSM for not listening when he was making an on the spot adjustment. I am sure there has to be an officer of higher rank that would love to correct that 2LT.
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SSG Environmental Specialist
SSG (Join to see)
7 mo
Cannot say about demeanor, LT was at least 100 yards behind us, (note we usually walked to chow etc), LT told us what happened after we heard the LTC lock him up and we stopped and waited. No the LTC was not with the CSM but was still in the Mess Hall and came out I guess about 30 seconds later. Yes KAF had a standing policy to wear eye protection outside.. Needless to say we had fun at the LT's expense. Note LT was a good guy and usually very professional, I just think he was felling his Oats so to speak.
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CPT Barry Kaufman
CPT Barry Kaufman
5 mo
When I was a 2LT, 40 years ago, I had already gone thru 4 years of ROTC and was fortunate to have been mentored by a couple of Special Forces VietNam veteran master sergeants. (I was a Navy brat as well). I knew how to interact with and respect my Battalion Sergeant Major, even though I outranked him. My friends and the other officers knew the same thing. It would have been unheard of then, to ignore a CSM (or really any Sr NCO) like this 1LT did. I chalk it up to no manners and an ill-found sense of entitlement.
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LCpl Bradley Otto
LCpl Bradley Otto
4 mo
I know for a fact our Company Gunnery Sgt. Never minced words when it came to making on the spot corrections, no matter Officer or Enlisted. I'm sure there were also levels of intensity for each. But I witnessed him unf%ck an 2nd Lt. And after that 2Lt became one of the Company's best jr officers.
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CSM Charles Hayden
CSM Charles Hayden
4 mo
SSG (Join to see) Oh Sxxt, the story comes out!
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