Posted on Nov 21, 2015
CSM Eric Olsen
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I want the 1SGs in my near-future CSM job to brief me on the current state of their company. I can go the easy route and have them brief me on their individual command and staff slides but that's something I'll see regardless, and non-personal.
I have some ideas but what say the experts?
Posted in these groups: Army-usa-or-09b.svg CSMSgm SGM
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CSM Mike Maynard
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1) What is the Vision of my Cdr, and what is my role in helping him achieve it.

2) What is the state of my Junior NCOs. What is my role in putting programs in place to develop them.

3) What am I going to do to set the tone in expectations - Values, effort, performance, etc.
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CSM Eric Olsen
CSM Eric Olsen
4 y
Not at all saying that your last advice isn't priceless, but I'm just saying that I think the SGM Academy did a very good job of telling us to NOT be the Battalion 1SG. I'm sure it's much easier said than done but I will certinaly give the 1SGs as much leeway as I can, even when they need some love from a former diamond! Thanks again!
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CSM Mike Maynard
CSM Mike Maynard
4 y
That is great news! I Was Class 60 and there was nothing in the POI about being a Bn CSM. Glad to hear the POI is continuing to evolve and be increasingly relevant.
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SGM Robin Johnson
SGM Robin Johnson
4 y
CSM Eric Olsen I didn't go the CSM route, but serving as a DRU/MACOM EOA SGM I did SAVs/inspections and focus groups with units worldwide. I would highly suggest that you ask (since the results belong to the commanders, you would be requesting, not ordering, but they are unlikely to refuse) if you can see the results of their last command climate survey.

This will give you so much information that you would not otherwise get. It will let you know if they are doing them as required by regulation, and if they aren't executing this as required, are they doing the other things that aren't rigorously checked (CDSP inventories, updating MSDS books as inventory of hazardous material changes, etc), or ONLY things on which they are inspected? How they present them to you (I would have them do it individually) will let you know how well they actually went over the results themselves. If they can't tell you what is in the report, what it means, and what they did about it...they didn't really care, they were just checking a box. And if a 1SG doesn't care what their Soldiers have to say to him or her, that tells me something. And of course, you get to not only see the numbers (which must be taken in context -so after you have had a chance to read over them ask your brigade EOA to sit down with you and go over the results, unless you have been an EOA and know the way the survey is constructed and some of the pitfalls in interpretation) you get to read the comments. Remembering that if everything is going fine, Soldiers often just won't comment, you can get a sense of how the unit is going by WHAT their complaints are. If Soldiers are complaining about the food at the DFAC, sick-call hours, the brigade commander, and other things external to the company you know the company itself is functioning well and you just have info to take to the installation CSM meeting. But if the complaints are all at company level you know their daily work environment is bothering them, and you get to judge just how severely it is impacting morale and esprit de corps, which impacts mission readiness. Even more importantly, did the 1SG just brush the complaints off or discount them, or did he or she actually check on them and do something? And what feedback was given (a requirement of the survey) because one of the things Soldiers hate most is telling their command what is bothering them and then it seems the command just ignores it. Why bother asking if you do nothing with the information?

So you not only get unvarnished views of the Soldiers in the unit, you get to see how your 1SGs respond to their Soldiers' concerns, how diligently they carry out regulatory requirements that aren't checked as often, how straightforward they will be with you about it, and which ones will blame it on their Soldiers. You will also get to meet your brigade EOA, who will be the one to turn to if you get an issue that could potentially blow up all over your command - nothing like something that could get you on the front page of the Army Times to get you really familiar with those chapters of AR 600-20.

Not exactly what you asked, but hopefully it will be helpful. Best of luck, CSM!
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SGM Robin Johnson
SGM Robin Johnson
4 y
Ooops, meant to post that to the main question
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CSM Michael J. Uhlig
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Edited 4 y ago
- Personnel & Equipment Readiness
- Leadership Development
- Family Readiness
Congratulations CSM Eric Olsen! Our business is being ready to engage and destroy our enemy. You do that with a ready force, with determined and prepared leaders as well as ready families. Use every opportunity to connect with your troops, it might be during command maintenance on the Bradley Fighting Vehicle or could be at mile 11 of the foot march, or it could be the walk through of the barracks. Do your barracks walk through later in the evening, it is much less threatening to our Soldiers, they tend to open up more and are willing to talk and let you know what is not right with the living conditions or with their leadership - you can influence both of those extremely fast!
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CSM Eric Olsen
CSM Eric Olsen
4 y
Roger that CSM, great advice-exactly what I was looking for!
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SGM Studying Computer Security
SGM (Join to see)
4 y
Excellent advice. An Open Door policy does not constitute being approachable. Doing what they are doing, especially when it's hard or boring, is what let's them know you put on your pants the same way they do.
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CSM Elmer Feick Jr.
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Edited 4 y ago
In my first Battalion assignment, we were a reorg of separate companies now falling under one flag. That said, I felt that I needed to conduct a through top to bottom assessment to be the advisor to the Commander. Not necessarily in order of priority, these were my top three interest in assuming my newfound role as Battalion CSM.

1) The current state of readiness in terms of personnel, training and equipment
2) My Commander's priorities and what my role is in achieving them
3) The strengths and weaknesses of the NCO Corps within the Battalion
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