Posted on Jun 30, 2020
SGT S3 Operations Nco
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I got promoted two months ago and my senior ncos are constantly telling me I need to be confident and need to get out of the SPC mentality. Any tips or advice to achieve that?
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SFC Vet Technician
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When I was a senior Specialist, I used to just take over and do things. I had a "if you want it done right, do it yourself" mentality. This carried over when I became a SGT.

Then one day at formation I had a small, but critical event in my development. In my unit we rotated guidon duties between each platoon every month. It was a new month and my platoon had forgotten the rotation. I ran up to the First Sergeant's Office, grabbed the guidon and sprinted down to the already formed up company and took my place next to the First Sergeant.

He stopped and looked at me, and specifically my 3 stripes on my chest. He yelled at me. "Damn it Squires. If you want to go back to being a Specialist we can arrange it. You are an NCO now. LEARN TO DELEGATE!" I was rescued by one of the Specialists in my section that ran up and took the guidon from me.

Later that morning, I had a talk with the First Sergeant. He told me that he keeps on seeing me do everything like I used to do and explained that one of the most important things for an NCO is to learn how to delegate, how to use your authority as an NCO to get the pieces moving to work towards accomplishing the commander's intent.

I don't know if you have an issue with this, but I suspect if you practice delegating tasks, you will start to think like an NCO. You will start to consider the larger picture an how you can lead your team by spreading the responsibility among them. I'm not saying be a bossy arm-chair quarterback; still be involved in the effort. But by splitting up tasks, knowing the capabilities of your team members, and properly delegating sub tasks, you will find that soon others will learn to expect that kind of leadership from you.
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SFC Vet Technician
SFC (Join to see)
1 mo
1SG Rick Seekman Don't be rediculous. It's obvious from content that I am referring to a time after I had been a Specialist for a while and closer to a Sergeant then a PFC.
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SFC Charlie Broadus II
SFC Charlie Broadus II
19 d
1SG Rick Seekman - senior spec is like a E-5 that’s had that rank for a while
We used to call them/him Buck sergeant major of the Army
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SSG(P) Danielle Birtha
SSG(P) Danielle Birtha
19 d
Pardon me as I add to ... "check on assigned tasks... done to standard". Make sure they know what the standard is for the task, before they start.
Many times when I was under NCO rank I was given a task, and the NCO walked away. I did it as it seemed right. haha Not always right. And nothing worse to have that NCO come back and dress me down for doing it wrong, when they hadn't said how THEY wanted it done ;)
And... Set the standard by example. Example: My soldiers didn't have 'gigs' during inspections, because the standard was: Always Prepared for Inspection.
When I lived in the barracks, I led by example ;)
Make a mess, clean it up. Everything in it's place. you know the Drill. Teamwork. Simple.
My platoon had time off, while the other platoons G.I. Partied for re-inspection in the morning :D
And... KNOW your job as leader. You're now a Teacher. DON'T know less than your soldiers. They're your responsibility. Motorpool maintenance all day won't make their combat skills any better, nor yours. Make time to teach and review skills your soldiers need... repetition gives muscle memory (body & brain), and confidence. Basic is only the beginning. Make it fun.
Your 1SG can point you to FMs that you can use to expand the combat, and MOS skills, of your squad, and beyond.
Think you know how to do something? Teach it... learn your ignorance ;)
never forget... NCO shoes are not Nazi Jack Boots... of course... when the boot is needed...
Respect gets Respect.
Duty - Honor - Country
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SSG(P) Danielle Birtha
SSG(P) Danielle Birtha
19 d
1SG Rick Seekman - I was called that when I was put in charge of the squad when our SGT rotated out without a replacement. I was most senior E-4 in the Platoon, and had time in rank and service for promotion.
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SFC Patient Service Tech
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Being an NCO isn't easy. If it were, Officers could do it. You have received great advice here. Advice from very respected and seasoned NCOs. The only thing I could add is something that is along the lines of SFC Boyd. Consider every aspects from your previous and current leaders. All of their great traits and all of their bad traits. Then once you've done that, mold your own style. Delegate, lead from the front, eat AFTER your Soldiers, take care of your Soldiers. Everything else will fall into place.
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LTC Philip Marlowe
LTC Philip Marlowe
16 d
A lot of us 'OFFICERS' did do it SFC Livingston. As I once told my Chief Petty Officer brother who attempted to convince me, an Army Captain, that he was more important than me and my response was, "put your LES out there and lets see whose getting paid for their level of capability". I told him that NCOs are the backbone of every branch of service, but don't run the service, that Officers do. As an NCO I realized I was RESPONSIBLE for managing people and things and for waiting till my Plt Leader, XO, or Commander to tell me what to get done, when they wanted it done, provide me the resources and then the freedom to get it done. It was never my NCO job to 'plan' a mission. My 'input' may be solicited, but it was the OFFICER's job to get the OPLAN done. Then I learned as a 2lt the real difference between NCOs and OFFICERS. As an NCO you are 'responsible' as an officer I was both 'responsible AND accountable'. That one word: Accountable makes all the difference. Its as simple as this. If, an NCO loses $10,000 worth of equipment, the worst that will most likely happen to them is they may lose rank and be fined 1/2 one months base pay times 2 months. As an officer, I lose $10,000 worth of equipment, I will not only be held responsible of the loss - meaning I too may be reduced in rank (or asked to RESIGN) AND I can be held ACCOUNTABLE for the loss which requires me to PAY for the loss - in full. It was my choice to go MUSTANG because I wanted to be a leader; make the decisions; take the risks and for that decision - I got paid for it. As for the 'balance of your post' I agree - its not easy learning to be a quality NCO.
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SFC Patient Service Tech
SFC (Join to see)
16 d
LTC Philip Marlowe, that first line was meant as a joke.
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LTC Philip Marlowe
LTC Philip Marlowe
16 d
SFC (Join to see) - SFC Livingston, I know, but some who read it may take it literally and I think it is important that young NCOs understand the difference between NCO / SNCO and OFFICERS; what the difference is so they simply understand. Do you recall when the Army decided to Commission Warrant Officers? I do...they went down that path kicking and screaming because they are 'technicians; the best in their fields usually and didn't want the accountability that comes with a Commission - now, Warrants can Command and are therefore accountable. Its a tough pill to swallow SFC Livingston. Example, when I had my change of Company command, the incoming commander found I had 40 blankets missing out of my supply room. BOOM, hit with a report of survey and a finding that I was accountable to buy all 40 @ $10 a piece. When I reported to my BNCDR, he simply laughed and said I had gotten 'stuck' with the 'infamous 40 blankets' that heretofore, supply Sgts had simply passed them around to ensure the incoming CDR always had 40 blankets to 'count'. My Supply Sgt made the call NOT to do that anymore (wish she'd have told me), ergo - the end result of the 'musical blankets' was when the music stopped - I paid for 40 blankets I counted, but could not explain their loss. THANK GOD...it was only blankets, I knew a MAJOR in Germany who, as the Commander of an Engineer Company, lost $2.4Million in equipment (even a bull dozer - who loses a bulldozer?) and he was forced to resign or bite a huge financial bullet. Again, simply to point out to a young SGT the 'why'. Thank you for your feedback on my post. I truly appreciate it. Vr PMarlowe
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SrA Brandon Waddell
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SFC Senior Brigade Career Counselor
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Find an NCO who’s leadership style you like and spend more time with them, then copy the things you like about them.
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SSG Security Specialist
SSG (Join to see)
6 mo
I'd go further and find a NCO, I won't say don't like, but "Find Difficult" find out why they do what they do. They may have a very valid points. You might not do it that way but there are things you might adopt.
When I was a new SGT there was a SFC I continually butted heads with. When that SFC was a CSM he became one of my Mentors who I could go to with anything.
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1SG Psyop Sergeant
1SG (Join to see)
6 mo
You couldn’t have giving him a better advice!
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SGT Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic
SGT (Join to see)
15 d
I would say the opposite. Find someone who has a different style especially since hers doesn’t seem to be working all the time. My best mentors were people I did not necessarily like, but tough love works.
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SSG Jimmy Darby
SSG Jimmy Darby
18 h
Man I love this site. All great advice for sure. As you can see we all learn to lead in different ways. I think you will get it if you go to the NCOA. By now you should have a class date. If not, get with your first shirt and get there. The pic will be much clear to you after your school. Come back and let us know how your school went when you get done. Love to know. Remember, this could come at a bad time (Training schools) Lol. For me I hit Korea and 30 days later July 1981 I was in school. No I did not enjoy the 4th of July for sure. Jan 1986, Germany. Just got in country, with wife and 2 kids. 3 weeks later I was in school for 30 days. Bad times can happen. But now I look back and laugh about it all. Get to school and good luck sergeant.
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