Posted on Jun 17, 2016
SGT Ace Central South Ncoic
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CW3 Senior Maintenance Advisor For Mine Resistant Vehicle, Product Support Intergration Directorate, Assured Mobility Systems, Ilsc
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I can see where you are going with this question and my honest answer is no. There are three different rank and grade structures for a reason. Your point is to allow for an Officer to have some experience as a junior enlisted Soldier before they can expect to lead those very same Soldiers. If this were the case then I'd rather have the Officer be required to have some Platoon SGT time or at least obtain the rank of SSG. I don't know very many Specialist who are anywhere near ready becoming successful NCO's right away let alone becoming an Officer after only being an SPC. Development is the key. Soldiers receive that from their NCO's and their PME. Officers recieve their development from their NCO's, the 1SG/Commander, MAJs, Battalion Commanders and up the chain and this continues throughout their entire career. Find me a successful Officer and I'll show you a SSG or above that has mentored and developed that Officer and probably continues to do so to this day.
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SPC(P) Dan Kissling
SPC(P) Dan Kissling
6 mo
Please Chief, there are so many Specialists that I knew that were 10x the soldier any officer ever was or could be. The only officers I ever truly respected and revered all made at least Master Sergeant before going Warrant of Commissioned. That's not biased either as I didn't find out till awhile after meeting them that they were prior enlisted.
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SGT Joseph Jones
SGT Joseph Jones
5 mo
Right and an LT. Platoon leader is honestly like an E-4 he is told what to do by the commander and he tells his Platoon Sgt who usually has years of leadership experience so the LT. can lean on the Platoon Sgt. and gets “OJT” by working with a high speed E-7 day in and day out. They learn what is needed of them in OCS. That’s why the structure is the way it is.
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SGT Joseph Jones
SGT Joseph Jones
5 mo
SGT (Join to see)
The best Lt. I ever had was not only prior enlisted but was a prior marine. He was in tune with what his platoon really needed. And would go to bat for anyone of his soldiers / lower enlisted.
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SGT Joseph Jones
SGT Joseph Jones
5 mo
SFC (Join to see) Not one person has said it better HOOAH
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Lt Col Chief, Resource Management Branch
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I've heard the argument in the past, "Prior-enlisted officer would make better officers." But I don't see it. What I do see is that there are good officers and there are bad officers. Prior enlistment does not seem to be the "silver bullet" to good officership.
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SPC Ryan Priegel
SPC Ryan Priegel
>1 y
I think what many enlisted soldiers see in "prior enlisted or green to gold" officers is the ability to relate on a personal level. I served under green to gold, West Point, and ROTC officers and in my little SPC opinion, none of them were bad officers. I do have to point out that during field events and during deployments it did seem like during good times and bad times it was the green to gold and warrent officers that were with the Joe's. A lot of that direct leadership can go a long way with junior enlisted soldiers. Again I want to make clear, I do not believe the other officers were bad officers. I understand they have a much different workload and experience than enlisted soldiers.
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LTC Software Integration/Test Engineer
LTC (Join to see)
>1 y
I've been doing this since 1984 and I've seen very few prior enlisted officers who are dirtbags. I've seen plenty of ROTC and WP grads who were horrible leaders that cared only about themselves and see Soldiers only as tools to advance their careers
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CW2 Rob Janke
CW2 Rob Janke
>1 y
During my entire time in (72-93) I can only remember 2 officers that were a complete waste of space. One was a 2LT (O-1) (College wiz-kid) who would constantly get stoned with lower enlisted in the barracks, and a CPT (O-3) (prior E-5 enlisted), whose only thought was if he didn't think of it, the idea sucked, no matter what. With that being said, I believe with all the options available, the military has this very well covered!
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SP6 Greg Miech
SP6 Greg Miech
11 mo
There will always be good and bad officers regardless of their past experience. However some of that is to do with the command itself. I did well overseas but in country with the office politics it was just not good.
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LTC Stephen C.
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Edited >1 y ago
There are many different paths to becoming a commissioned officer, SGT (Join to see). I went to OCS, so I enlisted and was a specialist (then specialist four) and even sergeant prior to commissioning. However, I do not believe it necessary in the least.
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SSG Infantryman
SSG (Join to see)
2 y
I understand everyone’s opinion on this. However, the difference now is that enlisted Soldiers also have degrees now; whereas in the past Officers Normally has degrees and enlisted Soldiers Didn’t. I have a BA in Criminal Law and an MA in Psychology as a Non Commissioned Officer. Also great NCO’s Mold great Officers. Experience goes a lot further than getting a degree and attending ROTC or going to Westpoint. This is why all Officers should have to be enlisted first and not counting ROTC or OCS time. The point here is like the aforementioned areas stated Officers used to be the only ones with degrees now Specialists are joining with MA’s and PHD’s and learning to be a Soldier before they decide to become an Officer. It should be mandated no where in this world do you get a degree and become upper management or a CEO for a fortune 100 or 500 company without working up to it. Experience outweighs a degree; with both an Officer along with his Soldiers would be unstoppable.
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LTC Stephen C.
LTC Stephen C.
2 y
SSG (Join to see), you are certainly welcome to your opinion, but I think you'll find that most responses on this would suggest to the contrary from both enlisted and commissioned service members. SFC (Join to see) said it as well as anyone, "The best and [worst] Lieutenants I've seen were both prior enlisted. There are many paths to great leadership."
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LTC Lane Altenbaumer
LTC Lane Altenbaumer
>1 y
LTC Stephen C. - Agreed Stephen, as a SSG I had a difficult time transitioning from NCO leadership to Officer leadership.
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SGT Healthcare Specialist (Combat Medic)
SGT (Join to see)
11 mo
As a retired service member with over 20 yrs in Active, National Guard, and Deployed Units, I have seen a combination of All-Officer and split Officer/Enlisted time with Officers. Some of the better officers have come from the Enlisted side of the house, and some have been nothing but Officer. IMHO, I believe that it is the people around an officer, and the Officer him/herself who determines how the Officer is perceived. I have had my fair share of Officers who should be drummed o0ut of the service for the way they treat the people beneath them and try to stick their noses so far up their superior's fourth-point-of-contact that they cannot see the light of day. An Officer can have all of the technical criteria down pat and have no practical experience in utilizing it to its fullest potential. Some one once said a Leader must lead from the front. Another One said lead from the rear to push your men to victory. I believe that you must Lead from within and show your Troops what you can do and be proficient at it. A New Leader must be flexible, knowledgeable, and strong. They must surround themselves with people who are proficient at the Tasks that must be done to accomplish the mission, They must listen to their subordinates when they talk, and they must be able to think on their own. Then and only then will they truly be a Great Officer. Over the years I have taken a little of everybody I have served with Good, Bad, or indifferent and used that to deal with my subordinates as an NCO. An Officer is only as good as the Team he leads lets him be!
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