Posted on May 1, 2020
MAJ A Co S G6
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I'm interested in understanding the effectiveness of this process because the topic of "toxic leadership" seems to no longer be a significant talking point lately.
Note: For the purposes of this question, please do not comment on any open investigations. I ask this in order to ensure your safety and mine while also preserving the integrity of your investigation. Thanks!
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Maj John Bell
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Edited 3 mo ago
I am a dinosaur. When I served the phrase "toxic leadership" had not been coined, at least I never heard it. There were many times that I thought the leadership set a bad example or made a bad decision, but to be honest that was just a difference of opinion. Years later, in some of those cases, I was wrong, and in some I still feel I was correct.

"Management by walking around" was all the rage. There were no cell phones, and in garrison, there were at least two formations a day. A squad leader didn't think it was strange to have the Battalion or Regimental CO, XO, SgtMaj, and/or Chaplains stop by and have a quick chat, or observe training, every week or two. I can remember seeing the CO's and CG's above my billet fairly regularly. Senior leadership pretty quickly found the "toxic leaders" and they were corrected or dispensed with pretty quickly.

In my last billet, I worked in the CG's office and a collateral duty was to investigate and report on Congrints and request mast to the CG. About 2/3 of the complaints from Marines were because the command would, or would not, treat someone "special." About 1/3 of the complaints were because the command couldn't be bothered with giving a decent answer to an honest question, and there was a rounding error of cases where the command was "toxic." The CG was pretty decisive and trusted my judgment. When I came back and said the command was wrong and unrepentant, he was down there by the end of the day having one-sided, very loud conversations that almost always did the trick the first time.
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CPT Lawrence Cable
CPT Lawrence Cable
3 mo
That was my experience also. I have had three commanders relieved for cause, only one of whom I would classify as Toxic. He certainly was my nemesis, but also managed to piss off most of, maybe all of, the senior NCO's, but especially the Ops Sergeant and the First Sergeant. He was not in command for very long after that happened. The first one wasn't a bad commander, I liked him and he was one of the smartest men I've ever met, but tactically he was a disaster. We were in one of those yearly evaluation exercises and the first two problems hadn't gone well, to put it mildly. That evening, all the platoon leaders got individual visits from first the S-3, then one of the evaluators, both of whom were asking question that became obvious to me were aimed at seeing if the problem was at the top or were we a bunch of dumbasses. The Commander was relieved the next morning and replaced by one of the BN Staff. Thank God, because I think I would have been senior Lt. While I like to think I channel Audie Murphy and Gen. Patton, didn't seem to be good for career longevity to take command of a unit with everyone and God watching how it's going to perform. The last Commander relieved just couldn't keep his pants buttoned. I had actually sat down with him and advised him that his course of actions would have negative consequences. He chose to continue anyway, so no sympathy about the outcome.
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MCPO Roger Collins
MCPO Roger Collins
3 mo
From a fellow dinosaur, in our time you did your job as well as you could, regardless of of your leadership. Sooner or later, either you or they transferred. Worked for me, promoted to MCPO in 18 years.
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SSgt Christophe Murphy
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I think Toxic leadership is just one of the negative staples of military life that make a general cycle through a unit over time. It's like the tide. Sometimes it's low tide or high tide but eventually it comes and goes. Just like hazing and alcohol related incidents. They aren't always happening but it always seems they are either on the way in or on the way out depending on culture climate and leadership.

I got a close up look to the IG process while with 3rd Marine Air wing Headquarters element. The IG office pulled subject matter experts from the HQ element to fill out the role of inspectors while visiting units for readiness inspections. While I was with the team IG complaints were briefed and handled quickly and with professionalism. It was a matter of pride to ensure things were done correctly and by the letter. But just like Toxic leadership anywhere else I would assume the IG team was only as good as it's members and the leaders they reported to. I'm sure there are some piss poor IG teams out there who work for or are covering up for poor leadership.
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LTC Multifunctional Logistician
LTC (Join to see)
3 mo
Great comment here especially the ending.
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GySgt Team Chief
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We built a solid 24 page document on our SgtMaj, however, we figured that since he is not in command our BC would have gone down with him, which he was probably the best BC anyone has had.

Long story short some illegal actions were taken against one of my Marines who was improperly placed on 90 days of pre NJP restriction which prevented him from PCSing from Okinawa back to California which in turn did not allow him to see his mother before she passed away. After all was said and done he wasn’t NJP’d because he was in the right. But we also didn’t want to burn the BC because we aren’t exactly sure how much play he had in all of this.

The SgtMaj was a fat, inappropriate toward female subordinates, and an overall lazy bully. If he doesn’t get his now he will on judgement day.
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