The average SSG in a Combat Arms unit may have 3+ years deployed and the accompanying experiences and the base of power that comes it. How does a new 2LT (most although not all without combat experience) lead in that environment, especially when there may be a much lower chance of gaining combat experience with the lower expected OPTEMPO of the next few years?
I am interested in responses from all ranks, as I think that the view of a BN CDR as their future senior rater would be very interesting as well as the view of Soldiers and NCOs on what a 2LT could focus on or excel at that would make you want to follow him/her.
The LT... Actually Every soldier... should focus on being the leader that his platoon and unit deserves. That means those time honored leadership traits that I as a young infantry PFC memorized in preparation to becoming a leader.
1. Know yourself and seek self-improvement
2. Be tactically and technically proficient
3. Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions
4. Set the example
5. Know your people and look out for their welfare
6. Keep your people informed
7. Ensure the task is understood, supervised, and accomplished
8. Develop a sense of responsibility among your people
9. Train your people as a team
10. Make sound and timely decisions
11. Employ your unit in accordance with its capabilities
Really... That's all anyone can do. Please and before any replies about listening to your NCOs... That is indicative 1 and 2 if you'd think about. As for the two way shooting ranges... They'll be along again shortly... Unfortunately they always are... And that is an experience all its own.
Present your platoon with outside activities, counseling for PTSD, and other health and welfare paths. Some of your SMs will become veterans soon. Support their efforts because when they do get out, it reflects on your leadership capacity; preparation and execution.
Train to sustain, but support and provide other paths for your SMs. Retention may not be the optimal choice for both losing and gaining commands. Know your partners and other stakeholders. Collaborate with your peers for networking and lessons learned.