What Going Back to Tech School Taught Me About Being an NCO

By Sergeant M Once you graduate from your initial technical school training, you take a final look out the rearview mirror and confidently state “I’m never coming back here again.” Until you come back seven years later for a course taken en route as a requirement for your next assignment……and you find yourself right back …

Learning from Bad Examples: When Poor Leadership Can Be Valuable

By Sergeant Swivel Responsibilities of Leadership In many organizations, one of the primary duties of leaders is to develop their subordinates. Air Force Handbook 36-2618, “The Enlisted Force Structure,” or, as it’s known among Airmen, “The Little Brown Book,” lays out responsibilities associated with each tier of the enlisted forces, making sure to note that …

Mentorship: Cross-Component Leader Development

Guest post by XO of XOs Knowledge diffusion and leader development in the Army is at best, a slapdash effort.  You finish the appropriate schooling level--maybe rotating through a leadership position, or not--and then get dropped into your newest assignment.  Primary Staff, Command, on occasion the officer in charge of the officer (I had one …

War as a Human Endeavor: How do we train for that?

“War is a human endeavor—a fundamentally human clash of wills often fought among populations. It is not a mechanical process that can be controlled precisely, or even mostly, by machines, statistics, or laws that cover operations in carefully controlled and predictable environments. Fundamentally, all war is about changing human behavior. It is both a contest …

Full Spectrum Professional Development

  Like many junior officers, I hear a lot about “professional development.” We hear about it from senior leaders, it is almost always on our officer evaluations, we are told to develop our subordinates, and we assume that leader development exists...somewhere. Some of us have even been developed professionally, apparently. Most often, however, it seems …

Additional Duties? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Additional Duties! Ten Tips for Executing the Role of Executive Officer

This post first appeared on the blog Point of Decision and has been reposted in its entirety with permission. So, you’ve pinned (or rather, hook-and-loop fastened) your black bar to your chest. Gone are the days of people calling you “Butterbar” and ignoring what you have to say. It’s a new era, right? Wrong. You’re …

Get Out of the Way and Let Us Do Our Jobs: A NCO’s Perspective

Today's post is by guest author, SoonerGrunt. He is a retired Army non-commissioned officer with twenty-two years of experience in both the Regular Army and the Army National Guard. My Twitter friend Angry Staff Officer had a response from a junior officer’s perspective to a blog post entitled “31 Things Your Senior Rater Wants You …

18 Things I Look For in a Senior Rater

Last week, one of my favorite blogs - From the Green Notebook - ran a guest piece called, 31 Things Your Senior Rater Would Like You to Know That He Probably Won’t Tell You. Quite a mouthful. While I disagreed with nearly everything that the author said, he did start a good conversation on leadership styles that has bloomed …

Thrown into the Deep End: Tips for New Platoon Leaders

Whoa there, high speed. Look at you, all brand new and shiny, right out of your basic officer leader course, hard-charging to take over your first platoon. Thing is, behind that brash exterior, you're probably confused as all get-out. After years of training in ROTC or a military academy (you OCS guys know all this stuff …