- 07 Apr 2020 23:49
Yeah, I when I was in Afghanistan, even though we were a Army National Guard Unit from the South, we in fact had everybody from all over the US serving in our unit during our tour in Afghanistan. We accepted volunteers from all over the country to deploy with us. So, we had people all over the US during that specific deployment. I was lucky to get a good team OIC who was a captain from Boston, Massachusetts. He was a real tough guy. He ran marathons all the time, he was in excellent shape, would challenge us to push up contests, could outrun or out do any of us on the physical fitness test and he always took care of his men and led from the front. So he had respect.
He also listened to some of our feedback too which was good because a few times he wanted to do some things that would have un-necessarily put us in danger. We talked to him and he listened to us and instead decided to take our approach which we still accomplished the mission that needed to be accomplished all while not losing lives un-necessarily. It's not that we were afraid to put our lives on the line, we just wanted to be sure our lives were not being put in danger un-necessarily when their was a better smarter approach to accomplishing the same mission that did not entail taking un-necessary risks.
So, I lucked out in getting a good team OIC who lead by example, was a tough guy, and listened to his people. We also had some incompetent NCOs too and our team OIC quickly replaced those incompetent NCOs with new NCOs who very tough and very good. He also did not tolerate low standards. Good leadership starts with setting high standards, setting the example by always meeting those high standards as the officer and leader and not tolerating low standards or enlisted men not meeting the high standards you set down for them. As a leader, your standards are only as good as the standards that you meet yourself and the standards that you tolerate from your enlisted men.
If you set high standards, meet those high standards yourself as the officer and don't tolerate enlisted men not meeting those high standards, then your unit is going to be a tough unit who meets high standards. Good leadership also means listening to the input of the experts, experience and your people. My team OIC had all those qualities. So, I was pretty lucky. Everything starts with the leadership. Not everybody was as lucky as I was and in some cases that costed them their lives. The cost of the mistake of leaders are placed into coffins. Everything and I mean everything starts with the officers and good leadership.
"Pays to be a winner and really SUCKS to be a loser." -Jocko Willink
"All in all the time." -US Navy SEAL saying
"Put everything you’ve got in what you do. If you do that, win or lose, you will be a champion." -PO