My Little Green Book: Page 2

Being an instructor had shown all the promise of independence that a NCO could hope for.  Most good NCOs crave the opportunity to take the initiative in their work, go above and beyond for the cause, and to prove they are a cut above the rest.  This was that opportunity, little did I know there were some SNCOs that had forgotten where they came from, and were not willing to improve upon the system that crushed their initiative and ambition.

As a leader I pride myself on keeping my word to the men under my charge.  I did not sugar-coat anything, and i did not hide the “behind the scenes” whispering that my superiors would do to get us to play games with them.  If my men had questions I answered them with brutal honesty, I remained professional, but as a teacher and a mentor they required a type of honesty that not only opened their eyes to the true nature of the corps, but gave them a reason to trust, or not trust me as their leader.  There was no demand for respect or reminder that “instant obedience to orders” was imperative.  This was teaching marines to be better men, and to think for themselves while giving them an example of how to be professional while telling the truth.

Page 2 is another sample of what everyone drools at the mouth for; someone else’s examples of Marine Corps stupidity and lack of vision.

May 5, 2010:  At the beginning of the training day one of my men is SIQ for the day, the duty instructor knew about this and passed it to our SNCOIC, Gunny Oblivious.  Later that morning while classes are being taught, the rest of the instructor group is hanging out waiting for the next training evolution for the day, when Gunny Oblivious comes into the instructor area, belittles the entire group, while not expressing the actual problem to us, and sends us all to the classroom to be “assistant instructors” for the two instructors teaching.

This became a normal occurrence for our instructor group with Gunny Oblivious, he would constantly come into our area and bitch at us for something, but he had a way of doing so that would never reveal what had happened and what he wanted us to do to correct it or prevent it in the future. These rants occurred every couple of days.

May 5, 2010:  The new Chief Instructor, newly promoted SSGT, leaves around 1654 while the rest of the instructor cadre are left waiting for word after completing the end of training day routine.

(Many times during a training cycle there is a ton of down time for instructors.  If you’re not scheduled for teaching a class or there is no PT for that day you could end up sitting around or literally searching for work to do.  Typically, our counterparts in other companies were allowed to do this, instructors would leave work once they were accounted for and they had no duties for that training day.  Needless to say our instructors never experienced this.  Waiting around for word gave us a constant reminder of our days as E-4 and below standing in a parking lot for hours on end.)

This billet is a leadership position, the supposed best of the instructors, instead the loud-mouthed chest thumper that was promoted to Staff Sergeant first was given the job.  The type of person that would call themselves a leader and then blatantly adopt hypocrisy by doing exactly what his predecessor did to make people despise him.  There is a clear lack of awareness of what leadership is in the Marine Corps as a whole.

May 6, 2010:  Gunny Oblivious orders all instructors to be in the classroom by 0645 on this day, if I recall correctly there was a PT event scheduled for this day.  Our fearless leader never showed for PT, and when he finally did arrive at around 1000 that morning, he was in civilian attire. Later he pulled all his “ones” in for a pow-wow, ones were the more senior instructors both sergeants and staff sergeants, and told them that the other instructors emulated them, and that their attitudes specifically affect morale.

The instructor group, who is responsible for the training schedule, is ordered to print BTRs from MOL for the Chief Instructor.  The Chief Instructor works in a cubicle with the SNCOIC and the OIC, both of which have access to all the staff BTRs.  The instructor staff (12) has one computer in their area.

The lengths that people in leadership positions will go to exercise their authority is amazing to me.  Notice how I worded that last sentence, and I will touch more on this later, “people in leadership positions” not leaders.  In my experience a rocker has a unexplainable affect on the human body’s ability to contain the brain tissue between the ears.  Once the rocker goes on, the brains quickly liquify, and ooze out of the ears of the promoted for a good two months or so.  There are of course lasting effects on the individual after the oozing stops because of the validation that comes from the many that have suddenly become best buds with the promoted.

May 7, 2010:  This day was a field day, a Sergeant Instructor was ordered to standby his room for a field day inspection.  During the training cycle with students on deck as an instructor, this is just a minor complaint, but the implications of treating men like children is monumental here, especially since the individual is a sergeant, instructor, and a person who is entrusted with some pretty serious responsibility.

For the students field day inspections, the other instructors are told to stand by for the Company Commander and 1st Sergeant to go through rooms, at 0800 the Company Gunny rolls through. This is one of those times when it is so obvious that my “leaders” lied to get what they wanted.  I cannot convey how much respect is lost when this happens, it’s catastrophic, I can never believe another word that comes out of your mouth.  Another shining example of bad leadership is to be late to your own appointment as a so-called leader.  When I was a resident college student, prior to my service, I attended a leadership conference for student government.  During this conference an accomplished educator, I do not recall his name, who was a Dean or President of a university told us that one of the worst ways to lose credibility as a leader, before ever stepping in front of a group of people is to keep them waiting.  As a military leader how is this not common sense?  Not only that, but half of the time they don’t even apologize for their blatant hypocrisy.

As a person who strives to conduct themselves as a professional, I have always strived for the next accolade as a Marine.  As a Corporal, I tried to behave as I would as a Sergeant, as a Sergeant I would try to handle myself as if I were a Staff Sergeant.  In this way I completed the next ranks MCI’s way ahead of time.  For example, when I end my service as a Staff Sergeant the required MCI’s to make Gunny were already completed, and I had started working on the next.  There are Gunnys out there who do not even have them yet.  Regardless I wish to quote something from the 8105 MCI titled, Leadership Credo.  “Although  the Marine Corps does not have a formal code of ethics, every Marine leader must have a strong sense of ethical behavior to be worthy of the name.  In combat, ethics are critical for success.”

I find it pointless at all to claim we live by a code of ethics as Marines when it clearly states here that our leaders ethics are as the individual perceives them.  Hopefully someone more intelligent and more articulate will take this and run with it.  My little green book has many other great fallacies of leadership, and just wait a modern day war hero is involved in some of my accounts, although I will not slander his name openly I will gladly share the experiences when we get there.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  – Edmund Burke
Submitted by: “SSGT Samaritan”

My Little Green Book: Page 1

Hello everyone, I found this site early this morning and have lost several hours of sleep because of the excitement it brings me.  I recently ended my active service on May 19th of this year, please no applause. I did eight years as a LAV Crewman, 0313, and tried everyday to make the best of a bad situation.  My career as a Marine ended as the SNCOIC of separations platoon in Camp Pendleton.  I received orders to this unit after challenging the leadership ethics of my previous command, but we’ll get to that later.  Regardless of my decision to do what is right against the more popular road of shady brown nosing, favoritism, and blatant lack of respect for the rules, I still pinned on Staff Sergeant without anyones help.  In the 03 community this is not necessarily an easy feat, although the promotion system is still not based on merit or quality of work as a SNCO. I dropped out of college my senior year to fight in the war, and truly expected to do twenty years as an enlisted man.  It took less than two years for the corruption to rear its head and for my vision of Marine Corps leadership to change drastically.  I served my first three and then some in 29 Palms, enough said, then re-enlisted for those modest, yet useful bonuses in 2009, to be a Combat Instructor.  After Combat Instructor School and a handful of cycles I was really enjoying my time as a Marine for the first time.  This all began to change in less than a year, and my little green book was born.

Throughout college I attended leadership conferences, and participated in campus events and activities; always looking for opportunities to be a better leader.  I grew up by modest means and began working at the age of 13, so character, moral standards, and good ethics are important to me. This did not change when I chose to join the Marines.  Enticed by its world class marketing campaign, I bought into the tiles on the recruiters desk, and looked forward to playing “All-Marine Football”, which had not existed since 2003.  I pride myself on leadership, I jump at the opportunity to take the path less traveled when it comes to developing subordinates; and in the Marine Corps it is not hard to do for the average moral person.  My little green book was born on March 1, 2010, and has dozens of examples of documented leadership brain farts if you will.  There are tales of corruption, simple leadership mistakes with lessons never learned, and some run of the mill bitches, moans, and complaints.  This site is the perfect place for these discretions to be revealed.  The truth must be known.

Please note:  These short accounts began as an evaluation method for improving my leadership methods.

March 1, 2010:  The separation of our instructor cadre begins.  Our SNCOIC, we’ll call him “Gunny Oblivious”, pulls the newly promoted Staff Sergeant Instructors aside for a very exclusive conversation.  Shortly thereafter the Sergeant Instructors are treated differently than before. (Most of these accounts are from my experiences as a Combat Instructor, an individual special duty assignment.  In the course I taught there were only two billets for SNCO’s, all other SNCOs were instructors filling equal billets to Sergeants.)

April 27, 2010:  Pick-up day has arrived, 76 new students are on deck and the cadre begins issuing rooms immediately.  Gunny Oblivious orders the halt of forward progress for impending briefs from Company Commander, Company First Sergeant, OIC, and himself.  He then tells the instructor cadre that no instructor will leave until their students are packed for the field.  The briefs are not given and the instructors begin issuing rooms again; Gunny Oblivious stops this act of initiative and common sense once more.  At 1400 hours that day the room issuing is halted, the students are sent to get briefs, and the instructors are put on “gear watch” of the students gear.  The students return after evening chow, but have not been given any of their briefs and rooms are still not issued.

May 4, 2010:  A Sergeant Instructor is verbally reprimanded for going to his barracks briefly during a lull in training.  Shortly thereafter Gunny Oblivious has a secret meeting with his new SNCOs, and tells them that “Sergeants are not to be trusted; they will walk all over you.”

May 5, 2010:  All test materials are the responsibility of the Chief Instructor, a newly promoted Staff Sergeant, but all test during this week were graded by the instructor group, the Chief Instructor left work early.  One Sergeant instructor was pulled into the office during the entire training day with the Chief.

This is page one, of course these are minor hiccups in day to day life in the Corps, but anyone familiar with the lapse in judgement with MC leadership can see where this small handful of snow is going.  FYI:  At SOI West Standard Operating Procedure for a course is to have one individual who is trained and certified in Curriculum Development handle student test materials to prevent cheating on behalf of instructors who want to give their students an edge.  This makes instructors look better when their students score well, there were daily violations of these policies on behalf of the staff.  Later on you will see how two students answer for their lack of integrity, but company staff disregard integrity altogether.

This site has kept me up all night, I love it.  Now its time for homework and job applications, I cannot wait to hop back on later.

Submitted by: “SSGT Samaritan”.