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”