Slipping through the cracks | Wings Over Iraq

We need to look at creating a permanent counseling file for soldiers (I’m not the only one who thinks so, either). Such a file would not appear before promotion boards, but give commanders insight to a variety of high-risk activity. Previous counseling statements, evaluations, letters of reprimand, and criminal records–tagged and sorted–would be an invaluable tool in getting soldiers the help they need. And, should repeated efforts at rehabilitation fail, it would help separate problem soldiers from the service.

via Slipping through the cracks | Wings Over Iraq.

Food for thought.

There’s an old cliche, about a new soldier showing up and the commander or First Sergeant telling the new troop he’s got a clean sheet, and a chance at a fresh start. And there may be something to that. On the other hand, a troop who was a dirtbag at his old duty station is far  more likely to be a dirtgbag at his new duty station.  And unless a troop had company or field grade NJP, the gaining command really has no way of knowing if a troop is a superstar or a slug.

I’m not saying every troop has to have every minor incident in his past hung around his neck for all eternity. But if a pattern of behavior exists, and past commanders have fobbed a poor troop off on the next unit, wouldn’t it be nice if that new commander had the tools to either provide the leadership the troop needs, or evidence to support separation from the service?

5 thoughts on “Slipping through the cracks | Wings Over Iraq”

  1. past commanders have fobbed a poor troop off on the next unit

    One of the groups here sent out a call that they desperately needed 10-12 engineers to fill spots left by retirements. They got all the deadwood, grievance filers, problem children, etc. from the other groups and were in worse shape than ever.

  2. I’d venture to guess that almost every O3 – and a vast majority of O2’s even – will be able to tell the basics of what kind of person their new troop is within a few hours – days at most – of their reporting date. Certainly a senior NCO will be able to. I know my Chiefs and LPO’s were always able to look at any draft of new sailors and tell down to the last decimal point, which ones were worth a damn.

    1. I guess I should also add – by way of clarification – that I’m a fan of the clean slate approach for a new sailor, when it comes to paperwork. With my sailors, even if I had misgivings about one, or my Chief did, I really wanted to at least give them a chance to recover. When you’ve got a ready-built paper trail, then you’ve got temptation to make use of it and act on your first impressions.

  3. LT Rusty I believe you are, in part, absolutely correct. The other part is command not acting on Senior NCO’s “contact” impressions because of manpower, MOS qual., or other factors. Usual result: soldier in question enters the ranks. I agree mostly with this thread however. Regards

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