Skip to comments.Suggested development for ROTC cadets
Posted on 12/27/2005 8:44:06 PM PST by FierceKulak
I'm a cadet at a Southern military college going through Army ROTC. Several cadets and I have gathered informally over the past semester with the goal of preparing ourselves for serving as Army officers.
So far, the things we have done include alot of PT, ruck marches, some boxing and grappling, and group studies of various books on military science and history.
If some the current of former Soldiers here could share their suggestions, we'd all be grateful.
Keep your mouth shut and your eyes and ears open when you report to your first unit. And listen to your NCO's. And good luck.
go to military.com open forum Army. you will get the latest info.
Which school? I went to North Georgia College, Dahlonga, GA.
2d Lt's are worse then Privates and PFC's...take cover when the Lt says, "from my experience at OCS/OBC...."
I can't remember who said it, and I'm paraphrasing, but it goes like: "Those who want to be colonels study tactics; those who aspire to be generals study logistics."
3 rules for you.
1. Look cool.
2. Don't get lost.
3. If lost, look cool.
That and get your tab as soon as possible.
If not a career, keep your head down, cause the men above will be using you.
Don't volunteer for EOD.
If you all really wish to be military officer's, my hat is off to you. Go for it.
If you think you are good enough to be one of the world's finest; if you think you have what it takes to be a Leader of Marines, then do that. Don't even consider anything else; nothing compares. The change is forever.
Contact your local Marine Corps Officer Selection Office or go to: http://www.marineofficer.com/
If you are not up to the challenge... Go army, navy or whatever.
Always remember that it's your platoon, but they're his men.
And shine the back of your belt buckle.
Studies of military history are very wise. Mistakes made from repeating the past are unforgivable in an officer.
Learn land navigation the old fashioned way... technology has a way of failing when you need it most - and getting lost can ruin your whole day.
Remember that new 2LTs are like new E1s; you don't know squat.
Leadership is an art; command is a priviledge.
You will have all the authority you are willing to exercise; God help you if you fark it up!
It is better to beg for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission.
Take care of your troops and they will take care of you.
Only idiots jump out of perfectly functional aircraft.
Keep the skinny end pointed downrange.
ALWAYS overestimate your needs and underestimate your capabilities. When making a requisition, ask for twice what you need; by the time the chairborne gets done with it, you may end up with what you need to accomplish your mission.
And for God's sake, always remember: YOU are NOT the reincarnation of Georgie Patton!
Learn everything you can about the equipment you willbe using. first, get out to a firearms range and learn to shoot a wide varitey of rifles, pistols etc, and shoot well.If you know the Branch you are going into, learn all you can about the TO&E Equipment which will be in your type of unit.
Put yourself in as many leadership positions as you can find time for. Volunteer for Boy scouts/Explorers, to coach sports teams, and so on.
When you get the opportunaty, seek out the NCOs and the officers who have come up through the ranks. Observe them; listen to them; do not be afraid to ask them questions.
Always remember what one Civil War General told the new junior officers in his unit: A soldier's final test is in battle. He prepares himself for all his life, but until it comes to him, neither he nor anyone else will know how he will do.
Make peace with this. Your job is going to be to kill people and lead other men to where they can kill people. Read everything you can lay your hands on about Islam and the Middle East-politics, culture, history. Current books by people who have serve in Iraq. Understanding your enemy is always a force modifier. Read Sun Tze. Weight Lift. Army spends too much focus on Cardio. Strength helps as well.
Find your "center". Your troops, Your Nation, Your God, Your friends. Your service or something to cling to. In a world of pain, men fight and die for real things, not abstract notions. You must have something inside you to lead other men. You must have something in your center you are willing to kill and if needed, die for. You orders will get men killed. Make peace with that or find another line of work. Finally, LEADERS LEAD, they do not send other men to do things they will, or could not, do.
Other observations based on the officers and NCOS I most remember serving with. Strive to be the best you can be. Other men will be better at this or that, you should be best all round Solider. Learn what is chicken shit and what is Mission orientated. Mission matters, how you accomplish it does not. Learn to live with Chicken Shit, never ever dish it out. Learn from your mistakes. It is not necessary for you to be perfect, you are expected to be in command. Always, Always talk to your NCOS. He CAN be your best friends, mentor and example. He has decades of experience you do NOT have. Doesn't mean you should do what he says, you should always listen to him. Learn how to delegate. You cannot do everything for everyone. American Solders expect to know the WHY not just the what. Learn to give your orders so that they understand WHY something is being done and you will be more successful. God Bless you and your friends.
There are many editions available but the best edition ( do not use any other)for warriors is:
The Art of War : The Denma Translation (Shambhala Library) (Hardcover) $ 11.87 Hardcover: 320 pages Publisher: Shambhala (September 17, 2002) Language: English ISBN: 1570629781 Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.6 x 0.8 inches Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces.
#2 Take care of the men under your command, listen to your NCO's, learn from them. You will have to put your ego in your back pocket.(Remember that NCOs like people who can learn the first time around rather than requiring a 2nd or 3rd try, or you and they may die.)Watch them in action and learn, support them.
One thing that I was taught very early on by a Command Sergeant Major, USA Special Forces, Airborne was:
Dont ever worry about your creditability. By the time you get around to worrying about your creditability it is long gone. You get up each morning with just a little bit and as the day goes on you either gain more or lose some. Each day it starts over.
I took this to mean I had to work hard every day to defend those below me; help those with me, and support those above me. Some days were harder than others.
Since my retirement I have been paid the ultimate complement - served as a re-enlisting official, served as a retiring official for several NCOs that I have thought the world of, and I was allowed to commission an NCO after he completed AF OTS. Those events are the real hallmark of an officers career!
Work hard at your basic course, you start building your professional reputation there.
When you get to your command, watch what is going on. You will soon figure out who is straight with you and who isn't.
Take care of your troops. Sometimes that means doing a lot of social work, but that is part of the job. Don't push that stuff off on your NCO's.
Case study. You report to your command, get your platoon and fifteen minutes later the Platoon Sergeant walks in with PFC Smith. His wife was arrested in Jacksonville FL (300 miles away) for attempting to get a fake ID at the DMV. She doesn't have enough money to make bail. Their two year old kid has been placed in the custody of the Florida Division of Child Welfare. What do you do?
This happened to my brother when he took his platoon in Ft Benning. He called a Navy legal office in Jax that got her sprung in a couple hours.
also, read two books:
The Forgotten Soldier (WWII German soldier) and Storm of Steel (WWI German officer). Great, great books.
Study urban warfare
Listen to your NCOs, but beware that not all of them are good people. Case in point is that my first Platoon SGT was a lying POS who was ultimately relieved by the CO for nearly killing 4 soldiers during a training exercise. Beware of dirtbag NCOs, as they do exist.
Learn to trust your intuition as well as the people you work with. Don't think that just because everyone is doing it means that it is morally right. Listen to your conscience as well as your peers.
Beware of West Point lifers. They can be some of the most manipulative, two faced people you will ever encounter. But not ALL of them are opportunists. Again, trust your judgment.
Find out what kind of CO you will be dealing with. Company COs can either make or break your PLT leader time. If you are working for a POS, then your life is going to be hell. If you have a great commander, then that can also make a distinct difference.
Beware of NCOs, Soldiers and Officers who cheat to get ahead. Trust me, I saw plenty of them during my tour in Europe. Stay away from them if you can.
Everyone hates 2LTs. The only people that ever seemed to like talking to us were civilian females. Otherwise, forget a fair shake on anything in the military at that rank.
Get tabs, schools and as much training as possible. While this will not instantly guarantee your respect among those you work with, it will help educate your mind and prepare you for the hard work ahead.
Good luck, and God Bless.
What a typical jarhead thing to say.
yeah, my dad served in the 48th PT division in Nam. Got a purple heart for getting shot while doing pushups in the rain. My cousin was lucky, he was assigned to the 382nd wearing his class A uniform Battalion. He had a shine on his shoes that could down a plane. Billy Joe though, he lost his life to a flow chart in the 2nd briefing corps. If only we had powerpoint back then
Dont listen to these people talking about military training. Youre in college for Petes sake, freaking act like it for a while and goof off when you can. If youre going to be a career man, this is your last chance ever to act irresponsibly without serious repercussion. You will get your Army training in the Army, dont rush it.
Thanks for the input. I guess I already qualify as an idiot, I just got my airborne wings.
Not if you're a Mustang.
I'm a middle aged female and with the exception of my husband, every male in my very extended family is an Army/Air Force/Navy/Marine officer.
Let me just add:
Choose your wife very carefully. She must be as healthy physically, mentally and spiritually as possible. Much will be expected of her. Appreciate her and treat her well.
I guess you don't know the old saying about jump school:
The first weeks separates the men from the boys; the second week separates the men fromm the fools; and the third week... the fools jump out of perfectly functional aircraft.