Good officers and recruitment areas

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Re: Good officers and recruitment areas

Post by g-man » Thu May 12, 2016 1:33 pm

As a matter of differentiation: With near certainty, pretty much every officer ever did something stupid while they were an LT, maybe even while they were a CPT. But there's a huge gulf between doing dumb shit, and being a dumb shit. Just sayin. Like PawPaw said, good officers are made. I'm lucky enough to have had (some) good leaders, and great NCOs to help beat the stupid out of me when necessary.
Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum

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Re: Good officers and recruitment areas

Post by tcourtplayer » Sat May 14, 2016 1:47 am

JAG2955 wrote:I had a lot of intelligence problems with some ROTC/OCS juniors and peers. Things like spelling errors in professional writing, like "edjucation" that was being routed through me to an O-5 or O-6. I wouldn't sign and route it until it was fixed. In some of them, it seemed like there was a standard deviation or more in IQ between myself and the other Academy grad that I worked with and the other commissioning source guys. And neither he nor I were anywhere close to the top academically, or even overall.

We also always wanted to know the "why" when it came to an order, whereas there was more blind obedience from the ROTC sources.
I've actually had the opposite experience as far as asking "why" is concerned. In my experience while I've seen a quality spread amongst all sources it seems the academy guys are more institutionalized. I've seen great and horrible offices from all sources. Arguably the best CO I ever had was an OCS grad, my worst was an academy guy. I think it comes back to what Paw Paw said, officers are made not born. It is encombant on the services to continue the training up to the day they are separated because there is always something you can get better at. That's not to say certain sources don't have their advantages. Like I said, Academy guys tend to be more institutionalized. This can be good in the report writing, customs and courtesies and other big picture items. It can also lead to group think and the "it's always been done this way" mentality. NROTC and OCS guys can lack institutional knowledge but their different experiences can cut through the "it's always been this way" mentality if they are encouraged to ask why. Also, I've it seems like ROTC guys handle "real life" better at first because a) most had to have side job and live in the real world (budget, pay rent, buy groceries, pay utilities...) and b) have spent 4 years getting their stupid out of them at college. I've unfortunately seen too many academy guys decide to get stupid with partying/booze/girls after graduation (because now they had the time, money and freedom to do so) or have money issues because they just didn't have to deal with it at the academy.

The point is to not get too high and mighty about where you came from and focus on where you need to head.

Funny sea story...
I actually spent two years at the Naval Academy prior to going NROTC so I have a unique perspective on the pros/cons of each source. I keep this quiet in the professional world for two reasons a) I don't want the Academy guys thinking I'm trying to claim to be one of them when I didn't graduate from there and b) I still graduated from a top 25 university and I'm damn proud of it. As I graduated from the other school, I consider it my school, not the Academy. Fast forward, there was one night when it was me, AOPS, OPS and the CO hanging out in the OPS office bullshitting after getting the schedule signed. I was the only non-Academy guy in the room so inevitably as it does the contrasting turned to reminiscing/commiserating about stories from the academy. At one point the CO saw me smirking at a story. Not realizing it was a k owing smirk and not a "oh here we go again with the ring knocker stories" smirk he said something to the effect of, oh that's right these are academy stories, you wouldn't understand and probably wouldn't get "it." Without skipping a beat I returned, " well it turns out we are all at the same place now." The look on his face was priceless and everyone got a good laugh. Then again this was the same CO that was shocked that a lowly NROTC guy would know what the 5 basic responses are much less know how to use them correctly.
JAG: So why do you need armor piercing ammo?
tcourtplayer: Zombies
JAG: For when they hide behind engine blocks?
tcourtplayer: Just because the movies say they will be dumb and slow doesn't make it true.

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