Good officers and recruitment areas

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Good officers and recruitment areas

Postby toad » Fri May 06, 2016 1:24 am

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htatrit/articles/20160505.aspx

The effects of grade inflation hit both the military and civilian sources of employees. I found it interesting that people are shipping their kids out of urban areas to relatives in the countryside. The large dumps of illegal aliens esp. Muslims are going to mess the pool of good workers up even more.

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Re: Good officers and recruitment areas

Postby PawPaw » Fri May 06, 2016 1:48 pm

Good officers are made, not born. I was a product of the ROTC system, back in the early '70s, and it was incumbent upon the Professor of Military Science to approve candidates for commissioning. He took that responsibility seriously. There were two in my commissioning class of 14 that he would not certify. One of them graduated and enlisted. I don't know what happened to the other one. The rest of us entered active service and as far as I know, served honorably in a number of capacities.

Fast forward to the last unit I was in, a Louisiana NG unit, 1/156 Infantry (surprisingly, an Armor battalion in an Infantry brigade) had exemplary enlisted members. The state of Louisiana at that time would waive college tuition in state universities if you were a member of the Guard. As such, the average civilian education level was 16.4. Two of our Sergeants Major had master's degrees and another was a practicing lawyer. This was in 1997-99, prior to 9/11. My driver, a young E-4 had already graduated from college and was working on a pharmacy degree.

You need good officers to lead exemplary troops.
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Re: Good officers and recruitment areas

Postby toad » Fri May 06, 2016 11:46 pm

You also need good people for leadership positions in civilian jobs. The public schools are turning out people who have the attention spans of gnats.
I find it interesting that the remaining industries of various sorts find that they do better with people from the Rocky Mountain and Southern states.
Private schools and universities from the North East seem to be producing too many special snowflakes whom the word "work" is a swear word.

Anybody here old enough to remember the NDROTC?

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Re: Good officers and recruitment areas

Postby Vonz90 » Mon May 09, 2016 3:34 pm

toad wrote:You also need good people for leadership positions in civilian jobs. The public schools are turning out people who have the attention spans of gnats.
I find it interesting that the remaining industries of various sorts find that they do better with people from the Rocky Mountain and Southern states.
Private schools and universities from the North East seem to be producing too many special snowflakes whom the word "work" is a swear word.

Anybody here old enough to remember the NDROTC?


Speaking from a Nav perspectives. I saw good and bad officers from all sources, but if I had to draw an average line (talking mostly about JOs)

1. Academy - best prepared but some burned out and not giving a crap
2. OCS vs ROTC - similar but seemed like there were more dirt bags from ROTC background. (Was told by those who went that route that it was because they were more likely to have done ROTC just for the scholarship, while the OCS guys mostly all wanted to be there.)

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Re: Good officers and recruitment areas

Postby JAG2955 » Mon May 09, 2016 3:56 pm

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.

However, Vonz is spot on with the burned out part. Figure that I would have been close to 13 years when I got out, instead of almost 9. It pisses me off that guys who do things like PLC get years of service towards pay as soon as they finish OCS, even if they do another two years of college afterwards.

You do see giant changes in intelligence and capability across the enlisted ranks as the time progresses. Current E-8/E-9s were joining when all you had to do was fog a mirror to be promoted. It's led to a Senior Staff NCO Corps that is lacking in leadership capability. I had more brain-dead Sergeants Major than I can count. My wife's units were even worse. But as the competition to enlist got tighter, we have a NCO/SNCO Corps that is highly intelligent and capable. I had a decent number of Marines who had their degrees, and an even larger number that were working on them. I did really push the off-duty education to a lot of folks, telling them to get a head start just in case the Corps decided to kick them out for no reason. It paid off for a few.

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Re: Good officers and recruitment areas

Postby Johnnyreb » Wed May 11, 2016 6:20 pm

*Threadjack*

I feel compelled to defend this base accusation against the gnat. There are gnats here where I live, and if just one is in the house, and one always is. That gnat is right here with me, constantly, with mindless, endless, determination trying to land on my face, get behind my glasses, or fly up my nose until I can finally kill it without destroying the monitor or keyboard. Gnats can too pay attention.

The modern high school student, on the other hand, does indeed have the attention span of... something other than a gnat.

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Re: Good officers and recruitment areas

Postby Mike OTDP » Thu May 12, 2016 12:40 am

I suspect a great deal depends on the college major. Colleges will hand you a diploma and a 3.0 average for having tuition and just enough sense to not burn the schoolhouse down...if you pick the right major. Engineering? Hard sciences? You'll crawl through broken glass for a degree. Yes, there's been grade inflation compared to 30 years ago, but an order of magnitude less.

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Re: Good officers and recruitment areas

Postby g-man » Thu May 12, 2016 3:37 am

JAG2955 wrote:You do see giant changes in intelligence and capability across the enlisted ranks as the time progresses. Current E-8/E-9s were joining when all you had to do was fog a mirror to be promoted. It's led to a Senior Staff NCO Corps that is lacking in leadership capability. I had more brain-dead Sergeants Major than I can count. My wife's units were even worse. But as the competition to enlist got tighter, we have a NCO/SNCO Corps that is highly intelligent and capable. I had a decent number of Marines who had their degrees, and an even larger number that were working on them. I did really push the off-duty education to a lot of folks, telling them to get a head start just in case the Corps decided to kick them out for no reason. It paid off for a few.


The bolus of stupid is working its way out of the upper enlisted ranks, but it's still making it hard for good NCOs to get promoted, especially while we're downsizing. TPTB aren't listening to those of us who say we should cut as much dead wood up top and continue promoting quality, rather than only trimming the top and losing good NCOs in the process. Case in point: one of my platoon sergeants from my time in command ('10-'12) had already put in all the PSG time he needed to be considered qualified before he got to us. He put in two years in my company, with a good chunk as the acting 1SG while 1SG was the acting MTF SGM. He left there and was picked up as the Sergeant of the Guard, Tomb of the Unknowns. He got his tomb badge, and ran the place... he just PCS'ed to AK, and his name wasn't on the MSG list that just came out. Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. Smart, articulate, and the kind of NCO that instills a work ethic in even the most cynical assholes like me, just so we don't let guys like him down.

As for the article... There's a LOT I can't comment on, specifically because Army accessions policy is what I do right now. I will say recruiting is hard, though I'd argue it's not so much because unemployment is down (U6 is down, real unemployment is still way, way up), but because of the change in the recruiting pool itself.

And dumb occifers cuz grade inflashun? Say it ain't so!?!
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Re: Good officers and recruitment areas

Postby JAG2955 » Thu May 12, 2016 3:54 am

I'd love to hear more about the policy over email.

As a matter of note, this idiot was just selected for Major while in the IRR. There must be some mistake, I don't want a lobotomy.

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Re: Good officers and recruitment areas

Postby blackeagle603 » Thu May 12, 2016 4:06 am

In the 80's we'd pass time on the messdecks during Gramm-Rudman operating fund squeeze by playing "a) How much could we $ave and also improve productivity by offering an early full 75% retirement to senior enlisteds on the *ROADS Program and b) who would you send walking first?"


First one cut was always our Command MCPO. Super sharp Avionics E-9. Type A overachiever with only about half a job to do. Man, there is nothing more dangerous than an underemployed E-9. He'd be up with insomnia on WesPac walking the passages on nightcheck, hassling maintainers doing hair length checks and such.

*Retired On Active Duty Service"
Last edited by blackeagle603 on Thu May 12, 2016 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Good officers and recruitment areas

Postby g-man » Thu May 12, 2016 2:33 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.
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Re: Good officers and recruitment areas

Postby tcourtplayer » Sat May 14, 2016 2:47 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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