An NCO's Opinion of the Retention and Leadership

February 17, 1999

Comment: #240

Discussion Thread:  #s 238 & 239

The attached comments come from an active duty Master Sergeant stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He is responding to the comments made by Col Pizzo and the retired Lt Col in #239. ... CS

Comments from MSG XXX

Good points. Some excellent writing here. Writer #1 says a computer won't get you out of an ambush, etc. No. But, a computer, properly hooked up into tactical or strategic networks these day's help you call for the fire you need and etc. (Logistics, medical help, etc . I agree, just about any soldier is useful when you get down to it. It's kind of a matter of attitude: I can learn things from anyone I meet, and they can learn things from me.

Attack it from that attitude and you have a lot of things beat, but there's a lot of leaders these days that either can't listen, or won't. And that, as much as anything else, can cause people to leave. And if people want to leave, let 'em. I'd sooner have the people that want to stay than the people who want to leave.

The trick is, making people want to join and want to stay. I joined for career enhancement as much as anything else back in the late 70s. I needed the Army and the Army needed me. It's been a great start in life and it continues to be. Stress the Army's worth, the education you get in the service, the adventure, the money and the training and you have a combination that's hard to beat.

Why the recruiting shortfall is kind of hard to figure. We're still here, even if the people aren't so perhaps letting more people in the door is a good idea, no matter what the quality or caliber. As your spokespeople have said, good leadership can overcome a multitude of obstacles. If they can make a soldier out of me, they can make a soldier out of anybody! (Anybody that's willing to try to out-perform the next guy, that is!)

End Comments from MSG XXX

Chuck Spinney

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