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New Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) In Combat

Aug 17, 2007
Alright well most of us have seen it.. its time for a workup whether it be a MEU or another pump to Iraq and you happen to get new NCOs (Non-Commissioned Officers) from all over...how do you respond to some NCO that has been at kings bay Georgia and has never deployed for the past 2 years while you've been in 3 combat deployments in the past 3?? Now that was just an example but my question remains how do most of you as combat vets feel when an NCO that has never had a combat deployment shows up and thinks that because he is an NCO that he knows just as much and has the right to explain the ways of combat to people who have already experienced it??

Difficult situation of course but there should be new NCOs with you who you been to Iraq with who will have a talk with him. If you have been in 3 years and this CPL is telling you something stupid you should be able to pull him to the side. LCPLs with 3 years in should be a team leader anyway. Just because the new NCO doesn't have much of that Iraq salt on his shoulders doesn't mean he won't mess up.

We had an MP who re-enlisted grunt who was a good squad leader and was awarded the bronze star in najaf in 04. But if he's one of those "I'm a corporal, I don't care if you have 3 pumps and killed people. You will address me by my rank." Just do what I did (Yes I've seen this before, the dude who hasn't done anything but expects your respect when he should probably show you more).

Whenever he tells you to do anything, talks to you in anyway. Be extremely motivated and yell at the top of yours lungs "AYE CORPORAL!," If he calls you run as fast as you possibly can. Over exaggerate everything and it will annoy him eventually and he will pull you to the side and you then will tell him that in the grunts that stuff doesn't work. Eventually he will turn into a good NCO.

A smart NCO will know when to step back and observe, he will also expect his Marines to respect the rank he wears. As a subordinate to this NCO you should do everything that you can do to help prepare him to lead you in combat. If he is screwing up use your chain of command. If he is really screwing up invite him to the wood line. Watch his back and help him learn. The more confidence he has in your ability to teach the more he will trust you, the better NCO he will become, and the better the unit will be.

Some Marines, regardless of where they come from are naturally squared away and natural born leaders. I ran into a few of them in VN. And once in combat these guys earned every bit of respect we had to offer. That's not saying you're in the same boat. That's just my opinion and what I've observed during my tour of duty. But that was 100 years ago, far, far off in another land. He eased long before; he got recalled for Op. Enduring Freedom then reenlisted to be a Grunt. He was in my SOI class and we wound up in the same platoon in the Fleet.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for http://www.WarGear.info/. WarGear.info carries the best selection of military clothing, war gear, and combat accessories on the market.
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