Just some stuff to add to all the other great advice being given…
1. Sit all your buddies down and explain that you are promoting, inform them that you expect to maintain friendship but work is work and play is play. They will understand.
2. Stop partying every night; do not drink the night before the duty day. You can lose that rank faster then you got it, the Army really doesn’t like DWI’s.
3. You are now the first line leader, you have direct contact with the soldiers and you are the leader who will deal with those soldiers on a hourly bases. You had better be in the right uniform and saying the right things.
4. Any soldier who upsets you to the point of kicking his/ her ass should be dealt with in the morning (next week). Never act with out sleeping on it, wall to wall and foot to mouth are a thing of the past. You can’t reverse your actions when either hammering a soldier’s face in, or taking a pay grade.
5. Know every position (duties/ responsibilities) with in your platoon, you will be asked to run the platoon at some point. You had better know how to fill the gap when needed.
6. You are a trainer, you had better understand what you are training that soldier to do. It’s better to tell your leadership you do not know, or are unprepared then to make an ass of your self in front of everyone. You will be giving glasses from hip pocket (Sgt’s time) to full blown company course of instruction.
7. Weapons skills are just as important as PT, spend as much time as you can practicing and training your soldiers as you can.
8. The safe guard of your soldiers, the well being and moral is you’re most important responsibility you have. These things must be reviewed in ever decision you make, from mission planning to cleaning details.
9. You are a working leader, meaning you lead your soldiers as your work beside them. Standing off to the side while they perform is a fucking NO GO! If your soldiers are filling sandbags, then you are filling sandbags…
10. Meals, money, free time and awards are extremely important. Stay on top of soldier’s to ensure they are getting chow time, working towards promotions, taking time off away from the Army and put them in for as many awards as you possibly can (75% will be turned down).
11. Just because you have become an NCO does not mean that you do not deserve your own personal time. Get out of uniform and spend time doing things you enjoy, far too often good leaders burn them selves out being a good leader. You can’t fix the Army in 1 year, only one soldier at a time.
12. Just because you’re SL/ PSG is pissed off at you for fucking up, doesn’t mean they have lost confidence in you. So you should never lose confidence in your self, pay for your fuck up and drive on. Don’t make the same mistake at least for another year or two, hopefully for the rest of your carrier.
13. Do for soldiers in need everything that someone has done for you, these things we pass on make us who and what we are. Compassion is not weakness!
14. Never allow another NCO to disrespect, degrade, punish or otherwise interfere with your soldiers. You are there leader and they answer to you, PV2 Joe Snuffy might be a fuck up, but nobody gets to call him that but you. Not you’re E5 buddies and not the PSG, you and you only (and its better to not do it at all).
15. Everything you do is a direct reflection of your leaders, the better you look – the better they look. In reverse if you fuck up, you are allowing your leadership to fuck up and it will reflect on your future. Follow the commander’s intent and achieve the mission to the best of your team’s ability…