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How to Deal with an NCO

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I'll counter that - as an OC I wanted to hear about people like the problem JNCO. Even allowing for getting in 2 hours early for a training night, I still spent most of my evening catching up on paperwork and emails so it was all too easy to get distanced from the shop floor.

I noticed an increasing rate of withdrawals from recruit training, so started conducting exit interviews. It turns out that one utter bellend of a LCpl decided that he alone could tell who would pass or fail, and started streaming them into two groups. Those he thought would pass, and those he thought would fail.

Those he thought would pass got trained and those he thought would fail just got block jobs and dicking about until they left. Given the already significant wastage rate from initial expression of interest to trained soldier, this ******** was costing me valuable potential manpower. That is without the second order effects of rejects I could have directed towards The Rifles or The London Regiment for the greater good, or subsequent loss of interest from mates after he told everyone how shit it was.

Believe it or not, when you "own" the recruiting piece as well as trained soldier, the loss of manpower really matters, and a quick intervention to stop wastage pays dividends.

Agreed but it’s rare that any pte / AB would have the bollox or opportunity to go straight to the CO. There are many steps before they get to you and it just takes one to say “wind your neck in sunshine.”

My current job in the RNR is the first time in 20 years I’ve ever felt empowered enough to fire an email to my CO or grab him for a casual chat. COs are big scary old men in an office who poke their head out occasionally to give a motivational chat and ask if your boots fit ok.

Also we still haven’t actually had any proof that said NCO is doing anything more malicious than just being a bit shouty. The OP has offered nothing more than the guy talks down to people and is a bit of a dick.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
Agreed but it’s rare that any pte / AB would have the bollox or opportunity to go straight to the CO. There are many steps before they get to you and it just takes one to say “wind your neck in sunshine.”
You have obviously never met my soldiers (or maybe it was just the way I ran the Company)! The ******** would not have got away with this against any of the trained soldiers, so he focussed on those he thought would not answer back. It was an ex regular Sapper who handed his recruit kit back in who had the balls to raise it to me on exit interview.
 

RTU'd

War Hero
Ant would take him outside, give him the evil eye & drop him with 1 finger.
Ross would take him outside, have a dance & then drop him with a stare.
Dob him in to the RMP's as they love a bullying story allegedly.
 
Tracking this guy down to his local boozer is a non-starter, as they are all closed, and are staying closed for quite a long time.
Could you goad him into hitting you, when he thinks there is nobody about, and have someone film it?
Does your unit have a boxing team? I know most regular units do. Don't know about the reserves. You could volunteer for it. Suggest he does as well. Have him in the ring, legitimately.
 

Polyester

War Hero
You have obviously never met my soldiers (or maybe it was just the way I ran the Company)! The ******** would not have got away with this against any of the trained soldiers, so he focussed on those he thought would not answer back. It was an ex regular Sapper who handed his recruit kit back in who had the balls to raise it to me on exit interview.
How did you resolve the matter?
 

Dwarf

LE
I think the suck it up and wait till you have rank are not really addressing the problem. From what the OP says this bloke isn't the best soldier and reading between the lines I get the impression that he is picking on lower ranks because he can. This way gets a feeling of superiority and thinks he gets respect rather than getting his respect by being a jacked up soldier and leading by example.

The real problem here as already mentioned is that he could be costing the unit potentially good men, and the knock on effect when the disaffected talk about the Reserves disparagingly and turn off others who might otherwise have given it a go. It's an unseen knock on effect.

Perhaps a quiet word to the Pl Sgt and or PC, in terms of asking for advice might be the quickest way. Whatever the method this problem needs to be resolved sooner rather than later if drop-offs are occurring as a result of this. Don't forget the immediate superiors might be aware of this and want to take steps if he truly is an idiot.
Most of the time the people you’ll be complaining to are the people who put him there in the first place. Not only are you questioning this guy’s suitability as an NCO, you’re questioning their decision to promote him.
Not my experience necessarily, one also inherits previous choices from people who have moved on. I took over a platoon with two very switched on Cpls, one ex-reg, one mental Jock, and a complete d1ckhead who had no idea, no leadership, no courses, and was a liability in the field, but promoted by an ex-OC (also a d1ckhead) for numbers because the bloke turned in for everything except march and shoots.
Over discussions with my Plt Sgt, and chatting to others to 'ask advice' pretty much all of them had identified the problem. Once he was moved sideways to the cookhouse where he was happy at being part of the unit and not having to lead a section, the problem was solved, and with a new section I/C the lads learned to be good soldiers.

I'm with @The_Duke on this one
 

Dwarf

LE
The above said, try the old 'wait till he is asleep in billets, take a bucket of cold water and gently dip his hand in it'. He will swamp the bed. Replace hand, remove bucket and extract the michael mercilessly for being a pitswamper. He may leave from embarrassment.
 
The above said, try the old 'wait till he is asleep in billets, take a bucket of cold water and gently dip his hand in it'. He will swamp the bed. Replace hand, remove bucket and extract the michael mercilessly for being a pitswamper. He may leave from embarrassment.

I knew some regulars who took pride in swamping out.
 

Dwarf

LE
....Perhaps a quiet word to the Pl Sgt and or PC, in terms of asking for advice might be the quickest way.....

Depending on their personalities, which the OP should know, I think this "off the record" first approach is a good idea. What you don't want is someone who broadcasts the problem as soon as you've mentioned it.
 
All, I was brought in to the COs office and asked about this person after someone else had made a complaint but at the time they hadn't done or said anything towards me, or maybe hadn't had the chance to. Just an FYI, don't want to go into specifics and give examples which would identify people.
 
When I was about 8, I was shown a terrible wrestling hold by an older kid (14 yr old neighbour) we used to knock about with. He performed the hold on another of our mates who was getting a bit cheeky. He told us it was called the Pinfall.

With your opponent on his back, grab the ankles, and quickly bring them up and over his head, so that his ankles are next to his ears, and his toes touch the floor. It is impossible for him to hit back, and pushes the stomach into the lung cavity, making it very difficult to breathe, and causing waves of panic.

I used the technique on other mates, as we play-wrestled back in our childhood. One school mate went red in the face, as I used it on him. He later told me "You could kill somebody doing that."
Later, we trained our bodies to go into the Pinfall, with minimum discomfort, but this didn't happen overnight.

This is an ideal position to hold someone in while you grip them. Since then, I have learned that Pinfall is a generic wrestling term, with many types of, as punches are to boxing, kicks are to karate, or throws are to judo.

Despite visits to judo, jiu jitsu and MMA clubs, I still don't know the proper name of this hold we called the Pinfall.
 
The NAAFI solution is to put a dead fish in the air vents of his car.

When he fires up the heater / air con he’ll get a lovely aroma of rotting fish.

I also recommend a putting crickets (available from most pet shops as reptile food) through his letterbox.

They’ll scatter into the dark corners of his house and every night he’ll wonder why the **** the place sounds like the Amazon rainforest.
@Ravers you little ******* beauty.
Crickets.
 
All, I was brought in to the COs office and asked about this person after someone else had made a complaint but at the time they hadn't done or said anything towards me, or maybe hadn't had the chance to. Just an FYI, don't want to go into specifics and give examples which would identify people.

That sounds like some progress. Stay cool.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
How did you resolve the matter?
Background checking to confirm it was genuine and not just a grievance. Idiot LCpl called in and asked to explain what he thought was happening, then explained to him very clearly (OC's interview, in the book) that he had overstepped any form of reasonable behaviour or authority and that in the future he was to limit himself to being an APTI and not judge and jury.

People could only be discharged from the Cadre with my express permission. Exit interviews with all recruits withdrawing from the cadre (door shut, take a seat, relax etc) to get positive and negative feedback. The most common cause was and will always be that they couldn't hack the PT, but it gave a chance for them to express concerns.

The rest of the training team also had their tea leaves read to them about acceptable standards, roles and responsibilities etc. They left in no doubt that any similar performance would result in action to remove them from the unit.
 

Polyester

War Hero
Background checking to confirm it was genuine and not just a grievance. Idiot LCpl called in and asked to explain what he thought was happening, then explained to him very clearly (OC's interview, in the book) that he had overstepped any form of reasonable behaviour or authority and that in the future he was to limit himself to being an APTI and not judge and jury.

Exit interviews with all recruits withdrawing from the cadre (door shut, take a seat, relax etc) to get positive and negative feedback. The most common cause was and will always be that they couldn't hack the PT, but it gave a chance for them to express concerns.

The rest of the training team also had their tea leaves read to them about acceptable standards, roles and responsibilities etc. They left in no doubt that any similar performance would result in action to remove them from the unit.
Okey Dokey. Thanks for replying. I was intrigued as I have never served in a reserve capacity, only regular, and wondered how this sort of thing would be dealt with. Interesting, Cheers.

E2A: apologies; I assumed this was in the reserves. Is that correct?
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
Correct.
Okey Dokey. Thanks for replying. I was intrigued as I have never served in a reserve capacity, only regular, and wondered how this sort of thing would be dealt with. Interesting, Cheers.

E2A: apologies; I assumed this was in the reserves. Is that correct?
Correct. It all has a slightly different dynamic which requires a nuanced approach.
 

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