the officer and his blokes...

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Regular Officer Recruiting' started by GK12345, Jan 19, 2010.

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  1. Hi chaps,
    As someone thinking about becoming an (infantry) officer in the near future, Im pretty interested in finding out more about the relationship between a young officer and his soldiers. Afterall, if your not concerned with the welfare and performance of your subordinates, i'd imagine your in the wrong job? Ive heard various things from serving members such as,'they are the most horrible human beings yews will ever have the pleasure of dealing with' - a mercian sergeant talking about his blokes to a group of uotc Ocdts, and from a Royal Anglian officer that you should be able to get along and like your men.
    Obviously the working relationship will depend on the character of the officer and other factors, but is there a more dominant generalisation or maybe an ideal situation for the officer to be in? Are there any serving/ex officers who might be willing to share a few experiences with dealing with their soldiers?
    As always gents, your help is appreciated
  2. Some of them will be - you only have to read the true stories in the NAAFI bar to realise this! I know of no other profession where the ability to consume a pint of puke, piss and fag ends makes you a top lad.

    But yes, the bond with your men is the most important thing. There is no right way to do it - you can be aloof and strict but if they respect you for getting it right and will follow you then great. If you spend one night a week boozing with them and being their mate but don't let over-familiarity become an issue then well done you. Obviously a happy medium is probably the best approach though!

    If you dislike your men (in general, rather than just one particular cnut) then you're probably in the wrong job. As with any job if going to work becomes a real chore then it's time to leave.

    Commanding men is the best part of being an officer, so make the most of it and resist all staff jobs!
  3. Make sure you have a good relationship with your Platoon Sergeant.

    It is he, who will know the men under your command better than anyone else.
    After all, he will probably have about 10 years experience, compared to your 10 seconds.

    A good Platoon Sergeant will make sure, & help you, to become a good Platoon Commander.
  4. Thanks for the replies, very helpful.
  5. Helpful, yes...uncharacteristically so don't you think?

    Could be an ambush...
  6. Respect is earned not guaranteed and as cunny_funt say's your platoon Sgt should be your bestest friend and mentor,Listen to him and your section commanders views and opinions,they will have been there and done it ! Nuff said !
  7. Never, ever accept a brew that you haven't seen being made, from start to finish...apparently. 8)

    Oh and listen to the Cpls, as they will be more in tune, with the moral of lower ranks than the sgts are (usually).
  8. I hear that the first time you are called by your nickname on exercise is a big moment for a young subbie! Unless is "cocknose" or something.

    A close family friend was a Sgt in an infantry regiment, and he said there is a very small margin between an officer that is liked and respected and one that isn't. The subbie that came in frest from sandhurst and said "morning Sgt, I'm Lt X, I'll be looking after you lot for the next x months". He didn't get on that well!
  9. Your soldiers are a bunch of blokes who will disgust you, let you down at the worst possible moment, constantly amaze you and make you glow with pride at the strangest of times.

    As already said, your Plt Sgt is the man. If you get a good one, and you aren’t a complete idiot, you are set for life. You and he have to become the closest team possible, thick as thieves, but never become over familiar. You have earned your rank, but more importantly, he has too and then some. Your NCOs will allow you to lead, and over time, will gradually allow you to make more of the decisions rather than presenting options to you in a way that ensures you go the right way. While doing this they are training you to do your job and good ones will know when to let you go solo.

    Don’t be surprised if early on you are accompanied by one of your NCOs or even your Plt Sgt where ever you go. They are keeping an eye on you as well as saying to the boys, watch it, this is the boss. You can not be what you’re not. The boys will see straight through anything which is put on. Be firm, be fair, but most of all be consistent. No one likes to work for someone who is flighty and unpredictable.

    Being a platoon commander will be the best, most rewarding, most frustrating time of your life. You will love your men, you will think they are the best bunch of blokes in the army. You will lie about them in front of magistrates, police, the CO, anyone who could affect your gang. They will get drunk, fight, lie, nick things, drop a bullock, but they are your platoon.

    Read 18 platoon, With the Jocks and anything by George MacDonald Fraser.

    Oh and the nickname thing. Makes you proud, but you’ll findout if they respect you. GMcD Fraser was known as ‘Darkie’.
  10. Can I suggest you follow the old adage "big mouth shut and big ears open", throw yourself on the mercy of a Platoon Sgt and your Section Commanders - what do you think is a good line!. I was saved from so much flak by a fantastic group of NCOs who must have had pity on me, however I have seen other young Pl Cmdrs thrown to the wolves spending weeks in their No2s.
    Get on with them, it is the best job you have and the one to enjoy, so get on with them, command their respect and above all look after them, and they will cover your back.

  11. Gosh so you've been down the perjury route as well, Sherrifs Court Edinburgh !
  12. Plymouth, Trowbridge, Chesterfield, Burton, kingston, the list is endless.

    Integrity, something they hammer into you at RMAS very soon goes out the window. (but only in this area).
  13. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    Know enough about them all to be able to socialise with them - but be selective when you do.

    Go to the Coy/Pl smokers and make sure you stand your round - but make sure you leave 15 minutes before kicking out time. That way, you can represent them the next day, rather than being stood outside the Adjts office waiting for your slice!

    Always listen to the advice and guidance of your Pl NCOs (Don't worry, they will offer it freely!) - but remember that the ultimate command responsibility is yours and yours alone. You can't blame it on them if it goes wrong. Don't be afraid to follow your own plan, but don't be too proud to admit when you got it wrong (and get the crates in).

    Most of all - enjoy your time as a Pl Comd. It flies by, and you will never have as much fun again!
  14. This is a really good thread!

    It reminds me of the scene in Generation Kill just after Cpl Persons gets burnt in the face by the coffee maker. Col "Godfather" questions Lt Fick on the situation and he lies to protect his men. Brilliant scene, and a good officer!
  15. "The officer and his chaps" surely ?