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Thread: Sergeant Major of the Army describes changes due

  1. #1
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Mar 2006

    Default Sergeant Major of the Army describes changes due

    Ken, you'll perk up I'm sure. More at the link.

    Sergeant Major: 12 changes to expect in ’12

    By Lance M. Bacon - Staff writer
    Posted : Sunday Jan 29, 2012 9:06:33 EST

    FORT JACKSON, S.C. — It is no secret that big changes are ahead. The Army must cut thousands of soldiers. As combat operations wind down, talk of a renewed emphasis on the “profession of arms” is ramping up. Money is tight, and times are changing.

    The Army is in transition — and 2012 will be its pivot point.

    Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler, in an exclusive interview with Army Times, outlined many of the changes you can expect. Chandler is the first to say he doesn’t make changes. His in-depth study and careful consideration of issues leads to recommendations to the Army chief of staff and service secretary. When the subsequent order is given, Chandler will see that it is carried out. He wants what is best for his Army and its soldiers, and is determined to make both better.

    Here are 12 ways he looks to do that in the coming year:

    1. New NCOER

    The Army will introduce a new Noncommissioned Officer Evaluation Report “unless something drastic happens during the next year,” Chandler said.

    The top priority is to align the NCOER with leader doctrine FM6-22, specifically leader attributes and competencies. The new evaluation also will eliminate over-inflation by ranking soldiers, similar to the way officers are ranked against their peers.

    The new NCOER will probably come in two versions — one for the junior population and one for the senior NCOs. Performance will have a greater focus for young soldiers while more emphasis will be placed on leadership skills as the soldier moves up the ranks.

    “That’s going to really help us define who our NCO leaders are in our Army,” Chandler said.

    Expect changes in how “excellence,” “success” and “needs improvement” are defined. Specifically, the two current levels of “needs improvement” — some or much — will be cut to one.

    “Look, he needs improvement,” Chandler said. “Whether a little or a lot, [the soldier] is not meeting the standard. So I think with words, you can describe that better.”

    Senior enlisted personnel in the company and battalion will have greater influence with the NCOER. It will give the first sergeant or sergeant major a place to acknowledge that the review is accurate and within the tenets and principles of the governing regulation.

    The new NCOER will be presented to Army Secretary John McHugh and Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno in April. Chandler said he expects the Army will be implementing the new NCOER by the end of this year.

  2. #2
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    May 2007

    Default I'm retired, my perk is used up...

    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    Ken, you'll perk up I'm sure. More at the link.
    However, with this, Indeed, I am perked...
    "...The new evaluation also will eliminate over-inflation by ranking soldiers, similar to the way officers are ranked against their peers." (emphasis added / kw)

    What a bunch of kidders... Sheesh... Then these gems quoted from the linked article:
    "The Advanced Leader Course is likely to undergo an overhaul, and more NCOs will be headed to Ranger School..."
    Back in the day, they crammed six weeks instruction into sixteen, everything that's old will be new again. By all means send more people to more schools so that 'standards' may be even more diluted to produce an optimum number of graduates -- with great haircuts and squared away uniforms...

    And a Ribbon. Everyone should have a ribbon for going to school.

    No mention of repairing a badly flawed personnel system that rewards mediocrity. No mention of rapidly replacing the terribly flawed BTMS Task, Condition and Standard training theory with Outcome Based Training and Education. No mention of holding people accountable for the tactical and technical competence of themselves and their subordinates...
    "Personal appearance and grooming standards are going to be tightened. Expect “significant” changes to how you wear the uniform, when you wear the uniform and what type of uniform you wear. New rules for haircuts, hairstyles, mustaches and fingernails are also in the works."
    Always glad to see focus on matters that really affect warfighting ability.
    Like those...
    "New regulations will likely aim to ensure soldiers are well trained in how to conduct a body-fat measurement using the tape test."
    And that...
    "Rebuilding program management processes such as command supply discipline, weight control and physical fitness will do little good if first sergeants are not adequately trained to implement and manage these essentials."
    Umm. Okay, the most experienced NCO in the unit who should be responsible for the training of other NCOs who are in turn responsible for the training of Troops are to be held accountable to 'manage' ... 'essentials' rather than for the competence of subordinates and their tactical training and employment competencies. Fascinating.
    "From key control to weight control ... battalion and brigade sergeants major accountable. It is their responsibility to help units get better at routine tasks."
    I'm sure this will have significant impact in improving the training, readiness, tactical abilities and employment of soldiers to enable them to accomplish missions and live through the effort.

    That kind of foolishness is why my perk is kaput. In fairness, the focus of all that is no more than the system expects. That system has lost its way and is really screwed up.

    Surely someone in DC realizes It needs a major reset...

  3. #3
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Surely someone in DC realizes It needs a major reset...
    A consistent thread in fact.

    Just between us enlistees, general "A" says to general "B" "Do want a pretty Army or a killer army?", response is something on the order of "That's above my pay-grade".

    There seems to be a snake coiling around an idea that I can't quite put my hand on and not sure I want to try.

    It' is like, in the 1970s post Vietnam draw down things really sucked and general discipline and behavior deteriorated. In the 1990s post Desert Storm draw down discipline and behavior deteriorated. Therefore, we need to cut that off at the knees fast.

    Literally this is what I hear over coffee. NOT policy statements. It isn't my area of expertise so I can't say what it means or how relevant it is. It is just interesting to me that discipline and behavior concerns seem so far above other concerns (but far below budget battles to be sure). This is NOT the primary thing or even likely in the top 20 of what keeps leadership awake. From what I can see.
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  4. #4
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    May 2007

    Default That's scary, Selil...

    While the discussions could morph into a good thing; i.e. "We need to reform the Personnel system to cut dead wood and be more responsive to the needs of the services and we need to fix training to go to outcome based methods..." I'm terribly afraid that the potential for tinkering with the uniform (which fixes something, not sure what...) and other such vital things as well as rigid haircut and weight standard enforcement may be selected as the easiest route to look 'improved.' and 'better disciplined.'

  5. #5
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    Jan 2012


    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    A consistent thread in fact.

    There seems to be a snake coiling around an idea that I can't quite put my hand on and not sure I want to try.
    I feel the exact same, so I'm having a hard time commenting on the majority of the SMA's proposed changes; but I think I have a bit of insight.

    We probably all agree to some extent or other that there are bigger problems facing the Army than the small disciplinary stuff, but I find the SMA's comments troubling for a different reason. I feel like he's telling us that we have too many SM's who don't adhere to AR 600-9; we have too many who look like thugs and brigands because of their neck and face tattoos; we have too many who don't look like a professional while in uniform, etc.

    These are discipline issues, and ought to be addressed by first-line leadership. If the SMA is mentioning it, doesn't that tell you that junior leaders aren't doing their job? I compare it to a brigade commander in front of his formation, calling out some PFC in near the front of the formation for wearing an unserviceable uniform. Yes, at first I'd be pissed at the COL for (in essence) calling ME and MY peers out for not correcting that soldier, but then I'd realize that "holy crap, for the brigade commander to notice that, and take the time to point it out means I'm not doing my job." I would then expect to be in my 1SG's spotlight for the foreseeable future.

    Maybe those of us who are junior leaders should see the SMA's plans as a wake-up call.

    In case I didn't make it clear, I'm not dismissing what others here have pointed out as farther-reaching, broad, systemic, etc. problems with the way the Army is going...just trying to give my point of view from down here at snails-eye level.

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