In this initial counseling, I will describe your duties, responsibilities, and my expectations of you as one of my leaders. This counseling, with future performance counseling, will help you to improve your leadership effectiveness and help you prepare your Team to become a well-trained, fully mission capable unit. As a Fire Team leader, you are responsible for the training, discipline, safety, morale, and motivation of our soldiers. Ensure that you care for our soldiers and their families by knowing and addressing their problems in a timely manner. I want you to fully understand what technical and tactical knowledge I expect a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) to have. I will depend directly upon you and your experience. I do not expect NCOs to be perfect.
DUTY SCOPE: Responsible for the welfare, fitness, morale, individual training of your Soldiers and maintenance of all assigned equipment. Serves as the primary instructor and advisor in matters of tactics, personnel management and junior leader development. Directs his team's tactical employment during offensive and defensive operations.
MILITARY BEARING AND DEMEANOR: You will be clean shaven daily. Your uniform will be clean and serviceable. You will have a fresh haircut. You will set the example for your soldiers. Standards can never be relaxed. Don't forget you are a professional, Non-Commissioned Leader. The same standards apply to you and every soldier in the Army.
INSTRUCTING AND TRAINING SOLDIERS: You must prepare your lessons and know what you are talking about. Instructing is an art that must be developed. It is vital that you have a thorough, intimate knowledge of what you are going to teach. This often means hours of study and research. More can be learned by going over the study material more than once. Remember the steps: Explanation, Demonstration, Application, and Examination. Be practical in everything you do. Don't theorize. Apply theory only to arrive at the most practical and efficient method for accomplishing your purpose or the ultimate goal of your training.
LEADERSHIP: Obtain the respect of your soldiers. This will only be gained by treating your soldiers fairly and setting the example with your appearance, outward behavior, competence, and technical and tactical knowledge. It also requires taking a friendly interest in their private life, by having friendly chats with all your soldiers, and by caring for them as you would your own family. You are their appointed leader. Understand your soldier's individuality and collectively work with them. NCOs police our own ranks. Every time an NCO fails to enforce standards, violates policy, commits a crime, etc, it reflects poorly on the entire Corps.
ESPRIT DE CORPS: Develop a healthy and enthusiastic attitude about your Team's duties. Cheerfulness is a great factor in lightening your load and a sense of humor will carry you over the roughest of roads and the most difficult and arduous of tasks. A good sense of humor is a great stabilizer in trying times or when under tension or strain.
Now that you have received this counseling, read it again weekly, slowly and thoughtfully. An honest, sincere self-evaluation at frequent intervals, using the above as a checklist, is an excellent way to keep yourself on your toes and ensure that you are giving the required performance to your Soldiers, your leaders, and yourself.
PLAN OF ACTION
o You will study and think of ways to better yourself and your soldiers, devoting many hours a day to your duties as an NCO, never forgetting who you are and where you come from, and what constitutes your responsibilities.
o You will abide by The Creed and compare your performance to it daily.
No one is more professional than I. I am a Noncommissioned Officer, a leader of Soldiers. As a Noncommissioned Officer, I realize that I am a member of a time honored corps, which is known as The Backbone of the Army. I am proud of the Corps of Noncommissioned Officers, and will at all times conduct myself so as to bring credit upon the Corps, the military service, and my country; regardless of the situation in which I find myself. I will not use my grade or position to attain pleasure, profit, or personal safety.
Competence is my watch-word. My two basic responsibilities will always be uppermost in my mind: Accomplishment of my mission and the welfare of my Soldiers. I will strive to remain technically and tactically proficient. I am aware of my role as a Noncommissioned Officer, I will fulfill my responsibilities inherent in that role. All Soldiers are entitled to outstanding leadership; I will provide that leadership. I know my Soldiers, and I will always place their needs above my own. I will communicate consistently with my Soldiers and never leave them uninformed. I will be fair and impartial when recommending both rewards and punishment.
Officers of my unit will have maximum time to accomplish their duties; they will not have to accomplish mine. I will earn their respect and confidence as well as that of my Soldiers. I will be loyal to those with whom I serve; seniors, peers, and subordinates alike. I will exercise initiative by taking appropriate action in the absence of orders. I will not compromise my integrity, nor my moral courage. I will not forget, nor will I allow my comrades to forget that we are professionals, Noncommissioned Officers, leaders!
o Set the Example.
o Place Soldiers needs above own.
o Mentor and coach Soldiers. Develop well rounded skill sets.
o Provide alternative methods of training and leadership depending on situations.
o Quarterly counsel Soldier and Develop professionally.