Originally Posted by Brunes
IRT the bolded text- I don't really think that's a complete thought. They know very little about some of the technical aspects of the jobs the folks who work for them do. But (at least in my experience) the Soldiers/Sailors/Coasties have plenty of missing skills sets too. I didn't need to be an expert at the care and repair of all the weapons systems on the boat to be a good WEPS. Same with so many other jobs I've had.
We can debate the importance of the admin functions and oversight of a unit- but it has to happen. And many of the technical experts (even senior NCOs) can be woefully unprepared to deal with it. A newly minted 2lt tho...Has spent at least some time in classes about policy and procedure and is given the task of learning/managing the BS so you guys can do what you do.
Everyone has their place-or we wouldn't bother with some of the ranks we have now. There is also an attitude/method of dealing with folks that matters...and I've seen prior enlisted folks mess that up just as bad as an academy or ROTC grad.
You are completely correct. Perhaps our only disconnect in this is our backgrounds. I am not in Coast Guard (although I often wish I had gone that route) and I am not an officer but I strongly suspect that what is required of a new ensign on a cutter is much different from what is required of a new 2lt in an Army or Marine infantry platoon; just as what is expected of a new seaman (is that what y'all call them?) is much different from what is expected of a new private in the same rifle company.
I completely understand the importance of unit oversight and I also am not suggesting that junior officers need to be technical experts in every piece of kit they have on their hand receipt. In MY career field, you can't learn to actually LEAD the unit without being in it. You can get the classes, you can read the manuals but without being on the ground, with the guys, none of that really matters. Manuals, after all, are terrainless, stressless, and environment free. They are also only doctrine which is a framework, not a complete "how to" manual.
Soldiers/sailors/coasties/marines DO have missing skill sets. Hell, EVERYONE does. The biggest lesson in leadership, in fact, is managing \ those missing skill sets in such a matter that the unit, be it weapons section, infantry platoon, tank company, air wing, MEU, battleship, cutter, or boat crew, can work (fight, fly, rescue, whatever) unhindered. THAT is a difficult skill to learn in the classroom as well.
I am not, nor have I ever suggested that the E side of the house has it all figured out (far from it, quite frankly). I am simply suggesting that Cadets of any ilk as well as junior officers have a whole lot to learn and not much time to learn it and that we, in the enlisted ranks, do ourselves and our service, a great disservice by treating cadets and junior officers like a bunch of dickheads.