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                 Next, think of ways you can integrate the technical knowledge you learned in your BOLC and how you can apply that here. This takes initiative and networking. As an MI Officer I took pride in developing a thorough and thoughtful analysis
of terrain in a recent OPORD I wrote for The Hammer. My commander was not going to use my analysis to select our objective. We were going to BA04 regardless. Fields of fire? There is no enemy, but so what? Why not get my LT type assessments out of the way now rather than when I show up
to the 82nd Airborne Division next year and have
to go to JRTC or deploy? Let’s start building our skill through repetition just like BG Beagle tasked us. Though I knew my assessment would not inform my Commander to make a decision, it was excellent practice and allowed for feedback from a Field Artillery Captain and Infantry First Sergeant about what needed to be improved and what was valuable information. If you are a logistician, maybe it is time to develop load plans for your company one-ton or your Light Medium Tactical Vehicle.
If you are an AG officer, try and work with your training room to establish processes to facilitate effectiveness and efficiency. PLs, we might not be
in the jobs we wanted right out of BOLC but we
are here know and there are ways to apply that BOLC knowledge in this environment. Former Secretary of State and GEN (R) Colin Powell has published multiple works integrating his 13 Rules of Leadership. His fourth rule “it can be done” can aptly be applied here.
Finally, have a vision for yourself and be honest with yourself. You are not here to be place filler. You are here because the Army identified a problem and believed the answer was to have lieutenants share the challenge of transforming civilians
to Soldiers. That is a privilege not punishment,
but as with anything we need to understand our endstate. Is it to have all your Trainees graduate?
Is it to prepare yourself for the ACFT? Is it to get involved in MDMP? Opportunities are endless here at America’s largest Basic Combat Training post. Do not allow yourself to spend these next 12-15
months just showing up and meeting the standard. Determine what you want, let your leadership know, and go get it. You are surrounded by the
best NCOs in the United States Army. Rather than wait to mess up your radio etiquette when your Battalion Commander is listening to the net as you coordinate a route plan, pull your Drill Sergeants aside and have them show you what right looks like. We are lieutenants, it is okay not to know but it is not okay to ignore the opportunity to learn which surrounds us every day.
Hey LTs, now that we stand on the precipice of paving the future for PLs in BCT it is time to step up our game. We have been here long enough.
We have held on to the old ways of doing things long enough. It is time to challenge ourselves.
Get uncomfortable. Stop complaining. Push yourself. Remain optimistic. Better yourself. Most importantly, be value added, no issues for your unit today, your assignment tomorrow, and the Army of the future.
2LT Alexander T. Johnson is a Platoon Leader in Echo Company, 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment, 193rd Infantry Brigade.
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