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                  How is the Team?
Building Teams at the BCT Company
  Taking the position as Company Commander was a terrifying experience for me. Of all
the times a thorough handoff is needed, this
is one of those times. The reality is that not all of us will receive one. If you are in this position, you will likely wonder what your overall purpose is and how to build an effective team. Through mentors’ guidance and trial and error, I ultimately answered these questions along my journey.
Within my third month of Command, I attended the Commander/1SG course. I remember asking LTC Randal Wenner the question “In
this environment run almost exclusively by
junior NCOs and Officers, how do I get them
to accomplish the most basic tasks consistently
and without oversight?” He responded that as a Command team, most of your time should focus on developing these Leaders. Do that, and everything else will follow. This concept made sense but implementing it was another story. To increase
my understanding of building a team, I took the time to put together this article. If you started in a similar situation, then this article is for you.
Within the Basic Combat Training (BCT) environment, we have a conglomeration of subcultures developed within bubbles of occupational specialties, previous unit TTPs,
and personal preferences. We as leaders must understand this dynamic of a diverse environment
CPT Elliot Freeman
so that we can create inclusive organizations. Knowing this, what I have found to be the decisive point for a Soldier’s desire to a part of the team is their initial introduction into the organization’s culture. If professionalism, maturity, and inclusion are displayed, new soldiers quickly buy into the organization. If immaturity and subcultures are rampant, then the performance of the new Cadre will unfortunately degrade.
As a new Commander, my curse of knowledge was assuming that senior Lieutenants and nine- year NCOs understood the basics to influence, motivate, and provide purpose/direction per ADP 6-22. The core leader attributes and competencies that we should utilize to lead are often overlooked. Nowhere does this mean that our Leaders lacking in some of these qualities lack potential and did
not receive the necessary development. We as Leaders are charged to be the positive change. Ownership of our subordinates and their actions
is how we are going to make this change. It is mentally and physically exhausting, but the rewards your organization will reap from a good leader are invaluable.
We will receive Soldiers/Leaders who are challenges that come in the form of poor performance. We as leaders need to resist the urge to cast off lower performers and take the empathic approach to look at why an individual is not operating as an effective leader personally.
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