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                  for training their Soldiers, ensuring they are taken care of at all times, and setting the example for them to follow. NCOs convey information based on their leader’s intent. They prepare their Soldiers through fieldcraft and physical training. They know that to have mission success, their Soldiers must have a high level of tactical and technical training, be physically fit and possess the ability to cope with stressful situations that lie ahead (Department of the Army, 2019, para 1-113).
Platoon Sergeants and Platoon Leaders have drastically dissimilar backgrounds and levels of experience. Despite these significant differences, they must find a way to work together as a team and trust each other. As is the case with most organizations with two leaders, learning to rely upon and trust one another can be difficult. In
my experience, being able to accomplish this
takes confidence, knowledge, and compromise. Cohesiveness takes time and a lot of practice to get right.
Knowledge/experience level background
A Second Lieutenant’s experience and knowledge base with one year in the military versus a Sergeant First Class with close to a decade of real-world training and combat experience is not comparable. A Platoon Sergeant is a subject matter expert on everything related to their platoon. Platoon Sergeants will typically be in position for two to three years, while Platoon Leaders usually only hold command of that platoon for a year
or two before moving on to their next level of leadership. Because of this, the Platoon Sergeant can have longer relationships with everyone
in the platoon. They should hold the trust and admiration of all in the platoon. The Platoon Sergeant, therefore, must ensure the Platoon Leader has the loyalty of the platoon. The most efficient way to ensure that happens is by setting a personal example, showing respect at all times, and valuing the Platoon Leaders opinions. It is vital that the PSG should stay humble and recognize that the Lieutenant is overall in command. When the PSG is not willing to show respect and hold the platoon accountable, conflict could arise.
Personal Experience
I realized early that Officers and Noncommissioned Officers have two completely different missions within a Platoon. The Lieutenant is overall responsible for everything the platoon does or fails to do. The Platoon Sergeant is his primary tool in meeting their Commander’s
intent. I have served in leadership positions
from Team Leader to First Sergeant. I served
as a Platoon Sergeant for six years in airborne infantry Platoons and had the opportunity to work with seven different Platoon Leaders during that time. Some were fantastic, natural leaders that challenged me every day to better myself, while others were quickly forgotten. I make it a point to learn something from everyone I work with, both good and bad. I choose to implement the sound lessons learned into my leadership style, while others I remember to do. When done correctly, the relationship between a Platoon Leader and Platoon Sergeant should be harmonious, where you play
off each other’s strengths and build up each other’s weaknesses. Communication is vital and should be constant. Because of the consistent communication and mutual respect, not once did any of my Platoon Leaders go to the Company Commander without coming to me first for guidance. Likewise, I asked for his recommendations on events that would shape how the platoon would operate.
My best Platoon Leader started as my worst nightmare. I took over my first platoon a mere
six weeks before a deployment to Afghanistan
and found a Platoon lacking leadership and discipline. In charge was a newly minted West Point graduate. He was not used to working with other leadership, taking valid feedback, delegating tasks, or taking valuable suggestions. I will not say that
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