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                  Emotions are likely all over the place as a Trainee arrives at Fort Jackson. They get off the bus and place their feet in the yellow
silhouettes of feet, heels together at a 45-degree angle resembling the position of attention. Roughly ten feet from these Trainees stands a Drill Sergeant. Noncommissioned Officers (NCOs) provide purpose, direction, and motivation (ADP 6-22). Aside from their Army Recruiter, the
Drill Sergeant is one of the first NCOs this young American will meet on the journey to becoming a Soldier. It is imperative NCOs live the mantra Be, Know, Do because our actions will shape Trainees’ experiences in Initial Entry Training (IET), which will ultimately be a factor in whether this young American continues service beyond their first enlistment. However, before we can shape and mold Trainees to be tomorrow’s leaders, we must hold each other accountable by demanding each NCO understands deeds matter more than words. Inexperienced leaders and the lack of accountability from senior leaders have led to a gap in standard bearing amongst NCOs.
Let’s define deeds. defines deeds as an act or gesture, especially as illustrative of intentions, one’s character, or the like (“Deed,”
n.d.). A part of the Drill Sergeant Creed states, “I will lead by example, never requiring a Soldier to attempt any task I would not do myself ” (“Drill Sergeant Creed,” n.d.). In an IET environment,
the cadre must walk the talk. We have all seen it, the overweight NCO that runs away during PT or falls out of unit runs. How about the NCO that yells at the Trainee because they did not stand at parade rest and render the proper customs and courtesies? Meanwhile, they do not render customs and courtesies to their superiors. The examples mentioned are common throughout formations in IET.
Words are a speech sound or series of speech that symbolizes and communicates meaning, usually without being divisible into smaller units capable of independent use (“Words,” n.d.). Words without actions are just that. In an environment where actions matter most, words essentially fall flat. The Army has always been a profession about “walking the talk,” but often, we fall short. Therein lies the impetus of the problem.
To address this issue and figure out why all leaders don’t adhere to the standards we teach, we must identify the chokepoints and acknowledge our shortcomings. A myriad of reasons can
46 Jackson Journal
Deeds over Words
in the IET Environment
1SG Darren Jefferson

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