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 How Can Leaders Leverage “This is My
Squad” to Erode Harmful Activities
From the Army
Determining harmful activities
For the U.S. Army to determine how to erode corrosive behaviors within our ranks, we must evaluate how leveraging “This is my Squad” can indeed eradicate and or erode such activities. A memorandum dated and published 5 February 2021 by Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) Lloyd Austin was the first deliberate initiative to
identify and eliminate corrosive effects of suicide, extremism/racism, sexual harassment, and assault. Determining “why the need now” for the Army
to combat abhorrent behaviors, we must know the genesis of these behaviors and what steps to take that will end a culture that tears the fabric of the Army. The Army’s top civilian leaders, such as Acting Secretary of the Army John Whitley, acknowledged that such behaviors have no place in our formations. Throughout the Army, suicide rates continued to climb during the Coronavirus pandemic to include single Soldiers feeling neglected. Leveraging “This is my Squad” can and will eradicate such activities. The fix for it, bottom line up front is, “Knowing our Soldiers,” being accountable for them, and diligently asking the tough questions we as leaders are often uncomfortable addressing.
Leveraging “This is my Squad”
Understanding the initiative of “This is my Squad” (TiMS) and how we can leverage it to erode such behaviors has the potential of eliminating
1SG Alexander Rivera
such activities that we face on a day-to-day basis. The goal and initiative of TiMS are to build more cohesive teams throughout the U.S. Army. Sergeant Major of the Army Grinston pitched this idea and initiative last fall. SMA Grinston acknowledged that both the Ranger Regiment and Special Forces community exhibit greater team cohesion than traditional Army units. Implementing such an initiative could not have come at a better time when SECDEF Lloyd Austin identified the three Army corrosives that he would want all members to eradicate. Leveraging TiMS to eliminate such behaviors starts at the individual level. Knowing your Soldiers on a personal level outside of
work plays a crucial role in the matter. We as leaders assume that just because we work with
a counterpart Soldier day in and out, we know everything there is to know about him or her. During the past decade, the Army implemented multiple campaigns designed to educate and combat sexual harassment, equal opportunity violations, and suicide within our ranks. Bringing all three topics to the forefront enhances our ability to identify at-risk personnel and simplifies reporting procedures that will protect Soldiers within our ranks.
TiMS is a way to take ownership of those around you, not just below you. As a Company First Sergeant, I understand that there are topics that my subordinates would not want me to know about, as is the case the more senior in responsibility one achieves. As the Company’s
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