Tag Archives: Staff

Surviving When You’re Stuck on Staff

I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for the “tips for new lieutenants” blog posts that folks are always writing. My LT days are behind me, but there’s a certain fun I associate with reading the articles and nodding along emphatically, maybe forwarding it to a shiny young new lieutenant who I think could benefit from the reflection. Angry Staff Officer recently wrote an excellent list full of appropriate snark that you can read here.

There are literally an infinite number of “new platoon leader” posts on the interwebs, including this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and this. To name a few.

I like them, but not everyone does. Take this lovely comment from the Army subreddit for instance:

“I die a little inside every time some company grade officer is so full of himself that he thinks he’s doing the world a service by rewriting the same 10 steps to success as a platoon leader. Listen to your platoon sergeant? My God, how did we never think of this before? Give this man an MSM and make him a CGSC instructor immediately.”

The thing is, I was never a platoon leader. For all the platoon leader preparation I received in ROTC, at LDAC (it’s not even called that anymore), and through BOLC II, I commissioned as an Adjutant General Corps officer. Primary job as a lieutenant? Staff. Key Developmental (KD) job as a captain? Staff. I had leaders gracious enough to give me the privilege of command, plus I did some cool stuff in Afghanistan, but my Army existence has largely kept me in headquarters units.

Here’s where that comes in handy.

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