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.
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.