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The Mentor - A Comprehensive Guide to Army Counseling and Leadership

How can we fix big problems before a deployment?

Our unit is about to deploy in Dec and they are in training at a large installation in the U.S. The Soldiers are complaining that the leadership does not care. Soldiers are not getting chow, they are staying in billets without heat, and they have been told a 4 pass they were promised now will not happen. What can I do?

The Mentor - A Comprehensive Guide to Army Counseling and Leadership

The Soldiers have to stand up for themselves and make their voices heard to the chain of command if they believe they are not being cared for properly. If they are blown off at the lowest level, they need to keep taking the issue higher. I call the battalion leadership the checkpoint. By the time you reach this level of leadership either your entire chain of command is against you (this is unlikely) or the matter you are bringing to their attention has not been properly explained, is more emotional than factual, or is the product of a person who will never be happy no matter what a leader does. In the rare case that the Soldier has a legitimate issue and they are not offered resolution at the battalion level, they can contact the IG.

What can you do from the outside?

If you, as a concerned individual, have already contacted the chain of command and given them adequate time to address the issue you can personally contact the IG or even the DOD or Army IG. If you go this route, I would caution you to ensure your comments are professional and unemotional and very specific with regard to facts. Be careful that the information you convey will not have the unintended consequence of causing problems for the Soldiers you hope to help.

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Mark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training.

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