Melissa (soon to be Petty Officer 3rd Class) and a Damn Good One,I am sure
First thanks for taking the time reach out to me. I spent 13 years in Europe working the Germans, Belgians, Dutch, etc. So I have spent some time around your military forces but in reality all military organizations run on the same foundations to a large degree and we are all people with the same issues to a large degree.
A little background about myself. I was 6 years old when my Dad returned from Vietnam. I did not remember him because he was deployed most my life. One of the first things he did was to take me to an Armed Forces Day celebration. It was there that I knew I would become a Soldier. I went on to spend 3 years in a military program in high school. I rose through the ranks of the Army quickly and I like you faced significant challenges as I was dealing with issues I have never dealt with before, leading people much older than myself, and even when I had doubts I had to be in charge.
Now why did I share that with you. Because all of us have doubts. Leadership in a military that allows its members to think is a difficult place at times. But allowing people to think and find solutions are one of the best gifts we have as leaders because collectively as a team we can find a solution. Leaders that lead through fear do not lead they destroy.