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My leader asked me to lie, how do I dig myself out?

My Squad Leader and I were in the field driving around in our vehicle. The Squad Leader was driving and lost control of the vehicle. We hit a tree and damaged the vehicle. He looked at me and said, "Look, you need to say you were driving because I don't have my license yet. The 1SG and Commander will give me an Article 15 if they find out I was driving. Don't worry about it, I am the Squad Leader. I can protect you. I will just give you a counseling statement and corrective training and it will be over... no worries, I promise." I felt very uneasy about the whole situation but was worried about what he would do if I said no. When we got back to the unit he told the Platoon Sergeant I had an accident. Now I have to fill out an accident report and I don't want to get in trouble but I am stuck in the middle. What do I do?

Company Command: The Bottom Line - Army Leadership Guide

Your Sergeant had no right to make this unethical request of you or to place you in this position. I can understand the position you are in but it is not okay to lie.

The right thing to do is to tell the truth. I would recommend that you write your statement in a private location where you can think clearly and then ask to see the Platoon Sergeant, 1SG, and Commander so that you can explain what happened before you turn your statement in. This may be a difficult position for the chain of command because you did not explain this to them when the Squad Leader initially stated that you wrecked the vehicle.

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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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  • Daryle Peltier


    I would ask is this the leader you want to trust to go into combat with? He knows you shouldnt have been driving to begin with and then to try and make it look like your mistake. Army Values are definately in question with him.Also having an accident there will be sworn statements done are you willing to put your INTEGRITY on the line for life because once you lose that you have nothing.Time for your squad ldr to grow up and become Responsible either by his own choice or you forcing his hand…do the right thing even when no one else is watching!

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