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Company Command: The Bottom Line - Army Leadership Guide

Who do I go to when my NCO threatens me?

I have a complaint about my immediate supervisor. When I tried to resolve the complaint with that supervisor, I was met with resistance. I used my command's open door policy and now that NCO I had an issue with is calling me cussing me and threatening disciplinary counseling. What do I do now?

The comprehensive guide to the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP)

Using the open door policy is appropriate. If you have received threats from your NCO and he is cussing at you and threatening you with action you have 2 options. One is to do nothing and weather the storm. The other is to prepare a written document for the 1SG/Commander. This document should be a professional statement of the facts surrounding what the NCO did and how he threatened you. Then you should request to see the 1SG/Commander on open door policy and present the memo to them and state your concerns that the NCO is not treating you professionally and/or that you believe he is not treating you fairly.

Please keep in mind we are all human. Most of us do not like it when a Soldier goes around us to the chain of command. Leaders occasionally take this personally but they should not take it out on their subordinates or threaten them.

If you choose to take this to the Commander/1SG, make sure your memo states the facts, tells the whole story, and is void of emotion. By doing this you put yourself in the best possible position. Most senior leaders will not tolerate one of their subordinate leaders being unprofessional or mistreating his team. Your leaders care and will usually do what is right. We all make mistakes. Learn from this situation so that when you are a leader you will not make the same mistake.

I would also encourage you to try and solve every problem at the lowest possible level working your way up to the commander. This gives everyone a fair shot to address the situation.

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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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The comprehensive guide to the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP)

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  • Noah


    Why is it that every time a nco fucks up it has to be respectfull yet if a pet fucks up its oh fuck him

    • Mark Gerecht


      Noah, first apologize for the delayed response. Respect goes both ways, unfortunately there are leaders that have yet to learn this and fail to address their Soldier in a respectful and dignified manner. Keep in mind as long as you maintain the high ground you are good to go but let’s say the leader is badgering you, being profane, belittling the Soldier, or being verbally or physically abusive. If the Soldier snaps and preferably has witnesses that the Leader was being abusive the command may side with the Soldier. Leaders are responsible for the health, safety, and well being of their Soldiers. For example let’s say a leader is conducting corrective training or an illegal smoke session. The leader is response for the Soldier’s health, safety, and well being. If that Soldier gets hurt during the corrective training or smoke session the leader can be held legally responsible under the UCMJ. If a leader his being abusive, make note of any witnesses that are around that may be able to speak on your behalf. You can also request to be transferred to another squad or platoon, sometimes commands are willing to do this. On another note please stop by our YOUTUBE CHANNEL Mentor Military as it has tons of information on these type subjects and much more. If you like what you see please subscribe and tell your network. Respectfully TOP!

  • harley


    I have a question. my husband and his sgt. were talking about a pt happening the following morning and the sgt. saw it as disrespectful even though it was in no way disrespectful. now the sgt is trying to get him in trouble is constantly harassing him and threatning him and writing him up for no reason and wont let him go any where near his commander to tell him whats going on or let me any where near too do the same. what should I do?

  • tbohlen


    I think that communication is key. I believe you must try to communicate to you’re NCO first. Like for instance try communicating with him through your monthly counseling sessions about your concerns and your intentions or request to talk to him about your concerns . I wouldn’t suggest getting in a argumentative discussion with your NCO while he is correcting you or start to become demanding in nature.

    I’ve told my soldiers many times over, that they can always go through me to discuss issues. If I don’t listen, they can requests to speak to my supervisor… hence the chain of command.

    As a leader I take full responsibility for my actions, and I learn by my mistakes.. If I don’t know what is wrong, then I can’t fix the problem.

    Again Communication is Key !

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