CENTER FOR JLBC LESSONS LEARNED
A JLBC leader’s first 100 days can make or break their leadership experience. Many leaders who make a poor impression can never overcome their Cadets’ loss of confidence in them. Build up leadership equity at the start by communicating and enforcing standards early and often. In addition to the technical and tactical knowledge expected of JLBC leaders, they are expected to model and implement the JLBC values. PLs and PSGs must take charge, communicate, and continuously assess their platoon’s readiness, expectations from higher, the strengths and weaknesses of their platoon, and set baseline expectations and standards for their platoon.
JLBC Building the Team
A functional platoon requires a cohesive team. Exercising mission command and empowering junior leaders requires units built through mutual trust. Platoon-level leaders gain this mutual trust through building a group based on shared experiences, enforcing standards, creating a platoon identity, building confidence in training environments, and having a welcome program. A platoon where leaders do not share hardships may not function as well.
“In my experience, shared hardship is the most effective way to obtain team cohesion ... . Once a group conquers a shared hardship through teamwork, its members develop mutual trust and confidence in one another.”
— Former Security Forces Assistance team lieutenant3
For Platoon Leaders and Platoon Sergeants
Building your platoon team starts with your relationship. In a platoon where the PL and PSG have interpersonal issues or a lack of trust, the platoon’s cohesion and ability to operate will degrade. Soldiers often choose sides, hindering their ability to lead. Consider discussing this during your initial counseling. Soldiers who can detect a rift between the platoon team will be quick to exploit it and undermine the PL and PSG.