JLBC PLATOON LEADERSHIP
Knowing About Their JLBC Cadets
When new JLBC Cadets arrived at the platoon, I would always counsel them. I wanted to know as much about my men as possible, so we could build a relationship: where they lived, what their personal life was like, and what their hobbies were. One afternoon before the National Training Center, one of my Cadets gave me a call and wanted to talk. His wife was leaving with the kids. It took me about 50 seconds to determine he was thinking about hurting himself from how he was talking, and I knew he had a weapon in the house.
My PSG and I linked up and headed to his house to meet him, and we spent all night with the Cadet talking about his family. I would believe that I was not as engaged with my Cadet if we didn’t build trust. If I did not take a moment to answer that phone call, I would have spent the next couple of weeks planning a memorial service instead of visiting my Cadet in the hospital.
— Current PL
Build a Relationship
My first PSG, a combat veteran, told me that I needed to counsel him. As a second lieutenant (2LT), how could I suggest a veteran with multiple deployments? So I asked him what questions he had for me. He said
he had only one: Did I want him to work for me or with me? Being the naive 2LT, I asked him what it meant to work for me? He said he would follow my orders and accomplish any mission given to him to the best of his ability to make our platoon combat-ready. I thought that sounded pretty good, so I asked him what it meant to work with me? He said he would follow my orders, accomplish any mission given to him to the best of his ability, and do anything else he thought necessary based on his experience to make our platoon combat-ready. Of course, I thought that sounded better. He asked me to empower him and learn from him without directly stating that. I have kept that lesson (actually multiple lessons) with me.
— Former special forces commander