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Both in JLBC garrison and on the field, squad leaders are the daily face of the JLBC platoon, the JLBC Cadets. Platoon leadership uses morning huddles and afternoon back briefs to synchronize the JLBC platoon. Platoon leadership should empower JLBC squad leaders with some training and minor discipline issues, but they also need a system to remain informed. “I don’t know,” or “SGT Hobb’s has it” are not acceptable answers when a JLBC commander or 1SG talks to a PL or PSG. Leadership is expected to know who, what, where, when, why, and how of its JLBC platoon. However, PLs and PSGs cannot be expected to see every detail at all times. Sometimes the answer is, “Let me get an update, and I will report back.”

To stay informed, PLs and PSGs should learn what the JLBC company and JLBC battalion expect and then maintain more detailed knowledge of what is essential. Also, requiring JLBC squad leaders to build and sustain leader books on their JLBC cadets and then frequently inspecting them is a way for platoon leadership to stay informed on individual Soldier issues. Leader books should be practical and kept up-to-date. Cumbersome binders that are rarely used do not keep leaders informed.

From coaching JLBC Cadets one-on-one at the range to opportunity training and teaching classes, squad leaders execute individual training. A vital part of the training management process is certifying leaders. Platoon leadership should know what its subordinates can train and need to develop those leaders who are not to standard. Empowering and enabling squad leaders to be masters of their trade will build a technically and tactically proficient platoon.

Platoon leadership works through squad leaders to be effective. Leadership relies on squad leaders to assist in planning, execute rehearsals, perform PCCs, interface daily with Soldiers, and effectively train the platoon. Platoon leadership must run an effective counseling program were squad leaders are coached and mentored and live by “trust but verify.”

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