Brigade Leadership Positions

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Kazakh93, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. Kazakh93

    Kazakh93 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    How are mids selected by USNA's administration and staff to fill leadership roles in the Brigade, such as that of Brigade Commander? What do they look for in a mid other than the obvious need for someone who intrinsically understands the concept of honor and integrity (i.e. athletics, academics, merit, etc.)?
     
  2. 2012mom?

    2012mom? Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    2
    Believe it or not, academics plays a significant role in the selection process, especially for positions above Company level. Depending on the position and the semester, having a leadership position can take a huge amount of time. Those who have 4, 5 or 6 stripes have their own leadership "jobs" to do, but they also have meetings with officers, and meetings with counterparts at regiment, battalion, or company level to coordinate activities. They also have their own watch standing rotation. Most (might have been all) of those who were high level stripers last fall were on the Supe's list prior to selection. That's important, because most stripers' grades slip to some extent.

    Ranking within company is also important for selection as a high level striper, because being considered for a battalion or higher position requires the endorsement of the Company Officer. To be ranked highly (by peers, the company officer and Senior Enlisted Leader) requires a history of action and leadership within the company. Remember, "leadership" isn't necessarily holding an official position. It's personal action that helps the company to be better.
     
  3. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    742
    Likes Received:
    121
    Many, though certainly not all, Brigade stripers from my class were in the top 10%.

    To be a striper, you must both apply to your company officer and get his/her recommendation to move on to the next level. There's a series of boards and they assign the positions based on interviews, prior performance, recommendations by your company officer, etc.

    Something to keep in mind is that being a striper is sort of self-selecting. There are a lot of high performing people at USNA who just don't want to be stripers, including yours truly (though that necessitates a very lenient definition of "high performing"). There are some significant learning advantages to having stripes (exposure to working with senior officers, can be a plus at service selection, getting to meet interesting people, etc), but there's also a lot of benefits to working in a lower level position.
    In my opinion, being a striper should not be a goal. Some people seek out stripes for the sake of having stripes (as if that's some sort of barometer for being a good leader or a mark of success) and that's stupid. If you get to the point where you think that you can use the experience of being a striper to learn and best serve those around and below you, go for it.
    If you think you can be more influential on a company or battalion level, don't sweat that you only go the year with one or two stripes on your collar: it's possible to make a tangible difference in many people's lives even at the lowest levels if you care (which is, at the end of the day, the more important thing).
     
  4. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Messages:
    1,829
    Likes Received:
    595
    Hurricane12 pretty much hit the nail in the head.

    Small unit leadership (USNA company level and subordinate) will be the level that Junior Officers will be working at when they arrive in the Fleet/FMF. The leadership/people skills you gain, while in this position at USNA, can really be beneficial and it is a great "trial and error" period in applying what has been learned over the course of your life (and 3 years at USNA). Hopefully you have some sense of what being a leader means and aren't a "poor leader" going into your 1/C year! Notice I used the word "can" because, as Hurricane mentioned, it depends how much YOU make of it. You can really be determined to see those under your charge succeed or you could be the person who doesn't really case....I highly recommend the former!

    I never was anything except Midshipman In Ranks (MIR) within my company 1/C year (I didn't have a say :thumbdown:)....looking back on things, I would have wanted to be a squad leader in a heart beat!

    As far as a Brigade/Regimental position, that can be a good experience as well. I did serve on a Brigade FUNCTIONAL position, didn't wear many stripes, but I was an active participant at what I did. I was more concerned about how I could help the Brigade in a certain area and implement good ideas. Brigade positions (normally 4 stripes and senior) require someone to really balance the Brigades needs, ideas, wants, etc. vs. what the Commandant and his/her staff decide and provide direction or course to steer. Additionally, there is normally very little company interaction and it can be hard to live the company life.

    Some Brigade (and maybe Regimental) positions have separate nomination and selection processes, normally reserved to functional positions (i.e. Character, Honor, Physical Missions, MISLO, SARP/SAPR, etc. who go through a representative from those areas). However, most go through a board process, convened by the Commandant/Deputy Commandant.

    To reiterate what Hurricane said, the goal isn't stripes....it should be HOW YOU want to make a DIFFERENCE!
     
  5. 2012mom?

    2012mom? Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    2
    Hurricane and jadler: I hope that my previous post didn't come across negatively towards leadership positions within the company, or in other, "non-striper" positions. It was not intended that way.

    To the OP: One point that Hurricane made is particularly important, IMO. No one in and around USNA is going to be handing out leadership opportunities. Plenty are there to be had, but some Mids will graduate having had very few, simply because they don't take the effort to look for them. Others will have a wide range of leadership experiences. It's all what YOU make of it.
     
  6. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Messages:
    1,829
    Likes Received:
    595
    2012mom, I didn't perceive your post that way at all.

    The key is that Company, Battalion, Regiment, and Brigade billets all have their advantages/disadvantages.

    I think a good balance of both is great, both at USNA and in the DON. If you have a company position in the fall, shoot for an out-of-company position in the spring or vice versa (though, as mentioned previously, I got stuck with MIR second semester by no choosing -- you might suffer the same fate).

    The same thing will apply out in the Fleet/FMF -- it is great to work at the tactical level, but it is also an advantage to see how things happen at the operational level, where senior leadership decisions are made and you are interacting with senior officers as a "team."

    The more "diverse" you can make yourself, the more you will increase your knowledge and the more valuable you will be. To put it in a SWO analogy, someone who has served on an AEGIS platform, an Amphib, LCS, and Carrier, would obviously have a great breadth of knowledge and might have qualities that would enable him/her to be an excellent Strike Group or Fleet Commander.

    Take advantages of the opportunities that present themselves!

    Side note: there are also PLENTY of other ways to lead from Clubs/ECAs, mentorship programs, MAG, etc. Leading isn't just a function within the Brigade Organization.
     

Share This Page