1. USAA will be at USAFA on 4 September. Please click the link for more information.

Relationship between a Senior NCO and a Junior Officer

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by mko1991, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. mko1991

    mko1991 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    So I was watching Generation Kill the other night and I was wondering: Do Senior NCO's such as a Sergeant Major have to "bow down" (lack of a better term) to a Junior Officer or (other way around?) or is there more of a special relationship between the two?
     
  2. flieger83

    flieger83 Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,595
    Likes Received:
    128
    Not sure what you're trying to say here but I "think" you're asking whether or not a "Senior NCO" has any special "say" in the daily activities when dealing with a junior officer? Is there "senior NCO" status sort of an "equalizer" in grades?

    The answer is no.

    In a hierarchical system, "grade/position/rank" is all determining. A 2LT/Ensign outranks EVERY NCO: period. If a "butter bar" is placed "in charge/in command/over" a "Master Chief", AF "CMSGT", a Marine "Sergeant Major", etc., they ARE IN CHARGE. If they make a decision and direct their NCO to carry it out, that NCO will do just that.

    Now, that is NOT to say that a senior NCO's "advice, counsel, suggestions" won't carry any weight.

    WOE UNTO that junior officer that comes into service with the belief that that gold bar made them brilliant. That senior NCO earned that grade/rate based upon skills, knowledge, experience, maturity, etc., and is most likely pretty talented and wise and HIGHLY skilled in their profession. Their counsel is a VALUABLE asset to any officer, junior or senior. The difference is, typically, the senior officer has learned this either by painful error, or by wise experience. (Hopefully the latter!)

    In a generic comment "The Service" can actually survive with a "shortage" of officers if the NCO ranks are full and competent. "The Service" can't survive with a plethora of officers and a shortage of NCO's.

    And that's not me "sucking up" to NCO's, it's just an observation after almost 30 years of service.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  3. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    7,798
    Likes Received:
    361
    A good senior NCO, or as we would say in the sea services, senior enlisted, like a chief, senior chief, or master chief, allows a junior officer to make decisions as they should based on their rank, while guiding them along the way, because of their knowledge and experience.

    I didn't do everything right on my first ship, in fact I may have done many things wrong, but there where a few senior enlisted, including a BMC and FSC, that I would talk to for advice.

    Doesn't mean they had the final say. No one was bowing to anyone. But I trusted and appreciated their advice. Many times I would do what they suggested, sometimes I didn't.

    You certainly shouldn't go around throwing your 'bars' at the crew, but you should allow yourself to be stepped all over either (some initial "steppage" is to be expected when you first get there.).
     
  4. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    7,798
    Likes Received:
    361
    In addition to what tpg just said, extra info for USCG specifically...


    The Coast Guard does not have the rank of W-1 or CWO5...just CWO2-CWO4.

    If you want to see CWOs uncomfortable, head to a Chief initiation...

    If you are a JO this will most likely be an uncomfortable, but rewarding and generally "fun" experience as well. :wink:
     
  5. C2014

    C2014 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    My father (retired Master Sgt)always tells me about how important an SNCO's advice is. Most of the time the advice given is not bad, but that doesnt mean always do what the SNCO advices because then your not the one "leading" parsay. Is that what you mean by "not allowing them to walk all over you"?
     
  6. mko1991

    mko1991 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    whoa.. I wonder how many years total experience there is in this Thread. I just feel an aura of awsomeness coming from these answeres :biggrin: I appreciate them and I hope everybody here had a great Independence Day! :thumb:
     
  7. C2014

    C2014 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    prob enough to make a field manual :p
     
  8. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,444
    Likes Received:
    0
    The SNCO/JO relationship is without a doubt extremely unique and probably the military is the only place it exists.

    Just one observation. Any time that the chain of command gives the impression that they are not totally supporting the JO and holding him fully accountable and responsible, it will destroy the integrity of the unit. It might even ruin a young junior officer or perhaps even a young up and coming SNCO.
     
  9. The Commissioner

    The Commissioner Retired Staff Member Founding Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    298
    Likes Received:
    0
    A very similar relationship exists in the private sector, particularly in capital intensive sectors like heavy manufacturing, railroads, mining, etc. where newly minted graduates are hired for entry level (2LT?) professional positions where they must rely on seasoned foreman (SGT?) to get anything done. Those foreman take the same pride in the green supervisors they trained who climbed the corporate ladder. The best young supervisiors, just like the best young JO's, utililize their foreman's experience and talent while not being intimidated by them.
     
  10. C2014

    C2014 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    That helps a lot more!! thnx
     
  11. dannumber01

    dannumber01 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    "The SNCO/JO relationship is without a doubt extremely unique and probably the military is the only place it exists."

    Not quite the only place. A similar relationship exists in the civilian world and I use this comparison all the time. A Senior NCO/ Officer relationship is like the relationship between the general manager of a restaurant and the owner. The GM is responsible for making sure everything is done right to get results- in that case money. The owner can decide to do whatever he wants but will in the end own the failure.
     
  12. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,621
    Likes Received:
    366
    Is this a new record? A 3 year old thread revived. :smile:
     
  13. Strength and Honor

    Strength and Honor Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2013
    Messages:
    605
    Likes Received:
    4
    Holy cow quite the bump! But still a good thread for those on this forum wanting to lead troops someday.
     
  14. Pkirk618

    Pkirk618 Retired Army

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2012
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    Junior officers are taught that without their nco support channels, their leadership can be ineffective. Since many senior NCOs are rated by officers, you'd find 2LTs would refrain from overstepping their authority unless absolutely necessary. Behind many good officers are NCOs and many times vv.

    As for me, as as SNCO, I'd respect the rank and handle disagreements, if any, with tact and professionalism.

    ...and I just noticed I replied to an old thread. Oops.
     

Share This Page