MS 4 specific....


5-Year Member
Jan 14, 2013
DS just finished as a cadre member at Ft. Knox and is now at Bolc. For those of you considering being part of the summer cadre here is a snap shot of his time there from our conversations. Generally a positive experience in that his time commitment started earlier, getting paid that sweet,sweet 01 money,getting ingrained into the army culture prior to Bolc and interacting with and as an officer. For some reason some of the e6-8 he encountered still wanted to treat the newly minted lieutenants as cadets ??? For instance ,upon arriving back from 4 days in the field DS was approached by a first sgt who said the area in front of his dorm room was cluttered with trash and needed to be cleaned up. DS response was professional but firm....." Well first sgt since your are charged with upholding the Army standards I'm sure you will be able to have this area cleaned up by the time I get back from a shower and chow." DS was pleasantly surprised to see the area was indeed cleaned up upon his return. I for the life of me cannot ever envision that type of incident happening in the Marine Corps. Enlisted, senior or not, simply do not speak to an officer in that manner. I digress.... If you go as a cadre member you will do a fair amount on menial work like cleaning tents, mowing lawns before and after the cadets arrive. While there your duties could vary depending on your job. Some like DS were in the field often as OPFOR with crazy hours and some were attached to medical and had 9-3 hours with weekends off. Totally up to chance. Also lots of PT which DS was happy for as he takes a PT test this week. Holler with questions and I will answer or try to get it from DS.
My peers who did Knox cadre had a similar experience; if you're very eager to do Army stuff soon after commissioning It's a good decision. I've heard it can be complicated to manage the logistics of going home, then to Knox, then reporting to BOLC however, but that can be mitigated by doing research and asking questions I'm sure. In regards to your son's experience with Top, this is pretty common and I can tell similar stories. Perhaps that 1SG was simply testing your son's ability to take and react to a snide comment from an NCO, which could mean why nothing followed and the trash disappeared. Maybe it's an Army thing to have more of a "spectrum" of respect for officers based upon experience, but I've seen it more often than not. I wouldn't disagree that I was treated a little differently by senior NCO's after about 6 months of experience, running some ranges and field problems, showing a consistent positive attitude, stuff like that.
That works in both directions and although I don't know the whole story, let me give you example from the enlisted side that is similar. Different service but still an awkward encounter. We were doing workup for a 6 month cruise and had about 3 weeks before getting underway. Had a newly minted Ensign confront me about cleaning up the workspace prior to knocking off ship's work for the day. Workups for a cruise involve getting all machinery in the best condition possible to sustain 6 months with minimal support for breakdowns and parts aquision. I as an E-7 at the time tried to politely explain that my goal was to overhaul and tweak all machinery to optimum condition before the cruise because of the requirement to operate non-stop for the next 6 months. Also explained that once in operation that I would have 6 months to do nothing BUT clean and paint. It became messy, ended up with the Ensign pointing to his collar devices and pulling rank, or at least making an attempt. Respect, common sense, situational awareness, and realizing that maintaining a professional demeanor goes a long way in both directions.
Last edited:
DS just finished the Army Reconnaissance Course, it was entirely led by NCOs. I asked him what it was like to have someone he outranks tell him what to do. He said that most 2nd Lts. realize they really know nothing about the real Army, they're treated with respect but need the training. One NCO "marched" his squad of 2nd Lts. through a pond of chest high water for 500 meters.
Training environment is a whole different ballgame. TACs are almost always NCOs and they are the boss during training. I remember seeing O3 and O4s getting smoked by a 1st Class PO during water survival training on the CG. Rank doesn't mean a lot during these schools.
Typically areas around officer and inside officer billets are the responsibility of the inhabitants to police up and maintain. My last job I inspected our lieutenant barracks and held them to task for exterior/common areas as well as their own rooms.