This video was about two years in the making. I talked with several Officers and NCO’s about what they thought, and even had a few former PSG’s review my script. Among all the requests I have received, this topic was the most popular.
The hardest thing to do as a junior officer is to stay out of your PSG’s way. The work he does, though it is difficult, is well defined. Here is the thing though. The Army did not hire you to do well defined work (well, unless you are a Pilot, then just fly that bird). The Army hired you to do the work that is not clearly laid out, or at least to define the work that needs to be done.
But, for now, I want to focus on one part of the LT’s duty that I didn’t spend much time on during the video; Extending your influence to and beyond the Chain of Command.
It is up to you to develop the working relationships with Officers and NCO’s across the command and even outside the command to accomplish your mission. I will give you a few examples:
- In my second command, my XO had a great relationship built with the deployment center. She did this before it was needed, and maintained it throughout her time in the Company. When we had an emergency deployment, she was able to leverage her relationship to get expertise and assets assigned to us to make our mission happen.
- One of my fellow PL’s was able to build a relationship with the turn-in yard OIC during our deployment. With this, he was able to get extra engineer tools for his build section, and made it easier for them to do construction jobs.
- I play poker with one of the G1 guys in our command. When I was assigned a task to get mail moved from one country to another, he was incredibly helpful in making it happen.
Now don’t get me wrong, it is not about making friends or developing long term relationships with other Soldiers (though that all helps). It is all about developing a contact and letting them know you are worth their effort. When you ask for something, are you going to follow up on your end of the task? Are you the kind of officer that will be there to help them when they need it? Hell, do they even know who you are and what your job is?
All of this may sound “political”. When I was a 2LT, I hated this kind of stuff. It took me until my second command to understand the true value of networking like this. Not only can this help accomplish your mission, but it can help you in your personal life as well. Do you want to get that one assignment? Well, who do you know?
Thanks for your patience between videos! I love doing these, but they are very time consuming!