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OCdts in Leadership Positions Discussion

Eye In The Sky

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Gunnar said:
I think you're missing the point.  The point was not to chop logic on word definitions, the point was to narrow down that you respect the position, appointment or commission as delineated by the Canadian Forces, not the person (as stated, the Officer).  I didn't think that was going to be terribly controversial.  But hey, maybe I've learned something.  I'll have to see how it plays out elsewhere.  Perhaps my precision in formulation needs work.

The 'definitions' are the details, details held (in this case) in the Queens Regulations and Orders, which are derived from the NDA.  I'd say that is an important factor.  You were making statements that were incorrect; full stop.

Honestly;  just say to yourself "well, I've improved my GSK" and take the knowledge on.  No harm, no foul - you just haven't developed as robust knowledge of some CAF policies, regulations, orders that some mbr's have.  None of us know it all or are infallible.
 

Gunnar

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Honestly;  just say to yourself "well, I've improved my GSK" and take the knowledge on.  No harm, no foul - you just haven't developed as a robust knowledge of some CAF policies, regulations, orders that some mbr's have.  None of us know it all or are infallible.

Okay, I'll go with that.  I certainly rang some people's bell.  What's GSK?
 

Gunnar

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I will grant I have much to learn there.  Thanks.
 

SeaKingTacco

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stealthylizard said:
You wouldn't salute an officer cadet anyways, they have not yet been commissioned.  They are theoretically below the rank of private as it was explained to me during BMQ, but they should still be given the respect due to an officer as they will become your superior when they finish BMOQ.

I'm sure that I will be corrected by someone for this view.

As an OCdt, I was placed in charge of real, actual soldiers, during an FTX (there were no other, Commissioned Officers available). There was nothing theoretical about the orders that I gave or the world of hurt that would have descended on the troops from the Sgt Maj, had they not followed those orders.

TLDR: I treated the soldiers with respect; they returned the favour by politely mentoring me.
 

gwp

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TLDR: I treated the soldiers with respect; they returned the favour by politely mentoring me.

In the finest tradition of the Her Majesty's instruction found in the commissioning scroll that you are trusted to do the right thing to lead and look after the welfare of your subordinates and follow the lawful orders of your superiors.  In return you may be promoted from time to time.  It is a very simple document and applies to any branch occupations whether combat arms, medical, chaplain, musician or cadet instructor.
 

SeaKingTacco

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gwp said:
TLDR: I treated the soldiers with respect; they returned the favour by politely mentoring me.

In the finest tradition of the Her Majesty's instruction found in the commissioning scroll that you are trusted to do the right thing to lead and look after the welfare of your subordinates and follow the lawful orders of your superiors.  In return you may be promoted from time to time.  It is a very simple document and applies to any branch occupations whether combat arms, medical, chaplain, musician or cadet instructor.

Right, but your average Ocdt is not going to be familiar with a Commissioning Scroll, for the simple reason that they do not have one.
 

Jarnhamar

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SeaKingTacco said:
As an OCdt, I was placed in charge of real, actual soldiers, during an FTX (there were no other, Commissioned Officers available). There was nothing theoretical about the orders that I gave or the world of hurt that would have descended on the troops from the Sgt Maj, had they not followed those orders.

TLDR: I treated the soldiers with respect; they returned the favour by politely mentoring me.

In that situation, if shit would have went sideways and someone got hurt would you have been held responsible or would it have been the Sgt Maj?
 

Blackadder1916

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Jarnhamar said:
In that situation, if crap would have went sideways and someone got hurt would you have been held responsible or would it have been the Sgt Maj?

Having been a guy who put OCdts in "command" positions (and have been an OCdt in charge), the person in charge is responsible.  If the "2i/c" (NCO/WO/Sgt Maj) contributed to an inexperienced subordinate officer's failure (especially if deliberately), then he would have received a blast from me.  In your scenario of a soldier being injured while an OCdt was in charge, if  "I" was that OCdt's immediate superior, then "I" would be responsible.
 

SeaKingTacco

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Jarnhamar said:
In that situation, if crap would have went sideways and someone got hurt would you have been held responsible or would it have been the Sgt Maj?

The Commanding Officer is always responsible for what happens.  Always.
 

Good2Golf

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SeaKingTacco said:
The Commanding Officer is always responsible for what happens.  Always.

This.
 

Eye In The Sky

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You can delegate your authority, but never your responsibility.

I don't remember where I first heard that, but I've believed it ever since that day.  It might have been from the OCs or COs address on my SLC.
 

Jarnhamar

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Blackadder1916 said:
Having been a guy who put OCdts in "command" positions (and have been an OCdt in charge), the person in charge is responsible.  If the "2i/c" (NCO/WO/Sgt Maj) contributed to an inexperienced subordinate officer's failure (especially if deliberately), then he would have received a blast from me.  In your scenario of a soldier being injured while an OCdt was in charge, if  "I" was that OCdt's immediate superior, then "I" would be responsible.

Thanks. I find it interesting we would take an inexperienced and untrained person (sans commission) and still put them in command of seasoned and experienced professional leaders like that.
 

SupersonicMax

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Jarnhamar said:
Thanks. I find it interesting we would take an inexperienced and untrained person (sans commission) and still put them in command of seasoned and experienced professional leaders like that.

No different than putting a brand spanking new 2Lt in charge, with a commission.
 

daftandbarmy

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SupersonicMax said:
No different than putting a brand spanking new 2Lt in charge, with a commission.

I dunno... I did a pretty good job on operations as a 21 year old 2Lt fresh out of training.

If you can count 'Did not get anyone killed ... who wasn't supposed to be' a good job :)
 

SupersonicMax

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daftandbarmy said:
I dunno... I did a pretty good job on operations as a 21 year old 2Lt fresh out of training.

If you can count 'Did not get anyone killed ... who wasn't supposed to be' a good job :)

I am not saying people can or can’t do a good job.  I am just pointing the fact that in this case, the rank (or commission) doesn’t matter. 
 

ballz

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SeaKingTacco said:
The Commanding Officer is always responsible for what happens.  Always.

I think I agree with your sentiment, but not the actual response. I believe the sentiment is, whoever accepted the risk is responsible for the outcome.

A CO may very well brief a Bde Comd that all he's got left to lead the attack on the hill is an OCdt, he can brief that he's mitigated the risk as best he can by pairing him up with the best SM available, the best 3x WOs are leading the platoons, etc. If the Bde Comd accepts that risk after being told, the Bde Comd is responsible for the outcome, IMO. The Chain of Command doesn't stop at the unit level.

Weighing, balancing, eliminating, mitigating, and accepting risk are why we have Commanders.

Where it all falls apart is where one accepts the risk, and when the risk unfolds and it goes sideways, the don't accept the responsibility. I've seen this happen with using under-ranked or inexperienced pers to complete tasks all the time. I've seen some Commanders recognize a mistake/problem/catastrophe as a risk that they accepted when they tasked a Cpl to do a WO's job, and I've seen some not recognize that and then try to hold the Corporal accountable. It's the latter scenario that's the problem... if an OCdt is skewered for not being able to do a Major's job, that's poor leadership, that's an example of a Commander that doesn't understand what it means to be a Commander.

One of my favourite examples of this is a current trend of poor material accountability. As a very junior person I was caught between being told to run courses and exercises without proper time for post-activity maintenance, close-out drills, inspections, etc. The SNCOs cried foul that there wasn't enough time, but the CO said he needed this stuff done and was going to accept the risk. Well, the first time they accepted the risk, nothing went astray, so they did it again, and nothing went astray, and again, and again, and again, for the five years I was in an Infantry Battalion.

And now there's a material accountability problem. Maintenance standards have fallen, mission essential kit is going missing or destroyed, it's really just a lack of the same culture we used to have when it comes to looking after our stuff. The same people who were COs are now Bde Comd's and Div Comd's, and reaping what they* sowed when they accepted the risk, but seem to be oblivious to the fact that this was a problem years in the making. Accept a risk for a long enough and it's bound to bite you back eventually.

*They. I don't actually believed they personally sowed it... it was likely the only choice they had, being given too many tasks, not enough resources (time, troops, etc.) to get it all done. But I do wonder at what level was the risk truly accepted and who is to blame if that risk wasn't properly articulated so that at least the risk was apparent and knowingly accepted.
 

Jarnhamar

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daftandbarmy said:
I dunno... I did a pretty good job on operations as a 21 year old 2Lt fresh out of training.
Right, you probably weren't very experienced but you were trained (sounds like well trained).

I was thinking more along the lines of what SeaKingTacco was talking about, someone being put in charge of people while but not being trained. Not something that would happen in combat (I hope) but the premise is an untrained person being put in charge over someone with decades of experience because they're named an officer. Just interesting.

Had Officer Cadet Leslie Kenderesi not committed career seppeku he could have hypothetically transferred to a local reserve regiment and in a very hypothetical situation, be put in command of half of this forum.
 
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