career progression / sub-par leadership

So, recently I've been moved down to Battalion level from Brigade due to the fact that I am deploying with this Battalion. I'm the Battalion Paralegal, and because all of the legal personnel are still at Brigade HQ, I'm floating under the Battalion S-1 shop. Recently I've had some leadership issues; On top of the NCO's in the S-1 shop hardly tracking me, rarely letting me know what's going on or where I need to be, and trying to pawn me off to do tedious S-1 work that they have more than enough personnel and time to do, I have no guidance to progress my career.

I have recently taken this issue up the chain of command and am politely pushing to be moved into the Battalion command group, seeing as how the NCO I would be under there is more than capable of leading me correctly and it would be a better position for my job in general—especially downrange.

Otherwise, I've decided to take matters into my own hands in the meantime and try to prep myself for anything and everything I possibly can. I don't want any NCO to look at me and have an excuse to tell me I'm not ready to go to WLC or to a Board of any kind because "I'm not ready," especially since they're doing nothing to help me get there. I'm currently a PFC, and I will become promotable with a waiver this October. I have been working hard to improve my PT score (as of last month a 242, I’m aiming to max and probably significantly closer now), and I've always worked hard at my job. But I want to make sure I'm a shining star when my unit gets that waiver and starts considering whom to give it to.

SO! To Army Study Guide users, I ask you for any advice possible. I heard of something called an "I love me" book that I should put together. What goes in it? Links are helpful as well. This site has more than enough study material for boards... but where the hell do I even begin?? What else can I do to push for promotion on my own? I have been researching material on my own but personal advice and guidance is what I'm looking for from these forums, as I’m confident I won’t get it from my superiors within this section.

Thank you for your time and help!
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1st thing to get promoted- is always act you're the next rank already. (ie do the work of a SPC. When you're a SPC, do the work a SGT does.) This will show that you're motivated and leading.

2- Be proactive. This post is a big step in the right direction. I was wondering for a long time when I could go to the board for SGT, I finally asked my Supervisor and he said "I was WAITING for you to ask that question!"
-I was somewhat mad but I understand now. No one will be holding your hand to guide you through everything. Ask questions, push push push. NO one will look out for your career like you can.

Same goes for work- if something needs done, do it. If it MIGHT be for someone else, tell them or your NCO you can take care of it. You don't want to be in their face every 5 seconds but if you keep them informed of what you're working on they'll know they don't have to worry about it.

Work smarter. Come up with ways to fix problems and/or save everyone extra effort.

3- Show motivation. You don't have to be the Soldier yelling all through PT. But sound off, smile (when appropriate Smiler ), if everyone is dragging before a task, jump up and tackle it. Your overall attitude goes a long way in convincing Leadership (and your peers!) that you're ready to Lead.

4- Get out of your comfort zone.
Don't like calling cadence? Download or find some cadences, learn them. Maybe go running on your own and practice (softly so people don't think you're crazy). Then just do it!

Find other things you might not like doing and challenge yourself to do them. I found that being in front of Soldiers I had to turn myself from all quiet to being louder.

5- Know the regs and Army customs. You really need to investigate and research and keep learning. An NCO must know what their responsibilities and obligations are.

Anyway, keep charging, keep working, good luck!
I haven't considered taking charge of PT formations and/or calling out cadences, I'll make sure to do that too. As far as the regulations go, that's a huge part of my job so I'm good there. I already told my NCO I want to go to a board of some kind, and I want to go to WLC as soon as I can. I've already begun counseling myself do to the lack of counselings from my NCO's (I still haven't gotten an initial counseling and I've been with this unit for almost 3 months now) and I already have been taking initiative and doing what I believe to be the right thing. I've decided I want to become a Warrant Officer so I'm trying to soak up as much experience and knowledge in my field as quickly as I possibly can. Quite frankly I'm young and impatient, and I guess that's something I'll have to work on too. When I want results I want them NOW, not later. If I have a problem, I want to fix it NOW and preferrably fix it myself.

The only issue I'm having now other than stated above is being S-1's extra soldier to task out to misc BS that isn't my job and has nothing to do with my job. I understand needs of the Army, but there's gotta be a line somewhere; especially when I'm not slotted in an S-1 position nor am I trained to be an S-1 Clerk. I just fall under the section for accountability and leadership purposes, again, both of which are lacking. For now though, until I get some damn rank on my chest, I think I'll just have to swallow my pride and stomp them at their own game. Hopefully in doing so I'll show that I'm proactive and motivated as you suggested. Or perhaps it will backfire, I'll make them look bad, and the politics of the matter will surface negatively... but that's on them.

I know what I'm capable of and I know for a fact I can handle any workload they throw at me, probably on a far more efficient level too. And I suppose I now have an example of what faulty leadership is like and how not to be when I become an NCO. You brought up another good point though, I never considered that it would be a majority of my own responsibilty to progress my career. However I was under the impression that a proper NCO would take more time to get to know me as their soldier and recognize my goals to try to push me in the right direction. /shrug


Anyway, great tips!! Thank you for your advice I will keep it close in mind!
Sometimes you get lazy NCOs, sometimes they just aren't tracking. Counseling is definitely becoming a lost art these days, it is unfortunate that your leadership doesn't really even begin to offer you that.

Your story almost exactly reminded me of our paralegal here, so don't stress that you are back to general labor and tasks - don't forget that you are still a private, it can be easy to forget your role and rank when working at a Brigade or Battalion shop - I deal with dozens of Captains all day and start thinking in that same battle captain mode, very dangerous.

Keep doing what you do, stay motivated, but also realize that a few months here and there on these early ranks doesn't mean the end of the world. Do your job and do it well and the rank will come.
Auto hit the nail on the head. The Army has all the tools for success available, you just have to grab them and add them to your tool box.

As mentioned counseling is the most effective form of mentorship. When I get to my unit, the PSG would simply write a one paragraph counselng which didnt explain or mention anything. Personally I do counselings wth a intro paragraph followed by major areas of concern. Some of them are accountability and responsibility, physical fitness, personal appearance, professional and personal development (ALMS, NCOES, Corr Courses, College etc).

The one major concern I have is towards the "I love me book." Start with your enlistment contract, then BCT/AIT graduation documents, PCS orders to current duty station. Followed by promotion awards or 4187s if wth waiver, school certificates, other orders such as good conduct medal, CAB/CIB, range and pt cards etc. It will be beneficial when getting ready for the board for timely ERB updates. Not all documents are uploaded to iPerms or your OMPF. If something is missng, bam you got it on hand and dont have to search for it.
quote:
Originally posted by hardcorpsarmy:
The one major concern I have is towards the "I love me book." Start with your enlistment contract, then BCT/AIT graduation documents, PCS orders to current duty station. Followed by promotion awards or 4187s if wth waiver, school certificates, other orders such as good conduct medal, CAB/CIB, range and pt cards etc. It will be beneficial when getting ready for the board for timely ERB updates. Not all documents are uploaded to iPerms or your OMPF. If something is missng, bam you got it on hand and dont have to search for it.


YES!

Save a copy of any and all ORDERS you ever get- also when I got to Ft Gordon to go be an AIT instructor (7years after I finished AIT there!) they wanted a copy of my Orders awarding me my MOS and the certificate where I was inducted into the Signal Corps!!!!!
--Luckily I'd saved pretty much everything, otherwise it would have been a few months of waiting for them to make new ones..
Wouldn't hurt to have a few copies of things as well. Depending on the S-1 you have they tend to lose documents you give them to load onto your ERB. Some even give you a hard time if you ask them to update it without going to a board or something. I had to ask for around 10 various awards and schools and stuff to be loaded 3 times before they were all added. They kept losing random documents.

Also if you have some spare time I would start knocking out correspondence courses or some college classes online. Not sure what your points are but those are easy ways to get points and show your command that you're serious about getting promoted. To hit SGT from SPC you only need 6 months TIG.
Excellent! I've already started putting my I love me book together in a similar fasion. I've also been asking other soldiers/NCOs around my unit about prepping for a board and they've all given me a wide range of good advice. With luck I'll be going to the next Soldier of the Month board when were downrange, which will be a few months from now so I better start hitting the books.

SSD is giving me a hard time due to the jacked up website, however I'm well on my way to getting that finished.. one trouble ticket after another. I'd like to get all availible levels knocked out ASAP so I won't have to deal with it later in my career.

I figure until the Help Desk can correct an error with one of my modules, I'll knock out some correspondence courses.

Thanks for all the help and advice, I really appreciate it everyone!!

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