Question on Counseling......

Last week I instructed my whole section to buy new uniform and boots, as it is under my impression that we get paid yearly and it should be spent throughout the year and not right on that month. Not one of these soldiers state that they were not able to purchase due to whatever reason. The following week rolls through and Monday morning a few of them did not have the items instructed to purchase. Question 1: Am I able to counsel the individuals on not following orders and/or purchasing a new uniform? Question 2: Would this counseling fall under professional growth or event oriented?

Constructive criticism please.
Original Post
I'm going to try to be polite, but I'm not how it will come across. I'd tactfully find a way to tell you to pound sand if I was your Soldier and this came across to me. It isn't in a squad leader's discretion to tell a Soldier on how to spend their annual clothing allowance. That money is allocated for the Soldier to maintain their uniforms and issued clothing bag how they see fit as long as they meet the regulations in force.

It would be completely different if a Soldier was repeatedly showing up in an uniform that is ripped, stained, etc or had boots that where the soles were worn down, but to expect an entire squad to purchase uniforms and boots based on your "impression", I don't believe that would fly.
Advice number 3.

I'm assuming you haven't been an NCO for long, if you are one. How do you NOT know what kind of counseling that would be under? Second, why are you instructing your whole section to buy new uniforms? Do they all have dirty uniforms? If that's the case, what is your mos? Are you a mechanic? If so, why are you not enforcing the soldiers to wear coveralls? It baffles me how someone thinks a whole section would need a new uniform and boots just because an NCO thinks they need them. Unless their uniforms are unserviceable, and a whole section having uniforms that way is unbelieveable, then there is no reason for them to go out and buy a new set.
Here is what you can do:
1. Identify uniform deficiencies, and determine if a particular uniform item is unserviceable. Serviceability should account for articulatable deficiencies such as fit (may become serviceable with tailoring or change in body mass), holes, rips and tears (may be repaired), worn soles in footwear (may be resoled). The deficiencies had better be pertinent to the function of the uniform as well (slightly faded is not sufficient).

2. Ensure through inspections that your subordinate has all clothing bag and organizational issued uniforms on hand.
Well...... constructive enough I should say. I appreciate my corps helping a fellow NCO out. I have been an NCO long enough to understand most however sometimes there is always that question which needs to be asked because I was not entirely sure.

At least half of the soldiers in the section had the deficiencies stated, if not then I would not have instructed them to purchase anything. I get counseled for them not having clean boots, when I look at their boots they seem find to me until I do my own an inspection and find the deficiencies.

I needed to ask because there are far worse situations here in the PEN about uniforms like creasing ACU's for instance, sometimes starching them.

If a soldier can do whatever he wants with his finances then at which point does an NCO have AUTHORITY to ensure that his finances are in order? (with any situation)

I appreciate the feedback.
quote:
Originally posted by SGTMongo84:

If a soldier can do whatever he wants with his finances then at which point does an NCO have AUTHORITY to ensure that his finances are in order? (with any situation)

I appreciate the feedback.


Finances (to me) are a iffy subject to talk about with a Soldier besides the keep your nose clean, and stay current on your payments.

1. you are not legally able to make financial advice.
2. everyones finances are still considered privledged information, and a Soldier does not need to disclose any personal financial information to you, nor the Coc, even if they are in debt.

so to answer your question...other than the blanket counseling on meeting his financial obligations and the fact that failure to meet those obligations could be a violation of Article 134, UCMJ, Debt, dishonorably failing to pay.... you have no authority.... just an illusion of rank.


edited because i got this post confused with another one, so i added in info that doesnt apply here. my bad :0
quote:
Originally posted by SGTMongo84:
Last week I instructed my whole section to buy new uniform and boots, as it is under my impression that we get paid yearly and it should be spent throughout the year and not right on that month. Not one of these soldiers state that they were not able to purchase due to whatever reason. The following week rolls through and Monday morning a few of them did not have the items instructed to purchase. Question 1: Am I able to counsel the individuals on not following orders and/or purchasing a new uniform? Question 2: Would this counseling fall under professional growth or event oriented?

Constructive criticism please.



Seems to me, you overstepped your bounds when doing this. IMO, you should have sought guidance from your PSG or 1SG prior to giving this order...
First, you were in the wrong to tell all of your soldiers to buy new uniforms. Like others have said, you overstepped your bounds.

Now, if someone came in with an unserviceable uniform or item you have every right to tell them to get one. You cannot tell me that all of your soldiers all needed new uniforms.Just because one is unserviceable doesn't mean they don't have other ones that are't fine.

You can step in as a leader when it affects their job. If they aren't paying bills/utilities or if they don't have required items, then you direct them to do the right thing.
quote:
I'd tactfully find a way to tell you to pound sand if I was your Soldier and this came across to me. It isn't in a squad leader's discretion to tell a Soldier on how to spend their annual clothing allowance.


quote:
You were in the wrong to tell all of your soldiers to buy new uniforms. Like others have said, you overstepped your bounds


I'm going to devil's advocate this situation:

I think you were well within your rights to inform your Soldiers that their uniforms were out of standard and that they needed to get new ones. I myself have told Soldiers numerous times their uniforms were sub-par and they needed to update their gear. If my Soldiers uniforms look like ass, I let them know and I expect the situation to be fixed promptly.

I myself have been corrected and "advised" to get a new set of ACU's or to spruce my boots up. This might be different because I work in Joint environment with normal everyday interactions involving 0-6's and above. I expect myself, and the limited number of Soldiers here to look their best at all times.

Your tact in the way the message was delivered might have been flawed, and your timing could have been better (should have given them until at least after a pay period to get the items). Additionally you should have told the Soldiers that if they have issues (financially) with getting new uniforms then they could talk to you off-line. At this point budget classes (through AER etc), and financial responsibility counseling should be done.

Lastly, telling your NCO to “pound sand” because you didn’t like his order to get new uniforms is childish. The order was not illegal nor was it immoral. I understand you might not like it, I understand that you might think he overstepped his boundaries, and I understand that its “your money, and you can do what you want with it”, but the bottom line is the SM needed new gear, the NCO directed the gear get purchased, and telling him to pound sand (or in this case telling ME to pound sand) will get you about as far as an airplane without wings or a motor.
granted i am Nasty guard, but my last drill i was informed by a SFC to get new ACU's due to the ones i was wearing are about 8 years old, and faded pretty good.the uniform is still servicable.. no holes, rips, or patchs.. just faded... but damn i love those ACU's! they are broken in, and comfy Smiler ill save it for when we are in the field and i need to stand out instead of blending in.

im at BDE level, so ya i have alot of higher rank walking around...

i know it is different for us in the Guard as we can go to supple and get new ACU's without it costing us anything.
quote:
Originally posted by SGTMongo84:
If a soldier can do whatever he wants with his finances then at which point does an NCO have AUTHORITY to ensure that his finances are in order? (with any situation)

An NCO has authority to refer the soldier to trained financial advisers, enforce military standards, and recommend bars should the soldier demonstrate unfit for continued service.

Specific to the uniforms: not withstanding extraordinary circumstances (e.g. unusual damage due to unit operations), an active duty soldier has no excuse to not be in compliance with uniform regulation at any time. You may certainly counsel your subordinates on uniform deficiencies, and they are obligated to comply with policy.

I think what many took issue with from your first post is that you seemingly arbitrarily ordered your charge to purchase new uniforms. We should be careful to never do that despite the fact that it is the obvious means to correct uniform deficiencies. The modus operandi should be identify the deficiency, clarify the standard, and direct remedy. The specifics of the remedy are delegated to the soldier, but feel free to recommend solutions should he stumble.

Welcome to the forums and thanks for the follow up. We can be a bit harsh at times; lesser NCOs would have cut ties with us by now.
quote:
I think what many took issue with from your first post is that you seemingly arbitrarily ordered your charge to purchase new uniforms. We should be careful to never do that despite the fact that it is the obvious means to correct uniform deficiencies. The modus operandi should be identify the deficiency, clarify the standard, and direct remedy. The specifics of the remedy are delegated to the soldier, but feel free to recommend solutions should he stumble.


+1

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