To start off, I'm not an NCO so I feel a bit presumptuous posting here. However, I feel pretty cornered considering that there aren't many NCOs I feel I can rely on in my unit; so, here I am.
When I started out at my unit just under a year ago, I was fresh from training and I made a few mistakes. I was counseled harshly for these (missed appointment, not properly using chain of command) and I took it as a sign that my SL wanted me to improve and was being hard on me because he thought I had potential. That is, until I overheard him saying how he needed to find a way to knock me down in rank. I was switched SLs, and things began to look up. Until recently.
My new SL is, and I'm not saying this to be mean or because this is personal... but he's not very bright. He's all we have at the moment, because my section is extremely short on NCOs. He has too many soldiers and is a pretty unmotivated individual with a bad attitude in general. He's been an E-5 for something like ten years. In the past, I have too often made the mistake of speaking my mind or giving my input on issues. My attempt at tactfully correcting mistakes and misunderstandings (errors in his counselings to me, or lack of communication on his end result in me being at the wrong place/wrong time- which is ultimately always attributed to my mistake; he refuses to claim responsibility for his role in communication problems) has been met with what seems like a vendetta against me.
But, let me be clear, this is not a bitching session about my SGT- the issue at hand arose when a week ago I arrived late to formation- the place had changed the night prior, and I had been informed. However, the morning of I went to our usual location, and immediately realized my mistake-- I called my SL, told him, and headed to the new location. I arrived at 0618 (0615 is the time roll is taken). I was marked FTR and counseled (even though I was there for actual formation time of 0630 and the flag). My corrective action was to arrive 30 mins prior to all formations and places of duty. I was doing fine with this, until a few days ago when, for the first time in my Army career, I slept through my alarms and completely missed formation and PT.
Today I was given another 4956 and told that because this was my second offense in 30 days, I would be recommended for UCMJ (in my company, that's as good as saying you WILL get an article 15). My squad leader has never verbally counseled me, and wrote that I failed to complete my corrective training because of the missed formation, which, I suppose is technically correct.
I slept through because I've been having trouble sleeping and took an ambien when I woke in the middle of the night. I've been really down and discouraged because no matter what I do I can't seem to get ahead in my unit. I've had money troubles and family troubles and dealt with it all without bringing it to work. My NCO had never sat me down, asked me how I am, asked me what is going on, or tried to find out the root of the problem. I'm not a bad soldier, I have a good APFT (271) and markmanship (32). I volunteer for things, work hard, and (since I learned what is expected in my unit) generally keep my head down and do what I'm told. I have the feeling that this NCO is intimidated by me, dislikes me on a personal level, and is punishing me disproportionately relative to my peers. I have used the 1SGs open door policy before, and he stated that he didn't like what was going on in me section, but since then I have gotten the impression that my SL and PSG have 'gotten to him,' and tainted his opinion of me. Unfortunately, my section SGT has little backbone and my PSG blindly supports the decisions of even his most questionable NCOs.
I'm not perfect, and I have made mistakes. I know this sounds a little like a conspiracy theory. But the atmosphere in my unit right now is so ominous, they keep talking about how they'll flag you, bar you, and send you home for any offenses. The Army is my life and I desperately want it to be my future.
I apologize for the length of this...is there anything I can do? Do I have any recourse? Anything is helpful at this point, I'm at the end of my rope. If you made it this far, I sincerely thank you for taking the time to read.