First I must say that I am as surprised as everyone else who knows me that I made it this far in the Army. I never wanted to be where I am, I merely wanted to be a SGT and now I have gone much farther. Now people are making comments about how I will be a First Sergeant some day and possibly could make Command Sergeant Major. This will never happen, the Army will not allow it. Here is why.
I am a fair guy, fairness rates highly for me as a standard. When I was stationed in Korea, I saw the KATUSA (Korean Augmentee to the U.S Army, Korean soldiers who ‘work’ for the US Army) treated like slaves and I was disgusted and refused to treat them that way. One day (a long story) I was building an Indian (Native American to you sensitive types) Tepee and it was in the 30s and rainy, not a single US soldier was out there to help me. You know what? I had every KATUSA in my unit out there helping me, even though they did not have to. Later…when I was back in Korea, I had a few soldiers that gave up their personal time and came in to work over the holidays to help me move my supply room to make sure it got done in time. They worked hard and often late for me and the other sergeants could never understand why my soldiers did this when theirs did not. Why did they do this? I treated them fairly and like human beings.
Now, how does this relate to my subject at hand, seems like it should clearly be related, eh?
Well, there are politics in the Army. Many people kiss allot of ass to get where they want to go, keep their mouth shut when they know there could be a backlash against them, and many people lie. Now, don’t take this as me saying I am perfect, far from it. I have stupid choices in my life, done things I am not proud of, but as I have grown older, and I like to think, more wise, I have come to a standard of thought in life. Rules that I don’t typically bend, and even then only slightly. Heck, about a week ago I literally was screamed at by someone of high rank because I essentially told him what I thought of a stupid action he had taken. Ooops. I guess I got a little unprofessional, call me silly, but pretty sure screaming is not in the book “How to be Professional.” Anyway, I refuse to kiss ass. If it means mission success or failure, I will bend slightly, but 98% of the time, my lips shall touch no ass. Oh, and I do one of the things the Army leadership really hates, I speak my mind. I find it hard to shut up actually, and it has often gotten me in trouble. The other day I called a certain person’s idea “silly” and spent nearly an hour having this person explain to me that since a senior NCO of 21 years of service and two very high ranking officers agreed with him, that my use of the word “silly” was a poor choice in words. Oh well, he was being silly….wait, I should have used the word I thought of first…STUPID. I thought I was being quite diplomatic in choosing the word silly rather than stupid. If only he knew what I really thought, of him, and his idea.
In the Army today there are allot of politics that determine how you rise in the ranks, especially on the officer side. The amount of officer to officer ass kissing that goes on in the Army is simply stunning. Too often I have come across oppurtunities to kiss ass and instead kept my mouth shut, allowing some other to do the kissing of the ass. Getting picked up for CSM is also an excercise in ass kissing I am told, that the new CSMs are selected by the other CSMs on a board, so networking and playing the political game with skill is of high importance. Since I do not float in these circles, my chances of getting picked up are slim anyway. I witnessed a massive amount of ass kissing today as a officer kissed my bosses ass, I felt sick and had to put my iPod on, could not take it anymore. I cannot stand a ‘Yes-Man”, those guys who run around and tell those over them ‘yes’ all the time, without regard for what that yes means or what has to be done to make it a reality.
So ass kissing, nope. Political games, nope. Future CSM, nope. 😉
But that is fine with me, being a CSM would be cool, taking care of soldiers and putting stupid people in their place (CSMs walk around with allot of power) in the name of soldier welfare would be awesome. In all honesty, I just wanted to be a sergeant….