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paracowboy said:they're stupid? They'd rather whine and ***** and snivel than actually do something productive?
You go, paracowboy! I'm loving this thread on troops speaking up: brings back memories of times now long behind me. I agree 100% that smokers/OC's hours/bitch sessions are an ancient and honorable tradition. While I must say that as far as I know, most Canadians soldiers NEVER have a problem speaking up (usually you can't get the buggers to shut up... ), I have gone through a couple of those embarassing and frustrating staring sessions, on the OC's side of the fence. I think there are two major causes:
a) the troops don't know you very well yet, so they are not trusting enough to say much, and anyway they haven't seen you do your business so they don't know if you'll listen and take positive action or just parrot the party line; or
b) more rarely, but much worse: you actually have a serious morale problem-the troops have given up on you, or something is poisoning the group morale. You can sometimes (not always) detect this. If you do, you better get with your CSM quick and figure out what's up. Re-opening the lines once they're shut can be difficult.
A good way to avoid this problem is to work hard on building the officer/NCO relationship, based on honesty and respect. The OC has to give the CSM his turf and stay clear of it, and the CSM has to back up the OC and use the NCO net to keep a pulse on feelings in the company. In any unit or subunit, if the CO and RSM, or OC/CSM set the example for a straightforward, no sh*t relationship, I bet you that things will work much better all around, and when you do have OCs hour you may not get alot of gripes. but the ones you get will be genuine because they will believe that you care and you'll do something.