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Gold Bullet Member and Noted Curmudgeon
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Yes, a lot of NCOs aren't that good- "mediocre", to use Clyde's word. As one officer who served when I did said "The 'Old Sarge who really know his stuff''-how many of those did YOU meet ?" Belittling school training, thinking OJT is a magic word that can produce the same results in a fifth of the time...... Telling a newbie to "watch the experienced guys"-who learned by ....in one book I read about Patton the author made clear his dislike of him but acknowledged that he was professional enough to recognize that trying turn a clerk, a cook, a truck driver into an instant infantryman swelled the casualty rosters but achieved little else.
In WW2 honor graduates of many course-electronics and aviation, e.g-were immediately reassigned as intructors, that allowed for expansion of various schools and ensured they were taught by the best and the brightest.
George Patton was the product of an Army that (except for WWI, until WWII came along) didn't have much to do other than spit and polish and train (and a lot of that was close order drill, and stables) including (especially for Marines) a lot of range time shooting KD on nice round spots on white canvas. Come Mexico (he was there as a junior LT) and WWI (he was there as a quickly promoted colonel running tanks) and then the time between the wars and the big Louisiana Maneuvers where Ike made his name, he saw the need for training. Especially field training and unit training. And how much more we needed (officers - especially senior officers) when he got to North Africa. Georgie had his faults, but Ike and Marshall were smart enough to protect him as much as they could and somehow get him into the right places when there fighting was happening.

The Germans feared/respected Patton the most of any Allied commander during the war in Western Europe, and expected him to be the American (and probably Allied) ground forces commander when the invasion was launched - when he wasn't, it helped keep them off balance the first few weeks of the invasion. And part of that was his (known) emphasis on training.
 

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Gold Bullet Member and Noted Curmudgeon
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100,636 Posts
The thread began as a discussion of deployment an untrained E1 and that is where my thoughts centered.

When two ships do a banger, or run aground, it is squarely the fault of the Captain first and the OOD second, not some seaman, not the lookouts, the radarman or the quartermaster. In fact, everything that happens on a ship, or everything that should happen and doesn't is squarely on the shoulders of the Old Man. It is his responsibility to make sure that his crew is trained and properly motivated before he leaves the dock. It is not the enlisted men who fudge anything, unless it is a cake. A collision is a failure of leadership at the top, not lack of training at the bottom for if the training of the enlisted men is inadequate, then again, it is squarely on the Captain's plate. With that responsibility comes a great deal of power.






There may be a difference in an Army sergeant and a Navy CPO. There were CPOs that I despised, but none that I did not respect for their knowledge of their specialty. By the time they made E7 or E8 the officers who had any sense would defer to the chief's "suggestions."
An Army sergeant (as a rank) is an E-5. LOT of difference between an Army E-5 and a Navy E-7 or E-8. Not so much between a Navy E-7 and an Army E-7 (Sergeant First Class).
 
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