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longjon
06-01-2007, 14:52
I am a Civil Affairs Team Leader. I will be taking my CAT-A team to Iraq and will likely be supporting an as yet undetermined ODA.

During my last rotation, I observed how NOT to support an ODA as their attached CA team proved to be a bunch of wannabes and glory hounds that were not allowed outside the wire with the team.

In the interest of best preparing myself, and my men, I'm curious what you gentlemen are looking for in an attachment. Advice specific to CA attachments is great but any word about the broader subject of attachments would be much appreciated as well.

If I may be a bit presumptious, we are working hard on PT. My guys are all on the extended scale of the APFT and we ruck fast, long and often. We certainly aren't in the shape that many of you are but we are doing our level best to be physically strong.

My personal bottom line is that I want to take my guys over, execute our mission and be an asset to the team, not a liability.

Thanks for your time in advance.

Pete
06-01-2007, 15:01
All Teams are not the same. Each Team has it's own personality and individuals that make up that personality.

The best bet would be to go prepared to do the best you can at your job. As soon as you can, ID the team and have a good sit down with the Team Leader, XO and Team Sergeant.

They know where they are going, they'll let you know how they want you to help them get there. They should also ask how they can help you do your job.

Pete

Jack Moroney (RIP)
06-01-2007, 15:09
As this borders on TTP this answer will be generic and probably not much help. The best thing you can do is first get a briefing from whatever command lash up established this relationship with the element, or a representative of the unit or command, with which you will be working. The next thing is to make sure that what you bring to the dance is the best possible team fully capable of performing the mission for which you have been selected. The third thing is to remember who you are and why you are there and that you are obviously going to enhance an identified capability or help overcome a short coming of the team to which you are going to be attached. Now as to what you can expect, that is up to the team with which you are going to be working. However, if you would be coming to me your folks would be integrated into my security plan, be given a dump on how we operate and where you fit in, trained up on those aspects in which I felt you might need to survive and contribute to the accomplishment of our collective mission, and definition of who does what to whom and why because rank in the field is not the deciding factor on who makes decisions or provides the rules and enforces the rules of the road. Further, I am not going to accept you at face value, I am going to have to be sure that you are going to be an asset and not a liability and regardless of who sent you or why I will not allow you to put any of my folks in jeopardy for any reason. Don't want to sound harsh or seem arogant here, it is just the way I operate. But then, I am who I am and most folks out there are not as nice or as understanding as I am:D

longjon
06-01-2007, 15:50
Thank you gentlemen.

Pete, we're still too far out to ID the specific team but I will do everything I can to make earliest meaningful contact.

Sir, your answer is a far cry from "not much help". You don't sound harsh or arrogant... nothing matters to me more than my team and anyone that jeopardized them would have a short relationship with us.

So, I'm hearing that developing a solid relationship starts with a brief that covers expectations and mission scope, followed (potentially) with training on subjects that the Team leadership deems important and that there will be a parallel process of building trust and showing that we are not going to do anything to compromise the Team?

The Reaper
06-01-2007, 15:58
Great question.

First, you need to be a master of your MOS and duty position. No attachment is worth dragging along if he can't do his own job.

Next, you need to be solid in all Army common tasks, especially ones that might be key in a combat zone. No one want to drag someone outside the wire and give them a loaded weapon if they are knuckleheads.

While no one is going to expect you or your people to kick doors or run and gun with the big dogs, if you are proficient at manning a crew served weapon, you might free up a team guy to mix it up. Also, be sure that you are as well trained as possible on the essentials like TCCC.

If you bring any special skills from you day jobs, as most Guardsmen do, be sure to look for opportunites to help out. You never know when an EMT, a welder, or a forklift operator is going to come in handy.

Letting us know your mission, requirements, and wants while getting ours for integrated, symbiotic, and complementary operations would be a big plus.

Finally, please make sure that the people you bring are professional and mature. It is an inside joke that on deployments, attachments and support troops are the first to screw it up for everyone else. If you have people with drug or alcohol problems, headspace and timing issues, UCMJ magnets, who let the little head think for the big one, or who hate rules and authority figures, please leave them at home.

In short, I guess I would want someone attached to me who is good at what they do, ready and able to help out, a team player, and who won't cause me or my unit any problems.

Hope that helps.

TR

kgoerz
06-01-2007, 21:18
We all heard about how attachments and support personell are looked down upon by the Team Guys. The people who think this way are in the minority. Support is a two way street. You say you wan't to execute your mission and be an asset to the team, not a liability. Teams and Leaders feel the same way. Their performance and conduct equally determines the course of this working relationship.