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Old 01-28-2009, 22:18   #25
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Georgia, Florida and North Carolina (its complicated)
Posts: 91
QUOTE=Soft Target;245756]Who jumps the generator?[/QUOTE]

It's probably not a coincidence that the G-76 went out of the inventory not that long after the transition from a 1LT XO to a WO Asst Det Cmdr . . .

Backwoods, I don't think we're that far apart on what a good WO looks like. WOs need to be physically able to and mentally eager to lead from the front, and they need to be the guy on the team who really gets the concept of UW.

My concern is that we're not setting the bar high enough for the WO1/CW2 fresh out of WOBC to go to a team and be that guy. I agree that seniority shouldn't be the only, or even the primary discriminator (I once had a boss who told me that some people have seven years of experience, and some people have one year of experience seven times - it all depends on whether you keep learning and growing with the job.)

I do think that it requires some seasoning on a team to get to that point, and it takes understanding how operational planning is done, and it takes knowing how intel gets fused with ops to realize the commanders intent. There's a dual feedback loop involved that not everyone on a team gets: intel drives ops, the results of ops drive intel, but also commander's intent drives intel and ops, and the results of both allow the commander to refine his intent. The WO needs to be able to step onto a team able to manage that process for the commander, and also step onto a team able to lead it if necessary.

So the challenge is: how do you make sure that someone selected for WO is that smart, dynamic guy who gets UW, who has enough experience to know how things work, who isn't broken or burned out, and who has the training necessary to do the job?

If it were my call, I'd do the following:

1) set the accession requirement for 5 years of team time, maybe waiverable to 3 for exceptional performers.

2) re-instate the 18F requirement and add a requirement for ANCOC (like before, if a candidate were selected as a WOC, they could be routed through the schools - I don't think it needs to be a requirement for selection.)

3) push the appointment of a WO further forward into WOBC, and use the opportunity to use the first portion of WOBC as a vetting process (I don't know what the right answer for that is - a board of WOs, some sort of officer stakes, some sort of academic standard - but we should use WOBC to vet the selection process.)

I agree that WOCS was pretty much a waste of time and didn't select for the traits the SF community needs in an officer, and I suspect that SF fought to take it out of the pipeline to incent good SF NCOs to take a shot at being an officer, but getting to appoint our own officers is an opportunity we're not exploiting.

Anyway, my $0.02 . . .
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