A Blessing in Disguise
Diatribes of a Knucklehead
While a was a Battalion SgtMaj I was stopped by one of our Chief Instructors (a GySgt) and he told me he fired one of his hand selected instructors and told him never to return.
Now, I wanted to support the GySgt, but what the hell? I think I should have some say here brother. I did support the GySgt by removing the Sgt from his staff, but I did not punish him. I sent him to another unit in the Battalion, where he quickly took over.
He turned out to be the most outstanding Combat Shooting Instructor I have ever witnessed; and then he was leading a group of amazing coaches that trained every Marine Lieutenant in Combat shooting; he stepped-up the game for himself and everyone around him.
Again, no NJP, thank goodness – he was a “Godsent” to every Lt that was trained by him and his men.
In the same unit we had a Sgt get into trouble and was reduced in rank to Cpl; and thrown off of the USMC Shooting Team. I moved him to the Combat Marksmanship unit where he worked on our pistol range. Anytime there was a shooter that was having much trouble with handgun shooting we put Cpl Footer on them. Cpl Footer had an amazing ability to get shooters to calm down and shoot acutely; he was a Godsend, not only to the shooters, but to the unit as a whole.
Another time I received a call from a fellow SgtMaj that worked for the General above my General. He told me he had a POS E-7 that he wanted to send me; off the books – therefore not against my headcount. He said to have him pick up cigarette butts for the next 18 months; or whatever I wanted to do with him. The next morning a squared away GySgt in Service Alphas (Marine Green Dress Uniform) showed up in front of my office; so, I invited him into my office and asked for his side of the story. I could see his side. There I had a squared away, grunt SNCO, who claimed he wanted to work. I was short a 1stSgt so I told him:
Me: SgtMaj _____ told me to have you pick up cigarette butts for next 18 months; and that is fine if that is what you want to do?
GySgt: SgtMaj, I am not a shithead. I am an outstanding Marine who pissed off the wrong people.
Me: Great. I need a 1stSgt at _____ _______, can you handle it?
GySgt: Well, I have never served as a 1stSg, but with your help I am sure I will do great things.
Me: Great, get to work. Your office in that building right over there; go introduce yourself.
I did this on purpose. The Marines he was about to lead would eat him alive if he was weak; I wanted him to prove he was a leader – he did. He was an exceptional leader of Marines. He never disappointed me; not even once. This second chance worked out great for me; I needed a 1stSgt and he did a great job – which made my life easier.
The moral of the story: Always get both side of the story and challenge your so-called POS. There is no such thing as a bad Marine; BUT there are Marines doing jobs that they are not made for (there are some turd exceptions; but they are few and far between).