We love our military officers. Let’s put that out there right now before the light, verbal hazing commences. Once an officer is fresh out of training, we call that lieutenant a ‘boot,’ which is military for being a brand new guy or gal in the service. Depending on what branch or unit you’re in, the timeline for being a boot can last a year — or until you complete a combat deployment. In any case, the training officer candidates undergo can be quite difficult, but it can be even harder to earn the respect of the men and women who will serve under them. Earning a college degree and getting commissioned is easy compared to earning the respect of your entire unit through service. Earning respect starts with choosing your words and how you carry yourself carefully.
Here are a few things a lieutenant shouldn’t say for a long, long time — if ever.
1. “From all my experience, I think we should…”
Most enlisted troops respect all the training officers have gone through, but until they prove themselves, butterbars’ so-called experiences don’t hold much weight.
2. “With all due respect, sergeant major, my leadership skills far exceed anyone else’s in the regiment.”
Take it back, sir! Please, take back that statement, lock it up in a safe, and forget the combination — for a while.
3. “I bet you I’ll be great in a firefight.”
No one can predict that until that sh*t situation occurs.
4. “Being a commissioned officer should get me the same respect as any who have seen combat.”
We’ve met a lot of commissioned officers in our time, but it doesn’t matter how much training you’ve been through — respect is earned through distinguished service.
Most infantry officers will earn that respect soon enough.
5. “I guarantee you that I’ll be just as badass as Chesty Puller one day.”
Boot officers can dream, can’t they?
6. “I deserved to be saluted by every enlisted troop, no matter what.”
They will be, but an officer can sound like a d*ck for saying it that way.
7. “Well, sergeant, in OCS we learned to attack the enemy this way.”
Who would you trust? A boot officer or an experienced enlisted troop?
8. “I wonder how similar real combat is compared to Call of Duty? Because I’m badass at that game.”
Answer: Not at all. The graphics look cool, though.
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