When I came home and found a new unit to drill out the rest of my contract with, I did something somewhat unintentionally.
I all but guaranteed that my future in the army was set.
See, this is my current deal. My deployment to Kosovo was not all peaches and cream. I had an idiot for an NCOIC who basically killed all of my motivation for the military, so by the time October 2005 rolled around, I was pretty much set on the fact that I was likely going to get out of the military completely once I got home.
Come Thanksgiving and the Crap hit the fan, of which I only briefly went over on my website. My respect for my leadership (specifically my NCOIC) came to a grinding halt and died, and within two weeks I was completely out of my section (and regrew my backbone). Oh how I would have liked to have told you all about my NCOIC at the time, but I did have enough respect for NCOs senior to me to not say anything about him at the time. Well I'm well out of his chain of command now so I can say whatever the heck I want.
The man was an idiot. I will say two good things about him. He's a Harry Potter fan and he's a damn fine preventive medicine specialist. But he had absolutely no business leading soldiers. The worst NCO I have ever had, bar none. However, what I have gained from that experience is that I now know everything about what not to be in a Leader, and one of the reasons why I chose this specific position was because this unit was what I needed to prove that I was not the soldier he said I was, and I could develop the leadership traits I needed to develop as an NCO and he failed to take the time to develop with me.
Unfortunately, one of the things he did is now biting me on the butt, most specifically his evaluation report of me that is far from steller. In fact, it isn't very favorable at all. I was misled on it for one, and two, one of the sections on it is completely misleading to a reader who didn't know either of us reading it. Basically, my report has me as being completely incompetant, literally. At the time I signed it, I was in a F*** it mood, was planning on getting out anyway, and, well, I made the mistake of signing it without reading it through.
When I looked back on the report after I got out from under his leadership completely, I realized what I had done and after talking to different people about it, including a Leutenant (who sometimes reads this blog) who knew more about NCOERs (Non-Commissioned Officer Evaluation Report) then most sergeants do, I realized that I had every right to appeal it.
I've been kind of in that process for the last few months, but because I've been in somewhat of a transition these last few months and my life is in somewhat of a disarray, I realized I needed two things right now. I needed good consistent leadership, something I've never had, and I needed to get an NCOER for this year that was excellent. Its hard to show a reserve unit what you got when you only see these guys one weekend a month, but my current unit is a no bars held squared away unit that knows what they're talking about.
Mostly because they're drill sergeants.
I've been told by several members of this unit that I have the personality to do this job, in fact, my leadership style is actually attuned to doing something like this, and I've wanted to be a Drill Sergeant since I got out of AIT.
However, to properly appeal my NCOER, I have to go through my current unit and have them help me do it. I talked to my First Sergeant yesterday about it, and in fact I've mentioned a few things about wanting to Appeal my NCOER, but I didn't want to go into detail with what happened in my previous unit, part of the appeal of coming to this unit was starting with a clean slate. However, he knew about it and coming into the meeting, he mentioned to me the fact that most soldiers coming appealing their NCOER do not get the results they desire. I nodded, understanding this, then showed him my current NCOER, the sections I was contesting (the competence section) and kind of explained the circumstances behind it. Then I showed him the Counseling Statement that was given to me in response to one Bullet Statement.
He took one look at that and said "this isn't a counseling statement, this is a threat! Heck, I feel threatened by this." The fact is, I got a negative remark that is supposed to show for an entire year of observation and all bullet statements in the Competence section are for incidents that occurred within two days of each other. In other words, I had a bad week, and my NCOER reflect that when it shouldn't. It should reflect the entire year.
My current First Sergeant then completely supported my decision to appeal this BS and backed me on it, I showed him a couple of counseling statements (one he called an agenda) and told me that my goal was to make sure my performance in the unit exceeded expectations so I could have an excellent NCOER for this year to balance out this last one.
Meanwhile, well, I mentioned that my current choice of unit guaranteed my reenlistment. My current unit is slotted to go to Iraq. But not the Drill Sergeants, who have a mission regardless of times of Peace or War. If I'm not slotted for school by January 2007, I could very well find myself slotted to go to Iraq instead. I don't think this will happen (in fact, if it weren't for my family at the moment, I would volunteer to go) but it does mean that I need to make a decision and get ready to go to Drill Sergeant School by next Spring at the Latest.
But before I go to school, I have to reenlist.
Guess I'm reenlisting. . . but if I'm going to make this a career after all, I need to get that NCOER squared away.
EDIT - I've talked to my unit further, more confirmation on the fact that I have every right to appeal my NCOER and I have plenty of evidence supporting me.
In the meantime, the rest of my mission consists of me doing the best damn job humanly possible.
I got flamed in my comments. Reply in next post.