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Old 04-04-2010, 10:55   #1
dmclean
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Property management responsibilities

I'm a YG 08 Lieutenant, currently serving as a PL in Iraq. The platoon is a full tank platoon, augmented with 8 riflemen and 3 combat engineers. I am signed for 15 vehicles, all of which we use for various mission sets. My question is in regards to an ODA Commander's property management responsibilities. I find that as a platoon leader, my additional duties often compete for time with planning for operations and training with the platoon. The best mitigator for this has been strict time management and late nights planning, but I will never be comfortable with even the smallest compromises when it comes to planning and mission prep. I was naive when I joined with hopes of being a Platoon Leader; I never knew how much of my job would be not just managing my property, but doing property work for the CO and XO as an additional duty. The prospect of being a "soldier first and an officer second" is lost (and possibly implausible) in the regular Army.

What are the ODA commander's responsibilities when it comes to property? Less responsibilities than a PL so that he can be more of a part of the team training and team planning? Or more responsibilities so that he can enable the team to focus on training and planning? In short: as an ODA Commander would "2062", "PBUSE" and "OCEI" still be a regular part of my vocabulary? I'm just trying to increase my situational awareness so I can decide if putting in a packet for SFAS is the right option for me.
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Old 04-04-2010, 13:21   #2
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Don't try to emulate SF. We have a process that encourages expertize within a subject mater, but it is developed and matured by many years of experience before an individual gets to the regiment.

I think your looking for a subject mater x-spurt,,

Tanks,, We don't got no stink'n Tanks..

As a PL, you and your team are all fairly new and hopefully still learning.

You need to learn to let go. A large part of being a successful leader is learning not how to do something, as much as, to how to delegate,, and occasionally learn to ask for help..

Because of the ways of Mother Army, understanding that you can not pick your team is a beginning. But, What you can do is learn what strengths your team has and optimize their utilization.

This can be at odds with conventional assignments and you need to understand, within the limits of your command structure, what flexibilities you have.

You might want to start with a talk to your Co 1st Sgt. He has the "KEY's to the Bank". Additionally ask other PL's what they do. Find out what your PL Sgt might suggest.

The word TEAM is not singular and a PL is not an army of ONE...

Good Luck,

Free range ramblings of a FOG..
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Old 04-04-2010, 13:54   #3
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I signed for all the property the detachment had...the property was sub-handreceipted to appropriate personnel. The team sergeant had the furniture, the intel sergeant had the fingerprint kits and the camera, the senior engineer had the demo bags, the senior medic had the aid bags, etc...the XO (back when we had LT XOs) and the junior engineer signed for anything not specifi to a functional area...I did arms room inventories quarterly (the XO did them the other months), we did sensitive item inventories before and after every exercise, major or otherwise...

Skis, snowshoes, mountaineering equipment was the responsibility of each detachment member and they were hand receipted for that stuff...same thing with fins, etc. when I was on a scout-swim team as an engineer...

18As are commanders at the detachment level...commanders are responsible for property...detachment commander, company commander, doesn't matter...comes with the territory...
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Old 04-04-2010, 14:21   #4
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Sub-hand receipts and accountability / serviceability inspections (regularly conducted full layouts and 10% of your master hand reciept every month) is the only thing that will ensure that your last paycheck is YOUR paycheck.

Regarding your comment " but I will never be comfortable with even the smallest compromises when it comes to planning and mission prep.' I want to point out that Inspecting is a big part of both planning, training, and conducting missions.

But. no one promised it would ALL be fun, right?
Inspect, count, report and requisition in a timely manner. The Commander is responsible for everything that happens and FAILS to happen in his command.
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Old 04-04-2010, 14:22   #5
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The question is: "are you considering SF as a potential career change?". If you are, the experience you're gaining now will be invaluable. (If you survive without a 15-6 or a pile of FLIPLs at your CofC inventory, you get a "GO" for that station. I know lots of SF CDRs that would love to get their hands on somebody with the background you're acquiring so early in your career!) If you're not, then you're wasting your time trying to compare apples and oranges. FWIW - today's ODA has as many "lines of property" as you do. Fortunately, ODA's don't normally have to worry about 15 vehicles. It's all the little stuff and maintaining property books in several locations that bites everybody in the 4th POC.

And keep worrying about your time management skills. LTs are supposed to spend every minute sucking - it's like an internship for Drs. Pay your dues, the scut work decreases as the responsibilities of command increase. (That doesn't mean you're not responsible for getting it done, just that you'll have some poor 2LT that needs extra duties and mentorship to teach him responsibility and time management.)
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Old 04-04-2010, 14:24   #6
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Talking

When I was a detachment commander, I did the same thing. An A team is populated with senior NCOs for each specialty. Being responsible, professional guys, they kept the equipment in top condition and accounted for it. The team leaders that micromanaged it were the ones who had the accountability problems. Most team leaders who demanded to have a close leash on equipment gave up after the first time they tried to inventory the surgical and dental kits.

You'll have an E-8 and 5 E-7s to keep things straight. If you get there, use them. Just tell them what you want done and they'll figure out the how, usually trying to out-do the guy next to him. It's one of the best ways you can establish an atmosphere of trust between you and your NCOs.
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Old 04-04-2010, 18:16   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmclean View Post
I'm a YG 08 Lieutenant, ...

What are the ODA commander's responsibilities when it comes to property?... I'm just trying to increase my situational awareness so I can decide if putting in a packet for SFAS is the right option for me.
Maybe it's just me...but as a former Team Sergeant I would say that if you are asking this question to decide if SF is the right option for you then you're not ready to accept the responsibilities that come with being a SF Team Leader.
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:19   #8
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Thank you all for the input; I have a much better understanding now.
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:54   #9
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When I was a detachment commander, I did the same thing. An A team is populated with senior NCOs for each specialty. Being responsible, professional guys, they kept the equipment in top condition and accounted for it. The team leaders that micromanaged it were the ones who had the accountability problems. Most team leaders who demanded to have a close leash on equipment gave up after the first time they tried to inventory the surgical and dental kits.

You'll have an E-8 and 5 E-7s to keep things straight. If you get there, use them. Just tell them what you want done and they'll figure out the how, usually trying to out-do the guy next to him. It's one of the best ways you can establish an atmosphere of trust between you and your NCOs.
Green Light I don't know about that. In my experience: when folks have to prioritize their number one priorities, the guidance of the Commander or Team Sergeant in the form of what is he's going to inspect and how diligently he's going to look at it can make the priortization matrix easier to navigate.

And, Your doing the sub-hand receipt holder a favor by being an extra set of eyes. (People lend stuff on the buddy system and as often as the lender forgets where he got it the loaner forgets who he let borrow it.) Somebody's going to pay -- Sub HR holder / eventually, Commander / Change of Command OER / FFPL Report of Survey, Team / when they need it most, when the new Commander can't help but notice "it doesn't seem think supply accountability matters here. That's gonna change."
WE took great pride that when I turned over my property all that was missing was a few expendable items. The team got off to a very good start with my replacement. So he probably "I'm da boss-ed" with em on something else. And that wasn't PT either

AND When Officers issue Soldiers orders that's a professional transaction. If the Commander wants the Soldier to take the time to do a good job the soldier has a right to expect the Commander to make the time to check. The obligations go both ways. As you say most Soldiers will figure it out and try to out do the guy next to them then they deserve to have it acknowledged. Inspections are not supposed to be "gotchas" but great opportunities to acknowledge and encourage great Soldiering.

AND as for that inventory of the medical and dental kits Yup, tough . . . but interesting. And Commanders can be sort of the fill-in-the-gap-guys. Those inspections helped me train to be the Medics' scrub nurse.
The not so fun inspections was the climbing equipment , tri-cams, hexes, friends, rope logs . . . .

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Old 04-05-2010, 13:53   #10
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Green Light I don't know about that. In my experience: when folks have to prioritize their number one priorities, the guidance of the Commander or Team Sergeant in the form of what is he's going to inspect and how diligently he's going to look at it can make the priortization matrix easier to navigate.
I had the joys of re-constituting a team as a Team Sergeant.

When we did our inventories, I let the NCOs lay out the equipment in accordance with the designated list. If needed, I pulled my master copy of the team handreceipt which had the location in the team room or load out shed of every item, to include what the item was when you couldn't discern the name of the object according to the Sensitive Items Report. Made our inventories go very quickly and relatively painless.

When we laid out for change of command inventories, the maintenance records were laid out with each item, to include the multiple requests to fill our shortage annexes.

Its on you as the Commander to ensure that your property that you signed for is on hand and serviceable. If you're smart, items are subhandreceipted to the appropriate MOS and individual which gives you accountability records in the event memories of who borrowed what and when to go hunting occur the day of the sensitive items inventory. We also maintained a blank handreceipt on the outside of two walllockers. I filled one out several times when I used the range finder to assist in early morning hunting.

When we were downrange, the Team Leader and I split the house property, rent/phone bills, vehicles and everything else amongst the team members (primary and alternate). Though we were both still responsible for all items. How else will the youngsters learn how to take of these things other than by doing?
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Old 04-05-2010, 15:10   #11
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I had the joys of re-constituting a team as a Team Sergeant.
....
When we were downrange, the Team Leader and I split the house property, rent/phone bills, vehicles and everything else amongst the team members (primary and alternate). Though we were both still responsible for all items. How else will the youngsters learn how to take of these things other than by doing?
That last sentence pretty much sums up the entire thread IMHO.
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Old 04-17-2010, 11:18   #12
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SF hand receipt business is the same as anywhere else in the Army. Company CDR signs for all the junk on the property book, ODA CDRs sign for all their team's stuff, then ALL the stuff issued on hand receipt to the right guys-or it is locked up and only sees the light of day during CoC inventories. No big deal.
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