It is important to keep your chain of command informed at all times, especially if you are in charge of the well being of soldiers. On the twenty sixth of January I failed as a Non Commissioned Officer to fulfill this duty. I was informed that one of my soldiers might be going to the hospital. I asked that person to keep me informed of my soldier’s status. Instead I should have checked on the soldier personally because her health was already in a fragile state and the problem she was having was of a very serious nature. I let my soldier down and endangered her by trying to keep the situation at the lowest level.
I knew it was important to her that at the time her situation remained discreet. Although my soldier’s personal life is their business, their health and well being is mine and that should have taken precedence. My actions not only affected my soldier and myself but by keeping my chain of command in the dark I potentially could have affected their reputation negatively in the sense that, should that soldiers condition been more severe they would have been blindsided and their chain have command would have question why they did not act sooner.
I took the situation too lightly and that was not my place to brush it off and assume that everything would get better. I know now that as an NCO it is my job to take care of my soldiers but it takes more than one NCO to do so. By keeping my squad leader and platoon sergeant out of the equation I limit my resources for help on evaluating and fixing the problem. What I should have done the second that this information was passed down to me was to contact the soldier themselves to affirm the information and get details and then immediately get a hold of my chain of command and let them know what is going on.
My chain of command has been in the ARMY much longer then I and would know better what to do in a situation like this. It was selfish of me to think I was able to handle a situation of this matter on my own. I should have gone to the people who have experience in how to handle the situation and would do what is best for the soldier. My counseling says “When you receive information about a soldier being sent to the hospital it is your obligation to inform your chain of command so that information can be passed up the chain and the appropriate actions can be taken if need be.
I understand that it might not seem like a very big deal but a soldier getting admitted to the hospital for any reason can take a turn for the worse without notice and also we have to account for the soldier while they are in the hospital. In the future make sure you pass this information up the chain as soon as it is received. ” This counseling helped me grow as a NCO because it made good points that I never thought of when acting in this situation. First of all the fact that I, someone who is not a doctor cannot make a proper evaluation of someone in order to assume that there health problem is no big deal.
And by acting like is no big deal I could have made the situation take a turn for the worse. Also I neglected to remember the importance of knowing my soldiers general where abouts at all times whether at work in the field and even at home. The consequences of my actions could have resulted in more than a counseling. Most importantly my soldier could have been in serious danger and by the time I seeked help it could have been too late to keep the condition of the situation minimal. She could have gotten really sick and her chain of command would have no idea and therefore would have been no help to her.
Furthermore my dereliction of duty is punishable under the uniform code of military justice. It could have led to a loss in rank and pay or dismissal and separation from the Army under Army Regulation six-hundred and thirty five dash two-hundred chapters five, nine, thirteen and fourteen. If this would have happened I could have received an honorable discharge or even worse an other than honorable discharge. The results of these actions would have been immense. I would have not only have let down that solider but my other soldiers as well as my chain of command.
Without the Army I would be unable to support my future family and would have let down my family and my country because I am a good soldier and am learning to become a good NCO. It all goes back to the NCO creed where it states that “I will communicate consistently with my soldiers and will never leave them uniformed. ” It goes unsaid that I am responsible for linking the information between my chain of command and those soldiers under my command. When I got a call saying my soldier needed me I neglected to act on this and inform my chain of command who is equipped to deal with the situation.
In the future I will be sure to notify my chain of command of anything that has to do with my soldiers or I because they can not properly do their jobs if I do not do mine. I am sorry for being careless and plan to use this event as a learning tool. I now know how serious things can get when a corporal tries to do the job of a platoon sergeant and will not let it happen again. A lot of people say that “it takes a community to raise a child” being an NCO is very much the same because one NCO cannot do everything it takes to take care of a soldier, it takes a platoon.