The position of squad leader is the least experienced and the most junior of all infantry positions...The most important factor a squad leader E5 has is the ability to actually lead troops in a positive manner.
Hmmm. Last time I checked, fireteam leaders were the most junior leadership position (not to mention riflemen are a more junior "position," as mentioned and not speicified by the author) and squad leaders were E-6s.
What is the structure of a Ranger platoon? Since he's a plank owner of 1/75 maybe their structure is different and that is what he's basing his assesmemt off of, ie they don't have team leaders? Doubtful but that's the only thing I could think of.
That said, a few years ago the Corps made the 0365 MOS as a way to address this issue. Any AD Marines here have any input in whether or not it has increased their prodev?
Also of note- squad leaders have the narrowest scope of leadership, which is two. A squad leader is responsible for two fire team leaders; whereas a fire team leader is directly responsible for four members of his fire team, a platoon sergeant is responsible for four squad leaders, a 1SG is responsible for four platoon sergeants, and a CSM is responsible for four 1SGs.
"You can delegate authority, but not responsibility." That Sqd Ldr may be directly supervising his Tm Ldrs, but he is responsible for ALL 10 SQUAD MEMBERS.
I served many years with Nightingale and I can tell you this: He was one of the most spot on upper level officers I've ever had both the privilege and honor to serve with. He was never a "Yes" man, never was "PC" and told it like he saw it (In case some are wondering why he retired as an 07) If he ever told me to pour gasoline on myself, set myself ablaze and follow him through a door, I'd do it in a heartbeat and wouldn't think twice about it.
He loved his NCO's when they performed and ripped them to shreds when warranted.
I don't know about SOF but in line Army Infantry, well trained and selected Squad Leaders can make or break the performance and morale of a platoon, and by extension the Company. They really are the key to unit success, IMO.
Commanding a platoon, I stayed connected with my platoon daddy, but spent by far the most time in development and communication and cooperation with the SLs for this reason.
The SLs typically have the pulse of their guys, and spot potential problems (and can correct them) before it gets to the PS/PL. Likewise, I think they identify talent a lot quicker. My own anecdote was an E1, grew up in a multi-lingual home, spoke French, Arabic, Urdu, and something else. Fluent in 4 languages. The SL told the PS, and he was tapped to go into intel. The guy was a fresh HS grad, but smarter than hell. No idea how he got to the infantry unless he just picked it or he had to fill some recruiter's quota. He spent a tour with us and off he went.
As an aside, fwiw, I was one of a number of E4 SLs in the fleet post-war. And in VN, some of us, at least in CAG, were leading combat patrols and kill teams as E3s.
Ive always felt the Marine Corp entrusted its Cpls with significantly more responsibility than the other services allow their E4s. That may not be true anymore, but it was then. The precedent for that may have started BITD (WW2 & Korea) when Marine sgts were E4s.
I was a very boot Corporal, just over two years TIS, when I was promoted to Corporal and was almost instantaneously promoted to SL. Saw it happen alpt during my four years. The Corps would be extremely broke if they actually had to pay the job to the billet.
To cross reference another thread, how many people aren't promoted each year because there are no open spots due to non deployables holding those spots?
In my case, and that of other E4 SLs, E5 was conditional upon our reenlistment. This was because after VN many combat experienced jr NCOs were unassing the Corps in droves. I guess they figured to make that third stripe incentive to stay...but in the meantime you can keep doing a sgts job for a cpls pay