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Leadership in different platforms?

I was wondering if different platforms offer different ammount of leadership opportunities? To be specific, I was thinking in lines of mission planning. Are you limited to your leadership opportunities by choosing one platform over another?
 

Fly Navy

...Great Job!
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That's a pretty good question for Airwarriors. I'd like to see the Fleet guy's responses.
 

Brett327

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Purdue Jones said:
I was wondering if different platforms offer different ammount of leadership opportunities? To be specific, I was thinking in lines of mission planning. Are you limited to your leadership opportunities by choosing one platform over another?
In the aggregate, I'm gonna say no. Every platform has their various missions and the requisite planning. As far as TACAIR goes, leadership really doesn't apply in the traditional sense to strike planning or anything like that. It's not as though one type-A personality jumps up and exclaims, "Hey everyone, follow me - here's how we're gonna attack these guys." Strike planning is a huge team effort with many different "experts" coming together to formulate a complex plan which is also constrained by a variety of factors like guidance from higher authority, SOP, ROE, tactics etc. The leadership in TACAIR is on a more micro level where you, as a mission commander will handle your crew, section, division, whatever in the professional execution of the big plan.

Brett
 

wink

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Bretts answer wrt to strike/mission planning is dead on. I do think there are better opportunities in some communities for increased leadership responsiblities. Generally, if the squadron deploys in dets you can find better leadership oporpunities. Squadrons like HSL, VP, VQ come to mind. A JO can be put in charge (OIC) of a small det and sent overseas to fend for himself. I have seen LTs take such dets, though it may more likely be a LCDR. Either way, I was never given two S-3s to take on deployment with full up maintenance and weapons for 6 months when I was a LT or LCDR. Yet one of the VQ dets in my airwing was led by a LT and later, on a different ship our VQ det was led by a LCDR. A buddy took a det of SH-2s to sea as a LT.
 

Gatordev

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For HSL, it really depends on how bloated a squadron is with O-4s. My second OIC had done an OIC cruise as a LT during his first sea tour. Like Wink is saying, that's pretty amazing. At my last squadron, we had WAY too many O-4s, so that opportunity didn't really come up, which, to be honest, was fine w/ me. I don't really "do" shoe meetings. I was happy hanging out in the 120 degree maintence shop. That was far less annoying. :)

The -53D guys on the Marine side do this a lot as well, for what it's worth.
 

USN99

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Some perspective on this

wink said:
Bretts answer wrt to strike/mission planning is dead on. I do think there are better opportunities in some communities for increased leadership responsiblities. Generally, if the squadron deploys in dets you can find better leadership oporpunities. Squadrons like HSL, VP, VQ come to mind.
Brett's response is indeed dead on. It encapsulates the tacair perspective very accurately. And Wink's remarks about communities that detach are also very accurate.

But here's a question I would pose to all the great minds in this arena: when it comes time for promotion boards or command screen boards, do the board members recognize the leadership opportunities of det-type communities? My take on it is that the reps from those communities will but that won't be a sufficient voting block to get anyone above the select line.

For promotion boards, the SWOs on the promotion boards might recognize HSL det leadership but they could just as easily have been annoyed by all aviators in general and HSL guys in particular such that they might forget the leadership opportunities. SWOs will probably have a general opinion that there are no leaders in naval aviation.

For command screen boards, the big voting blocks are tacair guys. They won't pay attention to this det leadership aspect. They will look over what each community rep briefs as "their guys" and if they don't stink too bad, they vote for them on that basis. All the communities implicitly accept the picks of the other communities unless a slug is presented and then they'll push back. Most of the time there is no push back.

However, inside each community, selection for det OIC could be considered a mark of distinction. Within each community it probably carries some weight, some. But it won't move anyone out of the "has a chance" category in to the "competitive" or even the "golden" category when it comes time for the community to pick it's favorites for command screen.

My advice is that if you're in a det-ting community, walk and talk like you want to be a det OIC. Outside of community, it carries little weight. :(
 

wink

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But here's a question I would pose to all the great minds in this arena: when it comes time for promotion boards or command screen boards, do the board members recognize the leadership opportunities of det-type communities? My take on it is that the reps from those communities will but that won't be a sufficient voting block to get anyone above the select line.

(
Outstanding thought. One a senior command type would think of. I was encouraged to sit on promotion boards over the years. Makes me wish I had. I am assuming you have. So if a guy was a Det OIC, mini squadron CO, demonstrating more then basic command leadership, he gets no real bennie points in the tank? Take an O-4 Dep Head from a TACAIR unit that may very well have never been allowed to send correspondance out of the building w/o CO's chop, or never went to planning conferences w/o the CO or XO in trail because that was simply the command climate/style. Yet he got great fireps. All the baby sitting by the command is unknown to the board. But a Det OIC will have no baby sitter and that is plainly understood by the board. Those two will be treated equally? I certainly understand the politics and human nature at work in the tank. And I wouldn't expect a guy to be penalized because his community has no real opportunity for Det OIC jobs. But in my view, a successful Det OIC should get an edge on a Dept Head that isn't in charge of the operational employment of assets. Thanks for the insight.
 

USN99

USN99
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Board? Which Board?

In reply to Wink, I would want to establish the differences between the statutory boards (promotion boards) and admin boards (command screen).

In the statutory boards, the SWOs (who are among the voting members) will probably recognize the value of the Det OinC experienced officer. It might be a tie breaker among the larger body of voters. But remember that the selection rates of the statutory boards are relatively large. Det OinC experience just won't overpower other factors like solid fitreps and hard jobs - not that a Det OinC isn't a hard job. But there will be many helo guys with Det OinC experience plus a sprinkling from some other air communities. Det OinC experience is a good thing to have among the officers from communities who Det, mainly helo.

In the admin boards, community preferences will prevail as the selection rates in each community are pretty low. Among the helo guys, Det OinC is probably critical, the sine qua non for selection. But with selections few among a lot of records to screen, there are bound to be several with Det OinC experience. The other air community voters (only airdales voting here) will likely be persuaded by the helo rep primarily. It would seem highly unlikely that the HSL bubbas would nom one of their young for command that did not have Det OinC in his record.
 

Gatordev

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I've sat through some briefs on this before I left my last squadron, and what we were being told was what you guys are saying. The biggest take away was that the Air Wing/Tacair guys just don't understand what helo guys do, leadership-wise. So the recent push has been to make the Dept Head/OIC FITREPS more familiar to the TacAir guys. Things like requiring everyone to get either a MO or Ops bullet. One huge thing that HSL has to overcome is getting others to understand what we do, probably more so than HSCSSC, or whatever they're called now. Hopefully when the Romeo comes online, and HSL/M/NOP joins the airwing, that will help, and they'll see the capabilities of LAMPS, both operationally and leadership-wise.

It's funny, because this is a huge reason why I value my helo community experience more than what I perceive of TacAir. From my one-sided point of view, it just seems that helo guys work harder (again, leadership-wise, not saying operationally) as JOs and Dept Heads. That might not be a good thing sometimes, but you sure learn a lot as a leader, so the net result is good. At least IMO. Again, I'm only seeing one side of it.
 

chiplee

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To be specific, I was thinking in lines of mission planning.
I didn't really think he was getting at the "ground job" aspect of the naval aviation. It's going to be hard to get anything more than opinions on this question either way, because so few people have "multi-community" experience. In my limited experience, Marine Corps tac-air provides unlimited oppurtunity for briefing and debriefing or "mission planning" experience and leadership. I took the question to mean flight leadership, rather than leading enlisted sailors and Marines. certainly the chopper bubbas will concede that a single seat hornet division lead, responsible for briefing leading and debriefing a 4vX self escort strike will have more oppurtunity to "lead" in the air. Or maybe they won't but I know that "tactics" for us with the various weapons schools, are taken to quite an advanced level. I won't even touch on 25 plane strikes for strike leads and mission commanders. Sure mission planning is a team effort, but "leading" the hop certainly isn't. Do we all know our roll and execute in the air sure, but there is still an overall lead.
 

Gatordev

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I hear you. I think we were just trying to expand the discussion a bit.

As for helo flight leadership, you make good points, but I would bet that the Marine side could argue they have similar demands. Regardless, everyone deserves a cold one at the end of the day.
 

phrogdriver

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certainly the chopper bubbas will concede that a single seat hornet division lead, responsible for briefing leading and debriefing a 4vX self escort strike will have more oppurtunity to "lead" in the air. Or maybe they won't but I know that "tactics" for us with the various weapons schools, are taken to quite an advanced level.
I, for one, won't concede that at all, at least speaking for Marine r/w. I've led a lot more than 4 aircraft--whoop-pi-dee-do. A helo mission has an appropriate-level flight lead. We do perform multi-aircraft missions, too, with probably a greater-degree of combined-arms and ground-air considerations. I'm not saying it's more-or-less demanding in terms of leadership, just different, and not deserving to get discounted so casually. Also, helo bubbas have to lead an aircrew every time we strap in.
 

chiplee

Registered Boozer
pilot
I, for one, won't concede that at all
:D I guess I wouldn't have it any other way.

Ok, I'll give up early on this one before it gets ugly. As I was saying, "It's going to be hard to get anything more than opinions on this question either way, because so few people have "multi-community" experience." I haven't the foggiest idea what you guys do on your missions. I probably over stepped my bounds a bit there by even indirectly suggesting our missions required more leadership. I certainly don't envy you guys down there routin' around in the weeds. On occassion though I have wished I could slow down to about 80knots to catch up with the airplane. Sometimes 1000+knots of closure can catch up to you. I will admit I regret having zero helo experience. I'll gladly concede that each community presents its own unique leadership challenges, and deserves a beer at the end of the day.
 

zlerner

USMC SNFO
(Semi-old thread, sorry)

Do F-18 WSOs ever act as mission commanders? I'm wondering about the Marine F-18D WSOs in particular...
 
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