I decided to do a blog post about Army Officer lateness to formations because I found that a lot of people were finding my website each month via that search term. Obviously, this is an important topic to a lot of people, so I would like to take a moment and address it.
I would not say this is a MAJOR problem in the Army, but it is a problem. Even in my 15 years of Army experience this is a problem I saw several times. The major problem I experienced was officers late for their own formations. In many cases, the unit commander would schedule a formation for a set time, and then get there five, ten, even twenty minutes late.
All the while, the Soldiers, NCOs and other officers were sitting around waiting for the formation to start. As I see it, this is a huge WASTE of time, money and Army resources. And it makes you look bad as a leader.
If you are fortunate enough to be in a leadership position, and have Soldiers serving under you, you owe it to them to be prompt with your unit formations. That means you should always start and end on time.
If you have a formation set for a certain time you have the responsibility to start it on time. If anything, you should get there a few minutes early, in case of the unexpected. If you know you are going to be late (because of another commitment) you have two options. They are (1) cancel the formation or (2) let someone else lead the formation.
Once again, making your Soldiers wait for YOU to get to your own formation is very UNPROFESSIONAL. I cannot stress that enough. If you are guilty of doing this yourself, stop it! Your Soldiers deserve better. Don’t make your Soldiers and NCOs pay because you are not good at managing your time!
Even if this messages gets through to just one person I think it is worth it. What do you think?