As a Company Commander, First Sergeant or Small Unit Leader, you will have problem Soldiers that you have to deal with. Several examples might include:
1) AWOL Soldiers
2) Soldiers Who Fail the APFT Repeatedly
3) Soldiers with Discipline Issues
4) Soldier with Bad Attitudes or Disrespect Issues
5) Suicidal Issues
6) Soldiers who Get Arrested
7) And Much More!
Obviously, some of these issues are much more significant than others. It’s up to you to prioritize the issues and deal with things promptly and reasonably. However, the scope of this post is “what tracking mechanism can you use to track all of these open Soldier issues?”
Speaking from personal experience, I would recommend using a simple Excel Spreadsheet and keeping it in your leader’s book. In my Excel Spreadsheet, I would have the following columns.
- Soldier Name
- Pending Issue
- Pending Status
- Last Follow-Up
- Action Items
- Person Working On Issue
At the beginning (or end) of every drill weekend, I would update this spreadsheet based on the most current information. I would personally consult with the person working on the issue (probably an NCO) to see how things are progressing. I would also talk with individual Soldier and their first line leader.
Furthermore, I would keep a copy of this tracking sheet with me at all times, in case my boss wanted an update on the Soldier. Additionally, whenever an issue changes or status changes during the week, I would have one of my full-time AGR staff members update me via email or by phone call, so I could update the spreadsheet.
Another great thing to do is to make sure your full-time AGR Staff has a copy of the open issues (unless they are one of the issues), along with your Command Team. That way, everyone is on the same sheet of music and knows the most current status.
As leaders, we are in the people business. If you supervise others you will have to deal with a lot of Soldier issues. That’s your job. The best thing you can do is get organized and create a simple Excel Spreadsheet or source document where you can record everything in one place. Keep your spreadsheet updated and keep it with you at all times.
Do you have a better way? Share your thoughts here. If you have any questions, you can ask them here too. Thank you.