When to praise, reprimand
Some recent letters concerned the "correction" of young troops. Two of these letters, one by a chief warrant officer ("Correction part of military," April 3) and the other by a sergeant first class ("Better to make the correction," April 7), defended the act of a noncommissioned officer verbally disciplining a young troop in public. They both made a point of stating that since the original letter writer ("Correct, don’t ‘punk troops,’ ," April 1) was a civilian, the act of correcting an enlisted person was not that first letter writer’s concern.
While I agree that civilians have no standing in these types of military matters, I would remind them that many civilians serving with the armed forces are former military and can most assuredly recognize inappropriate behavior — even when perpetrated by senior enlisted and officers. I wonder if the two writers have heard the axiom, "Praise in public; reprimand in private"?
If a junior enlisted violates an order or regulation, why not pull that individual aside and make the correction in private? What purpose is served to take corrective action in public, other than to embarrass the junior enlisted in front of his friends and to pump up the ego of the senior person? I’m not saying that discipline is inappropriate, but how it is carried out sometimes reflects more negatively on the person doing the correcting.
If senior NCOs and warrants believe they have to bully a young troop to make a correction, perhaps they need remedial training in leadership.
Master Sgt. W.R. Cornelison (retired)Schertz, Texas