It's a common theme in our series asking NCOs for their most important lessons learned in uniform: we rely on each other, as SGM John Challis shares here:
The most important lesson I learned is that you don't make it anywhere without the support and hard work of those who work for you. The Soldiers that you lead make you successful due to their hard work and dedication to the mission while on the job, and their discipline and decision making when they are off duty.
While leaders are typically the ones recognized for the results (i.e. training exercise, successful range operations, Change of Command ceremony, combat patrols, etc.), it is the Soldiers who really make the "mission" a success or a failure.The NCO has to have the ability to motivate the Soldier to want to do the right things, but in the end, it’s the Soldiers who make it happen. Soldiers who feel like a part of the team and a part of a professional unit (team, squad, platoon...) police one another and typically make the right decision when faced with a tough decision (do I risk drinking and driving since I have only had 3 beers, or do I make the phone call). This is a testament to the NCOs ability to lead and build the team, but also an example of how those around you are the key to your success.
In the end, don't forget where you came from and never forget those who got you where you are today.
SGM John Challis