College grad E4's [Archive] - Glock Talk

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the iceman
12-23-2007, 22:32
Has anyone ever dealt with E-4's who got their rank by having a degree? I remember have 3 of them my 6 years and none of them were anything special. I couldn't stand them to be honest.

Anyone else deal with them?

FDC
12-23-2007, 23:33
They are either a boon or a bust for me. Treat them for what they are--new Soldiers working for you. If they have a maturity matching their degree or age, start working them into leadership positions. If they excel, take advantage of it.

Biscuitsjam
12-24-2007, 04:48
Only met one guy that joined the army as an E4.

He was in BASIC with me, and he somehow managed to FAIL rifle qualification, pistol qualification, and grenade (?!?!) qualification. They kept sending him back to the range with other companies though, and he eventually managed to get qualified with a pistol and graduate.

GermanyBound
12-24-2007, 05:50
I've been around two college E4s, one was a decent guy. Wasn't a super soldier, but wasn't a complete moron either. His most redeeming quality was that he knew he had the specialist rank, but private knowledge and was willing to learn.

The other college guy, well..... He went to jag after getting "remedial training" and accused the PSG, a SL, another TL and myself of sneaking into his room at night and putting paper cuts between his toes. Thought that he was more than a private in "our" world, and that he didn't have to listen to TLs and SLs because we didn't have degrees and therefore he was smarter than us.

Long story short, we put a long paper trail on him, and eventually got him some jail time and a dishonorable discharge.

Edit to add: The paper cuts thing isn't the reason we started the paper trail. This kid was just one problem after another after another after another.

ezterra
12-24-2007, 18:20
I'm one :tongueout:.

Sam White
12-24-2007, 22:23
I was one too.

steelvipersedg
12-25-2007, 02:49
I would have been one but got screwed by the recruiters. Oh well the other three I have encountered were all **** heads.

Currahee
12-25-2007, 06:40
Another one here. College E4s are just like any other group of soldiers, they are not all created equal. You either have common sense or you don't.

To be a good infantryman you need to have common sense.

Bren
12-25-2007, 08:50
Has anyone ever dealt with E-4's who got their rank by having a degree? I remember have 3 of them my 6 years and none of them were anything special. I couldn't stand them to be honest.

Anyone else deal with them?

When I was in regular Army (artillery), long ago, I only knew one E4 that got it by college and he was very squared away, but he was also a little older than the average straight from college guy. Back then, I made E4 starting at E1 (in those days, you didn't exepect to go above E4 in a 3 or 4 year enlistment, at least not in artillery, and I only ever saw one person who did).

Having been out 20+ years before reenlisting, I only got to come back in as an E-4 because of college, which is lucky because the minimum rank to enlist for my job/unit is E-4. With that in mind, I have nothing against them.

fourdeuce2
12-25-2007, 13:20
I'd say they're no different from any other group of soldiers.
I spent 2 years working at Infantry Officer's Basic Course, and was fortunate enough to get one class of lieutenants straight from West Point.:upeyes: Some were squared away and knew it, and others just thought they were squared away. I also worked with lieutenants who came from plenty of other colleges, some active duty, some reserves and National Guard, and it often wasn't easy to tell which were which. In the 2 years I was there, the one student who was probably the worst of the batch was a graduate of VMI. Not saying that VMI is bad, but even they can have some duds sneak through. This one went on sick call every morning that we were scheduled to go to the field, and usually went on sick call most days while we were out there, too.
When that class was finished, his fellow lieutenants voted him Most Likely to Get Fragged by his Own Men in Peacetime.:rofl:

the iceman
12-26-2007, 12:47
I am sure there were some good ones out there. We never got any of them though.

I too would have thought college would give you maturity and common sense but now I realize either you have it or you don't. I am not out of the military and a few months from graduating college and I have learned that college doesn't give you that.

The three I had, one guy wasn't so bad. He made it clear he didn't care about anything. He just wanted his loans paid off. Very unmotivated to say the least. He learned that the infantry was hard work so he wanted to change his MOS. He couldn’t understand that changing your MOS wasn’t like changing your major.

The second guy was in ROTC and was kicked out his senior year for throwing a keg party at his place and some underage (high schoolers) showed up and got drunk. He made it clear he wasn't happy to be enlisted and wanted to get back to "the right side" of the army. The first few months he was in he was trying to put in all these packets for green to gold, OCS, whatever he could muster up. He would also only try to hang out and be buddy-buddy with the officers instead of anyone in his platoon. He was above all enlisted because he had a degree. "Specialist toogoodforyou" finally figured out he wasn't going to become an officer anytime soon so he wanted to be an NCO right away! The dude had about 6 or 7 months in the army! The kid had issues.

The third guy could not stop smoking pot! Bright guy, knew his stuff but he was always be stoned.

So my experiences weren't all that good. I am glad to hear there are some good ones out there.

Currahee
12-26-2007, 13:01
I too would have thought college would give you maturity and common sense but now I realize either you have it or you don't. I am not out of the military and a few months from graduating college and I have learned that college doesn't give you that.




As a college grad I can assure you that that is not the case! :rofl: In fact, sometimes I feel that the opposite applies - the smarter and more educated the person, the less common sense.

You can't teach common sense. :)

Openroadracer
01-18-2008, 23:19
Got to my first unit as an E-2. There was a college grad E-4 already there. I wound up E-5 in several years later with him working for me! How he managed to get into to college much less graduate is beyond me. I think the guys with degrees went in at E-3 and recieved E-4 automatically at six months.

Dean
01-19-2008, 09:29
It's a good idea to recognize guys with 2 or 4 years of college with extra pay. The E-3 and E-4 programs are a good deal. So is high school ROTC.

No way can a college E-4 cross an Army Sergeant "by virtue of his degree." He'd get laughed off.

Everybody should be E-4 after a year or two anyhow. Promote the good performing boys up so they can get the E-4 money! They still do promotions to Specialist company grade don't they? An option would be to give education pay but not the SP4 stripe.

They're Specialists, right? Corporal is a different story, isn't it? Or, are they walking right into boot camp as Corporals in the Army, now? Please advise.

GermanyBound
01-19-2008, 13:55
In my unit, CPL is a lateral promotion given to E4s in leadership slots (team leaders, gunners, etc) while they are waiting to either go to the board in a month or two, or are waiting to make points for E5.

deadday
01-19-2008, 16:54
Those of you that finished you degrees and then enlisted, why did you choose to enlist instead of getting a commission?



drew

Currahee
01-19-2008, 20:18
I enlisted because:

a) I wasn't sure if I wanted to make a career out of the military, so a 3 year hitch was better than a 5 year one

b) If I did decide to stay in and become an officer, having enlisted experience first would make me a better officer. Both my father and grandfather were mustangs.

In the end, being an NCO was a better experience for me. I am glad that I went the enlisted route. Made me a better person.

ezterra
01-20-2008, 18:41
I felt my qualities would best be utilized as an elistedman. I don't care for doing management type work. I'm much happier getting my hands dirty.

xxiv
01-31-2008, 17:19
Personally I never agreed with it. I am all for rewarding those with college who went enlisted, but giving them the rank of somebody with 2 or more years in and had been around the block a little never seemed right.

God help any college E4 that tried to throw rank around on privates with more time in unit. Let a team leader catch one trying to F with one of his guys and it was over.

Sam White
01-31-2008, 18:15
At AIT one of the cadre pulled me aside during a class break and asked me why I had enlisted instead of going officer. The answer I gave him was the similar to Currahee's. One of the other students overhead and said "but an officer gets more respect" to me. Our instructor said "respect is something you have to earn, Private, no matter what rank you have."

After I'd learned more about the military I decided I'd made the right decision for myself.

FWIW, I've never seen a college E4 that tried to throw their rank around. The ones I've seen may not have been prime NCO material but they had enough sense not to try and pull rank with anyone.

wht90lx
02-06-2008, 12:44
I would say its a case by case basis. I was an automatic E3 (75 college hours) and I was nothing special. Pat Tillman was an automatic E4 and my buddy went to basic with him and he was something special.

wht90lx
02-06-2008, 12:45
At AIT one of the cadre pulled me aside during a class break and asked me why I had enlisted instead of going officer. The answer I gave him was the similar to Currahee's. One of the other students overhead and said "but an officer gets more respect" to me. Our instructor said "respect is something you have to earn, Private, no matter what rank you have."

After I'd learned more about the military I decided I'd made the right decision for myself.

FWIW, I've never seen a college E4 that tried to throw their rank around. The ones I've seen may not have been prime NCO material but they had enough sense not to try and pull rank with anyone.

Specialists really cant throw much rank anyways imho.

wht90lx
02-06-2008, 12:47
God help any college E4 that tried to throw rank around on privates with more time in unit. Let a team leader catch one trying to F with one of his guys and it was over.[/QUOTE]

+1
I agree 100%. Generally college E4's acheive the rank of sargeant in about the same time as everyone else.

glockguy1947
02-10-2008, 00:08
I'm a friend who allowed me to use his log-in. Generally, a college grad, who does not participate in ROTC, is inducted as an E-4. This is referred to in the Army as "life experience." You have to earn your stripes to be admitted into the NCO corps. We are E-4 heavy, the so-called E-4 mafia.

As for me, I am an O-4, and participated in ROTC. Those wanting to persue a military career might want to consider ROTC while attending college.

Training Junkie
02-14-2008, 10:56
I'm a college grad E4 and agree with Currahee and ezterra. I was asked quite a few times why I didn't drop an OCS packet. Before even considering becoming an officer, I wanted the experience of being enlisted. Also, as enlisted, I had the opportunity to choose a wider variety of jobs and there is always WO.

I don't think you will see much difference between young non-college grad enlistees and college grad enlistees. The difference comes after the college grad has some work experience. These older enlistees are generally more mature.

As for throwing rank around, most E4's I have seen, even the one's who don't have college, don't throw their rank around unless an NCO assigned them a task to organize/complete.

As for promotions, you have to be in the Army for 16+ months (TIS) to be promoted to E5 and meet other requirements, so even if you enter the Army as an E4 you still have to wait at least 16 months to be promoted.

S&WM&PAR15T&G34
02-14-2008, 11:40
I entered the Army after college. Went the enlisted route. After AIT 95B I was sent to Germany. I applied and was excepted into the CID. I ended up getting out as a CWO-2 . The best rank in the Army.

jetrecbn1
02-17-2008, 18:57
I was a PV4. 1st Platoon A Co 2/19 IN (2001) had 4 PV4's. My first unit 1PLT A 1/509 IN had 4 PV4 (3 SPC and ahem the LT). In my experience it was about the attitude and willingness to learn. No one was a know it all.

93GT
02-17-2008, 20:08
E4 with a college degree...that is odd. I can see where it might cause some problems based on personal experience.

Jammer Six
02-17-2008, 20:50
What's a PV4?

Not that I doubt you, but things must really have changed...

Sam White
02-17-2008, 21:30
He was being facetious. He was saying a college E4 is just another private that has a degree.

I've met some in my travels that resented me for being an instant E4, usually PV2's or PFC's. Most in my USAR unit made E4 pretty quickly-even without any college. Conversely, it was a bit more difficult to make E5 in my unit if you didn't have the right MOS. We had lots of E4's in my unit. The most experienced E4's or ones with most TIG were in charge, the rest of them were PV4's.

meshmdz
02-22-2008, 12:09
im not an E4, but i do have a college degree and am in Army ROTC, getting my masters paid for. i will be a 2LT and have my masters when i commission in may of 2009. im excited to get to my platoon and meet my PSG and work with my soldiers.

Currahee
02-22-2008, 12:19
What kind of masters, and what branch are you? Your soldiers will be lucky to have a 2LT who is a bit older and more mature than your average 21 year old O1.

rsnjr37
02-23-2008, 18:50
The real problem is with the army not really considering a e-4 or spc4 as a junior leadership position and more a pay grade. If the army would put anyone in at an advanced pay grade it should be as a pfc e-3, and drop the spc rank for all combat arms and direct support mos,s. The Army could really then promote their future leaders to corporal and make the rank really mean something other than a lateral promotion. This is just my 2 cents worth after serving 6 years in the 82nd ABN, from 1985 to 1991 and serving in operations just cause and desert shield/desert storm.

xxiv
02-23-2008, 19:20
The real problem is with the army not really considering a e-4 or spc4 as a junior leadership position and more a pay grade. If the army would put anyone in at an advanced pay grade it should be as a pfc e-3, and drop the spc rank for all combat arms and direct support mos,s. The Army could really then promote their future leaders to corporal and make the rank really mean something other than a lateral promotion. This is just my 2 cents worth after serving 6 years in the 82nd ABN, from 1985 to 1991 and serving in operations just cause and desert shield/desert storm.

What unit, and what MOS?

Corporal is reserved for those in leadership positions where I came from (1/504). I made spec4, and was laterally promoted to CPL as I was in control of a fire team. If you're not wearing green leader boards on your A's, you shouldn't be wearing CPL stripes.

Javelin
02-23-2008, 19:26
They are either a boon or a bust for me. Treat them for what they are--new Soldiers working for you. If they have a maturity matching their degree or age, start working them into leadership positions. If they excel, take advantage of it.

I agree. The point I would like to emphasize is that a college education has nothing to do with leadership, only aptitude.

Just remember to train your men like you want them to fight and conduct yourself in a manner in which they can emulate. Your Soldiers deserve the absolute best leadership which you have to provide.

Good luck!

fourdeuce2
02-23-2008, 22:24
The real problem is with the army not really considering a e-4 or spc4 as a junior leadership position and more a pay grade. If the army would put anyone in at an advanced pay grade it should be as a pfc e-3, and drop the spc rank for all combat arms and direct support mos,s. The Army could really then promote their future leaders to corporal and make the rank really mean something other than a lateral promotion. This is just my 2 cents worth after serving 6 years in the 82nd ABN, from 1985 to 1991 and serving in operations just cause and desert shield/desert storm.

You must have been in after they got rid of the Spec5 rank.:whistling:
There are plenty of people who have the time in and deserve to be promoted, but there isn't always a leadership position open for them. I think they used to have Spec6 and Spec7 too, but I don't remember ever seeing any of them. In 1975 when I first joined, I was in the Infantry, where you wouldn't have seen many of the higher specialist ranks.

deadday
02-24-2008, 10:21
You must have been in after they got rid of the Spec5 rank.:whistling:
There are plenty of people who have the time in and deserve to be promoted, but there isn't always a leadership position open for them. I think they used to have Spec6 and Spec7 too, but I don't remember ever seeing any of them. In 1975 when I first joined, I was in the Infantry, where you wouldn't have seen many of the higher specialist ranks.

They Army did indeed have Spc4-Spc7 a few decades back, not sure when they dropped the 6/7 ranks. There have been rumblings for the past few years that they are planning on bringing those ranks back, we'll see what happens. I have also heard that the Army is getting rid of the E5/E6 promotion boards in the near future. They are going to start testing that policy in the WTUs next month, then, I suppose if they like the way it works out, they'll make it Army wide...Not really sure that is a good thing or not...



drfew

Biscuitsjam
02-24-2008, 10:57
They already dropped the Board for E5 promotions in the National Guard. I think there are still circumstances where soldiers go before the Board, but it doesn't happen often.

Instead, we are using a "word picture" (similar to an NCOER), which gets evaluated for points.

Sam White
02-24-2008, 16:58
From what I saw in the USAR Specialists and Sergeants didn't actually go to a board either. Many of the same forms were used, and the battalion had "cutoff scores" (which were usually quite a bit lower than active duty). As long as the soldier passed APFT, had NCOES, was MOSQ, etc. they would most likely be promoted. The real obstacle for some was not having an MOS matching a paygrade one higher than the current one. That happened to me. In our circumstance, we had a small unit and a small battalion. Word got around fast if someone was good or a POS. A unit could often find a way around the MOS/vacancy problem if they wanted to promote a SPC, or keep a SPC from becoming a SGT. Usually the PS's and 1SG's were the deciding factor on who got stripes or not. Obviously we did things differently than Regular Army. I don't know what I think of the Army doing away with boards.

Norcal911
02-27-2008, 00:53
I had the pleasure of serving both in combat service support and combat arms. It's been a few years but I'll share. College E4's were pretty common when I was in MI, some good, some bad, but they gravitated to MI, I guess because they tested well. When I was in the Infantry, there weren't too many college E4's, I guess they gravitated to other MOS's. Regardless, they were all treated as lower enlisted until they earned respect and the Sgt's made sure they were doing the righ thing or they soon wouldn't be an E4's. I think its like all things, they're are some good and some bad, just like all ranks. And as usual, they're is little respect given to those who think they are entitled to something based on their education vs. experinece and common sense.

It's the internet, so I won't get crazy bragging but I was a college E4. I think I did pretty well. Won soldier of the year at the BN, BDE, and group level, runner up at the major command level, promoted to E5 in less than 3 years, went to OCS, made in through Ranger school etc, etc. I've long since ETS'd, but it worked out for me-Norcal911

MR. TWISTER
03-11-2008, 11:21
We had one that I went through boot camp with & to permanant duty station. He was ignorant but I felt sorry for him as he was always called on from unsuspecting NCOs

WayOutWest
03-21-2008, 13:13
I too would have thought college would give you maturity and common sense but now I realize either you have it or you don't. I am not out of the military and a few months from graduating college and I have learned that college doesn't give you that.


It doesn't....at all. Most of my friends are much less mature than they were in high school after a few years in college. I figured out your either mature by college or it just doesn't happen until later ( I am only 20 so I can't comment post-grad).