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Old 12-23-2007, 22:32   #1
the iceman
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College grad E4's

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?
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Old 12-23-2007, 23:33   #2
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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.
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Old 12-24-2007, 04:48   #3
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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.
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Old 12-24-2007, 05:50   #4
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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.
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Old 12-24-2007, 18:20   #5
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Old 12-24-2007, 22:23   #6
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I was one too.
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Old 12-25-2007, 02:49   #7
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I would have been one but got screwed by the recruiters. Oh well the other three I have encountered were all **** heads.
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Old 12-25-2007, 06:40   #8
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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.
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Old 12-25-2007, 08:50   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theiceman View Post
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.
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Old 12-25-2007, 13:20   #10
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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. 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.
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Old 12-26-2007, 12:47   #11
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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.
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Old 12-26-2007, 13:01   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theiceman View Post
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! 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.
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Old 01-18-2008, 23:19   #13
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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.
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Old 01-19-2008, 09:29   #14
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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.
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Old 01-19-2008, 13:55   #15
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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.
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Old 01-19-2008, 16:54   #16
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Those of you that finished you degrees and then enlisted, why did you choose to enlist instead of getting a commission?



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Old 01-19-2008, 20:18   #17
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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.
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Old 01-20-2008, 18:41   #18
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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.
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Old 01-31-2008, 17:19   #19
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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.
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Old 01-31-2008, 18:15   #20
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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.
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