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Part 1: Military Culture 101

Part 1:  Military Culture 101


Welcome and thank you for being here, and caring about our veterans, and our military members and families. You doing this is really exciting to me and seeing how many of you are interested in what we are doing. I’m going to give you a real blanket approach to culture. I was driving along in the car one day there was a debate on the radio and the premise of the debate was – can women make good managers? And as soon as I heard that I was angry, because ….. yes and no. And do men make good managers? Yes and no. Because it’s really up to the individual. So we can talk about, in general, what are female characteristics, in general, what are male characteristics, but they are not going to apply to each individual. Because we all are individuals. It’s the same with military culture. We have certain things that connect us and certain things that make us similar to each other. But we are also individuals.
We also have different characteristics and different things
that we do. I will give you a real basic idea of it. We have subcultures within the
military and we tease each other and make fun of each other in the various
services so understand that this is just a generalized thing. The other thing I’m
going to talk to you about before we get going and this still applies but not
as much as it used to … our Vietnam era veterans and prior many of them joined because they were drafted. They did not join willingly. They served their
country and they did the honorable thing but they were not cut
out of the same fabric. Now some of those adopted our characteristics others did not. So when you’re talking to somebody
who’s 65 or older and I know that’s not necessarily the pool that you’re most
normally looking at, but when you are dealing with folks that are 65 and older
you’re going to find that maybe they don’t fit in this mold or
if you know somebody who is that so I just give that caveat. But also understand that after 1973
everybody who puts on the uniform of this country has done so voluntarily. We’re not doing so against our will. We’re doing it because we actually like
it, at least going in. (laughs) Once there sometimes that changes.
Slide please I do have to … and that’s not forwarding
is it? Alright, well the next slide that you would have seen, if it was working, is
a disclaimer and what I have to tell you and this is what our military
lawyers tell me. I have to tell you that the views expressed here are not
those of the United States government. They are not the views of the
United States Army or of the Maine Army National Guard and therefore it’ll
be much more interesting. (audience laughs) What we’re going to talk about today is broken down into …normally what I do is give an overview and
then I’ll talk a little bit about resources then I will talk a little bit
about statistics. We alter that a little bit for you folks as employers because we’re going to show you all the many
reasons why it is a good idea to hire a military person or former
military person. Just quickly how many of you have served in the military? So you know Auta stole my joke
about slowing it down for certain services but I want to … Oh! for those of
you in the military, just so you know if you’re in the Army, the latrine is
down the hall and after the stairs and to the left If you’re in the Navy, the
Marine Corps, or the Coast Guard, the head is down the hall and down the stairs and to
the left and if you’re in the Air Force, I’m sorry we couldn’t afford a hotel
room (audience laughs) Had to get you back at some point during the day. Now we’re way ahead. Go to
the next one because I just told them what the agenda was. Okay, this is coming up
kind of small up here so and actually I don’t think we’ve gone to the full
slideshow. These are the branches
that we’re going to talk about today for the most part Army is the land forces.
The Navy is the ocean-going forces and the Air Force obviously operates
predominantly in the air. The Marine Corps actually do all three. They have their own pilots,
they have their own seagoing guys and they have their own infantry type guys.
The Army, the Navy and the Air Force have elite forces. You might
have heard of the Seals, the Delta Force or Air Force rescue but, frankly, the
Marine Corps is an elite force. It really is a higher level. It’s tougher to
get through. They’re really good and
don’t tell any of them that I said that. Technically the Marine Corps are part of
the Navy and they don’t like to admit that but it’s still true. They get their
chaplains and some of their lawyers from from the Navy and so they still fall
under the Secretariat of the Navy. The Coast Guard is actually not part of the
Department of Defense. Does anyone know who they are part of? (Audience) “Pre or post 911?”… Well, now… (Audience) “Department of Homeland Security” Homeland Security. Do you know what they were part of before that? “Yes Department
transportation” Department of Transportation. Do you know why? (inaudible) Exactly! Are you in the Coast Guard? (Audience) “Yes” (Audience laughs) I can’t read I’m in the army (laughter) Yes exactly right believe it or not
there was a time before now where there was no federal income taxes and the way
that we raised money was through tariffs of import goods and the Coast Guard was
created to make sure that the bad guys didn’t smuggle the stuff in. That being
said in times of war or conflict very often the Coast Guard is used by the
Department of Defense and I’ll give you a prime example. In Vietnam the Coast
Guard actually brought those elite forces that I just talked about they
brought them up those rivers and dropped them off at different places and had firefights so their culture is very similar to us, their benefits are very
similar and as you’ll see … I don’t actually put up the Coast Guard ranks,
they’re the same ranks and the same grades as as the Navy. We include them
in this discussion too because they’re our brothers and sisters as well even if
they happen to be from a different Secretariat, so next slide please. Active National Guard reserves. Active
for our purposes we’re just going to say that those are the folks who do it every
single day. They operate on a base or a post It’s the same thing. In the Army we call it
a post, the Navy and Air call it a base, Coast Guard calls it a base.
That’s just so we can confuse each other. But pretty much everything
that they do revolves around that base or post. Everything that the family does
revolves around that base or post. That’s where they do their clothes shopping. That’s where they do their grocery
shopping. That’s where they get their physical health. That’s where they get
their behavioral health. That’s where they worship, if they choose to do so. Everything is based on that. They are federal forces title 10 US Code. The reserve components and this
gets a little confusing … the reserve components is the generic term for those of us who serve part-time but then you also see reserves down here so that
makes it kind of confusing. The reserves are part of the Reserve Components and
the National Guard is part of the reserve components but we are separate
animals. The thing that we have in common is that
we generally drill or operate militarily 39 days a year, one
weekend a month, 15 days a year. We have basically the same schedule, and there are exceptions, but that’s not important to you. The point is that we’re part-time
and full-time we work in your world. That’s what we have in common. What we
don’t have in common is that the reserves are actually title 10 US Code
just like the active forces are. They are federal. Their commander-in-chief is the President United States. In the National Guard, my commander-in-chief is the governor of the state of Maine. So I am title 32 US Code, it is a separate part of the US Code and we are state oriented. Some of you may have seen our
adjutant-general speak this morning. He is in command of the guard forces in
Maine as operated, as appointed by the governor of the state of Maine. He has
the rank and the authority to tell the guard what to do. We also have a Marine Corps Reserve unit in
Maine. We have a couple of Navy Reserve units in Maine we have a Coast Guard
active, Coast Guard reserve. We actually have some active duty Navy guys down at
Bath Iron Works right now. All of those guys, although they have to salute him
and say “sir” he has no authority over them. Their authorities are actually
outside of the state so when they look for services and
administrative support and all that stuff they’re not getting it from within the
state and so that becomes much more complex. But I will tell you this, our previous governor and our current
governor, our previous adjutants general and our current adjutant general has
given us the instruction that even though the National Guard pays us and
even though that’s who we technically work for. We’re supposed to
support everybody and that’s why we call it Fort Maine. Instead of calling it Fort Jackson or fort whatever, we are Fort Maine And we provide all those services and
you provide all those services up to and including employing our military members
during the month. Ok so that’s the basic differences. Next slide please. This is a this is very
important you may not realize why. My gut feeling is those of you who are not in
the military or never have been in the military, your tendency
is probably to say that anybody who’s wearing the uniform or did wear the
uniform is a veteran and we use that as as a common term – veteran – and it
just refers to all military forces. This is not accurate in terms of benefits.
There are different organizations that have different echelons of what a
person who has served in the military is eligible for. And if you noticed, I asked the
question “how many of you have served in the military” I didn’t ask how many of
veterans a lot of our folks out there don’t self-identify as veterans. Maybe
they were in for 6 years maybe they were in for 12 years, maybe they did 20 years in
the National Guard but did not ever serve overseas and when they
went to the Veterans Administration and said, “Hey, I’m retired. I want to take
part in this.” They said, “Well, you don’t qualify.” “I don’t qualify for that.” So then we
have a job fair for veterans some of those folks say, “I I can’t go to
VA so I probably am not eligible for that.” So its internal to us that we think that
sometimes we can’t do it and it’s also internal to you sometimes. So remember
when you use the term veteran, … for some people, it is a term that
cuts off a lot of possibilities. So what we ask is when a person is signing up or you have a job application – “have you ever served in the military?” –
completely different question. Because my gut feeling is that the folks that are here right now and …. what you want to do – you want to help everybody
who ever served in uniform as long as they had an honorable discharge and
didn’t have any problems. Oh by the, way seventy percent, right now, today even
though we’ve had these two big wars that have been going on seventy percent of the main Army
National Guard has not deployed to a combat zone so technically they are not veterans yet they are still serving and they could be
working for you. So the question is – “have you ever served
in military forces?”- that’s a much better question to ask on your applications. I
mentioned VA and I’m not going to go too in depth because we also use
this briefing for folks that actually deal with the other side the house, the folks that need support, so we just put these things out. VA and we talked about healthcare and
Tricare. National Guardsmen and reservists used to not be eligible forTricare. Tricare’s the military insurance that does indeed cover their families as
well as the service member. We have to purchase it. On active duty, they get it for free and for their whole family it’s free. And you’re gonna see why that’s
important to you, in just a minute. Next slide please. I’m gonna go very
quickly through the ranks. Honestly a lot of people think that this is their favorite part and it’s my least favorite but that’s okay. We break it down really to
three categories but I’ve got four up there but we have the enlisted ranks which are
listed and non-commissioned officers. We have the warrant officers and then we
have commissioned officers. We call them different things in the different services and so very often when you’re talking to a military member they will
refer to themselves by their pay grade, as opposed to what they’re actual rank
is. They might say, “Oh yeah, I am an E 5 or I am an E 8 or I’m an 01,” or something
like that because we are aware that it doesn’t always translate. Sometimes we
connect ourselves with our pay grade rather than what our actual rank is
called. We will go through these individually. E 1 to E 4 and here’s a perfect example. An E 2 in the Army, we say that’s a private E 2. In the Navy they say it’s a seaman apprentice and in the Coast Guard as well. In the airmen … in the Air Force, they would call it an Airman and in the Marine Corps it’s a private first class. So you see we call
it different things but they’ll get paid the same thing. Now I think in their bonuses, if you work on a nuclear reactor they give you a bonus or something like that, so you don’t glow at night. So these folks right here these are basically entry-level . When I say that, and we’re going to talk a little bit about the intelligence and the experience of the military member, when I say that these people are already
way ahead of the average person, of their contemporaries. These folks are generally, generally 18 to 24, might be married, might have a child or two. By the time they get to E 4 they know their job. They probably already been working at their job for quite some time, so if you do have one of these people applying you’ve got somebody who’s already trained. Somebody
who already knows what they’re doing. Someone who’s already been at a higher
level than their contemporaries. I usually mention this later but I will mentioned it
right now when you are 17 or 18 , when you’re 17 or 18 and you join the
military and just think in your mind of a person graduating high school … 17 or 18
you’re going to walk in there and within about three weeks that drill sergeant who
has been yelling at you is going to pick you out and is going to say, “You. You’re
in charge of him and her. You’ve got to make sure that they get
here on time, that they are fed properly that they have the right uniform, and
that they’re ready for the training day, got it?” About a week later she will be
fired and then I will hire him and he will do the same thing because we teach
leadership from the day they walk through the door. The next week I’m gonna
pick you and I’m going to say, “Here’s a manual of the arms of the United States Army. I want you to read pages 574 to 578 and you’re going to give a briefing on that tomorrow morning, got it?” That’s what you’re getting when
you get a person who’s just an E 4. They’ve already gone through that.
They’ve already been trained in that. They already know how to lead other
people and how to support other people and care about other people and ensure
that those people are doing what they’re supposed to be doing. They’ve already learned it and they are
only 19 or 20 years old. It’s good stuff Go to the next slide. …. This is something special that we wanted to do for you folks. This has been asked,
this is what they make and for those of you in the back our E 1, that’s entry-level … this is
where you start at if you don’t have any college, they’re
making about 18 grand, closer to 19 grand a year. Once they get to E 4 and
have a little bit of tenure they’re making close to thirty thousand dollars a year,
30,000 dollars a year. One of the issues that we
have is when they come off of active duty. Let’s say they only stayed in for
six years and they decided this wasn’t for them and they come out they are an E 4
and they’re making thirty thousand dollars already and that’s bumping up against
what a lot of us pay. Let me add something. They also get a housing
allowance, which is tax-free. They also get a sustenance allowance, which is tax-free and as I mentioned before they get insurance, not only for themselves
but for their whole family. So that package of 30,000 is really worth at
least 45 thousand and they also are getting points in the guard. They
are getting years of served towards retirement if they do indeed stay in. So
that’s what you’re up against. And that’s why one of the reasons why we
have some trouble getting some military members to apply for these jobs that are
paying twelve, thirteen dollars an hour, and oh by the way you have to buy your
own insurance, and oh by the way and oh by the way. So the approach that we suggest you do is, yeah you tell them what it is, but you show them what their
pathway can be to moving up in your in your company. It’s very important and by the way
we have a tendency, and I’m not into the culture piece yet, but we have a tendency
to be very linear thinkers. If you start giving us a menu of about five different
things, about where you can go you’re just going to get a blank face
but if you say hey get this done and here’s what’s gonna happen in six months,
get that done and here’s what’s going to happen in a year from now that’s a great
way to hire somebody who believe me you’re going to want
to have. All right next slide. These are our noncommissioned officers.
E 5 a sergeant in the Army, petty officer 2nd class in the Navy, staff
sergeant in the Air, sergeant like us in the Marines … that’s the last rank that you can achieve basically by just keeping your nose clean and doing your job. After that when you get to an E 6 and E 7 you’re talking about a person who has competed against others, has
increased levels of responsibility. By the time you get to E 7 and you have to
remember that the Army and the Marine Corps are more people focused and the Air Force and the Navy have a lot of technology
that we don’t necessarily have and so it’s not that you know that there’s any
difference there, other than you have to think about the level of competence of
this person and when they get to E 7 you’re talking about a highly
competent person who’s been responsible for about 60 people or the commensurate
amount of people and technology. Alright so if a person
comes through the door and is applying for your job and saying that there they were
an E 7 military … and if they say they were an E 7 in the
Marine Corps that’s called a gunnery sergeant, you might have heard
Gunny if you’ve watched enough war movies, the Marine Corps has their own
nickname for the gunnery sergeant you know what it is God, because when you get to that
level the Marine Corps is much smaller than
the other services and so obviously the competition gets more and so it gets the
pyramid gets real thin real quick so if you’re talking to an E 7
from the Marine Corps you’re… actually if you’re talking to any E 7
you’re talking to a very highly qualified person but the Marine Corps
especially. Next slide please. Here’s what they make. The E 5
starts at about 26 and a half thousand. You get to the end of the line as an
E 7 this persons make about 61,000 dollars a year and oh by the way they’re
still getting the housing allowance and they’re still getting the sustanence
allowance and they’re still getting their whole family healthcare paid for.
So think about that when you’re talking to that person if you can’t offer them
this much you have to offer them something else. Meaningful employment, a
meaningful job. Alot of times what happens we go over and we’re given
literally hundreds of millions of dollars worth of equipment to be
accountable for and then we come over here and sometimes you get into a
job where you have to ask permission to go to the bathroom. It’s pretty tough, to go from one to the
other. I was trusted with this then; I’m not
even trusted with this now. So it’s very important to remember the mindset of the person that your talking to particularly when they get into the senior ranks. You go to the next slide. These are First Sergeants and
Sergeants Major and that is how you say it, it is Sergeants Major they are
Sergeants who are Majors not Majors who are Sergeants so that is the correct term.
Sergeants Major are the highest level of and First Sergeants are the highest at
their particular level of the military. These people are of the highest quality
and they are very responsible for anywhere from, in the case of Sub
Sergeants Major they’re responsible for literally Sergeant Major of the division
is responsible for about 15,000 people. They are making sure that all of the other
Sergeants Major in the chain are taking care of their people. When you’re talking
about a First Sergeant you’re talking about somebody who’s responsible for at
least a hundred and fifty people and their families and everything else that
goes on in their lives so when that person is sitting in front of you they
say there are E 8 or E 9, lot of them have a associate’s degrees, some
some have bachelor’s degrees. The Sergeant-Major academy that they have to go to which is a military school it has been said that that is the
roughly the equivalent of an associate’s degree on its own. The only difference is that when you’re
getting an associate’s degree in the civilian world you don’t have to get up
at four o’clock in the morning and run seven miles. Next slide please. These folks make up to 92


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