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PROMOTE THE PROBLEM

On a lighter note....
A story about the positive effects of responsibility. I hope that if he reads this he will see it as a compliment and not a public shaming.
During my national service, while based in Defence HQ in Pretoria, I was made Troop leader for four squads of security Patrolmen for the Blenny building in DHQ. I had a private sent to me who was forever in trouble. I assigned him to a shift and from day one he was nothing but trouble. Private Lamb rarely passed a morning inspection, was late for every shift, came on duty intoxicated or otherwise impaired and was reluctant to obey any order given to him.

I looked after my own and set up as many ways as I could think of to keep him out of trouble but he did his level best to make a mockery of them. I knew from his transfer record that he had some issues and when he went on pass we’d have to send the MPs’ to bring him back.

I went to my Sgt. Mjr and explained the story and I was ordered to “make him temporary troop leader and I’ll give him temporary rank of Lance Corporal. Lets see what a bit of responsibility does”. I thought ‘Oom Pat’ was mad for suggesting this but I trusted his experience. I did as ordered and thought that it was going to be the downfall of the unit. I was wrong.
At first. Lamb thought I was joking when I told him. When I gave him his list of patrolmen he realised I was not joking. When I told him to have his new squad on parade in 40 minutes he went white and extremely silent which was almost scary because it was Lamb.

In 35 minutes he had his new squad on parade for me and they all passed. Even Lamb. I assigned them the first week of 8hr night shifts so I could be sure to be around if the shit hit the fan. For the first 3 days Lamb kept coming to me and asking me what the required protocols were for certain events and I advised him. Then the Sgt.Mjr sent me off on a weeks leave and Lamb was assigned to take over in my absence. Upon my return I debriefed the squads and Lambs squad were the best. My report went in and Lamb was made a full Lance Corporal. Lamb turned out to be my right hand man at first then my equal when I Klaared out. He still had six months left.

I felt good about knowing that he was taking over from me.

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