Arguments can be won or lost by there presentation. Myself along with a few of the instructor pilots sat our Commander down to have a talk about some of his policies and actions and how they were having a negative impact on our unit. This argument was not planned at the current time but events kept happening throughout the past months that the instructor pilots and myself did agree we should have a talk with the Commander as soon as possible.
Let's start off by giving you some back ground on our current situation. First, the unit used to be a full company, by this I mean we had a headquarters platoon, a maintenance platoon, shops platoon, and a flight platoon. Now since the Army is realigning the way they do business, my unit is currently a flight company. We used to have 150 people in the unit now we have 26 people and they consist of 13 pilots and 12 crewmembers.
Our commander cannot get used to being just a flight company. In his training he tries to have classes that do not pertain to anything that is flight oriented or if he does then the training he wants is not worth doing at all. He also cannot get used to the pilots and crewmembers making decisions without his authority, for instance we may go on a flight and not make it back in time for one of his formations and this drives him nuts.
Now this meeting with the commander started before a drill. My lead instructor pilot and I were in his office discussing what we would like to see accomplish over drill weekend. Then the Commander walked in the office and started to join in on the conversation. We had told him we had a crew out flying at the present time and he immediately asked if they were going to be back in time for his formation. Now this set the instructor pilot and myself over the edge. The commander would rather see these guys back for formation then obtain the good flight training they were currently receiving. We immediately lashed back at the Commander saying his formation had zero training value and we hoped the flight would take up there whole drill. We tried to calm down and explain to the Commander that he needs to reevaluate his thoughts on training.
The Commander still had in his head that we are a normal size company and we still have the experience level we had on our deployment. We had to get through to him we are not what we once were and we have to focus on individual training rather than collective training. We also explained we needed to fly more during drill rather sit in a classroom and listen to classes that do not give any benefit to the individual or unit.
The atmosphere in the room at first was hostile but after a minute or so everything calmed down and we talked like gentlemen. We also had a couple of other instructor pilots come in the room to state their concern of the unit. This also helped to show the commander it was not only us that saw a problem with his way of command but it was many others that expressed a concern as well.
The Commander did take this to heart because he had four of his top people tell him he was hurting the unit not helping it. Since the conflict occurred the unit is doing more individual training now and about 90% of the classes have disappeared. The unit is finally putting drill to good use rather than wasting the weekend and now people are looking forward to come to drill then dread coming.