Its been a while since I've posted. I've been busy every since I took over leadership of my squad. Since then I've been learning to lead from just behind the front lines instead of on point. Its quite the transition. Now that I have two teamleaders who work for me I get to sit back from the line and watch as they develop thier own leadership skills and styles. Here are my observations on leading infantry.
The teamleader is not a "hey you, go do this" leader. He is a watch me, follow me, I can do it, so can you, so WILL you, leader. He has to know every job of every soldier on his team better than the soldier who does that job. He knows every weapon system on his team. He MUST be the fastest, strongest, smartest, most disciplined member of his team. He never ever lies, even joking around, even when ordered to. He knows his men better than they know themselves. If he can, he will put himself between them and danger over and over. He shows no weakness, no pain. If he complains, its to his squad leader and never with in hearing range of his soldiers.
Once we were riding out to the field in an open bed LMTV while it was raining. The lower enlisted soldiers where huddled up against the cab of the truck to get out of the stinging rain. The NCO's were sitting at the back of the bed ignoring the rain. We were moving on pretty fast and the rain hurt like hell. They just sat there without saying a word. The older combat vets were watching the side of the road and the cars around us. Years (yes years) spent in combat zones make habits that never die.
To lead combat troops is to have the hardest best job in the world. The teamleaders are like no other leaders in the world.