In the movie "We Were Soldiers," you see the classic example of a crusty Sergeant Major (Plumley). Would you follow this man into combat in the Ia Drang Valley? Why/why not? What leadership did he demonstrate to you that you would like to incorporate into your life? How would you incorporate it?
Do you think Hollywood has personified the SgtMaj role into this type of caricature for good? Can you think of any instance in a movie where the top enlisted leader was not tough, crusty, crabby etc...?
Yes, I would follow Sergeant Major Plumley into battle. There are several things that you have to realize when looking at the role of Sergeant Major Plumley. First, in order to save the lives of your fellow soldiers, you cannot accept anything less than excellence. The lives of each and every soldier that falls under your command is your responsibility. You cannot allow mistakes. Mistakes cause casualties and injuries. Never believe that the crusty old Sergeant Major is being mean simply to be mean. He is making the soldiers take responsibility for their actions. If you have a leader that is not hard on you and making you learn life's lessons, you will probably be killed in battle.
When I went to Kuwait, the attitudes of all leaders changed. Everyone become more serious. If you are not serious then you will be killed. ...
Describes the role of senior grade NCOs in the movie "we were soldiers".