The other day one of the NCOs in my unit was complaining about how his wife can’t seem to get promoted, he insisted that it’s due entirely to rampant sexism in the Army, that women will never be able to move up as easily as their male counterparts simply due to prejudices against their gender. As proof of this phenomenon he cited the severe lack of a large number of females in senior leadership. As a female service member myself, it may surprise you that the whole time he was talking I wanted to gag. While it is in fact true that not very many females can move up as fast as their penis wielding counterparts, I also can’t help but notice that most females also really suck ass as NCOs. In fact there’s very very few females that I have encountered over the last 6 years of my life that I truly wanted to see obtain a higher position. I have however had female senior NCOs make up 9th grade-esque rumors about me for no apparent reason, I’ve had them tell me they’ll support me through a difficult situation only to stab me in the back or leave me hanging when it was time for them to step up, and I’ve had them outright try to fuck over my career because it became obvious that I could easily surpass them in rank. Frankly, I would say the majority of female service members are quite simply so focused on their own bullshit and drama that they have no business getting promoted anyway. So, if you’re a female at any stage of your career in the military here’s my advice to you:
1. Your subordinates are not your children, every NCO anywhere that says she’s like a mom to her soldiers is a fucking terrible leader. Trust me, they are fully capable of thinking for themselves and knowing their own limits, if they trust you they will come to you with their problems without you needing to micro-manage them, and if they don’t trust you it’s 100% your own fault. Treat people like they’re adults for fucks sake.
2. If you have a female soldier who’s simply better at shit than you are, it’s okay. Let her be good, push her to reach her potential. Don’t get fucking jealous or try to keep her down because you know she has her shit together more than you do. If you don’t like it, instead of being caddy, maybe spend time fixing your own shit, or just accept that some people are more talented at being in the military than others and that’s 100% okay!
3. Get a handle on your feelings. It may be in your nature to be sensitive or to think about things through emotional goggles. But if you want to get anywhere you really need to learn how to shut it off, don’t respond emotionally to situations, if you need to take a minute before you respond to something shitty then so be it. But whenever you do come at it you need to be coming from a place of logic, people respond better when you can explain your position from a point of solid facts and concerns not emotions which could very well be wrong.
4. Stop thinking of yourself as different from a male. When I put that uniform on in the morning I no longer see in gender, color, or creed. I only see soldiers who are no different than I am. I never even notice that there are males and females, and you shouldn’t either. If you tell yourself that you are different, then you will be treated differently.
5. Stop shamming at PT, you better be working on getting that 300, and you’d better be able to pass that shit as well as a man, there’s no excuse not to.
6. If you want to make a career out of the military, treat it like one. Put in the extra time, be dedicated, give your life up to it. Stop worrying about finding a husband and having kids. The reality is you will never be able to be both a good NCO and a good wife, the demands of one cancel out the other.
7. You are not a role-model for every other female, nor should you try to be. Your aim should be to inspire everyone to do better regardless of their gender, which again, goes back to not viewing yourself as different.
8. Stop fucking bitching, females complain 10,000x more than men do. Suck it up already.
9. This isn’t high-school, grow the fuck up already.
10. Get your hands dirty. If my soldiers are out pulling weeds and I’m supposed to be “supervising” them, guess what, I’m pulling fucking weeds too. No one under me will do any task that I haven’t done myself. Bottom line, experience what every single one of your soldiers goes through in a day at least once, and if you have the time, do it with them everyday.