I’m really enjoying this series on broadening over at FTGN.
I had a friend who was just promoted to LTC say: “I just pinned two weeks ago….when I turned in work as a major, people said “This is incredible,” but now they look at the same quality of work and say ‘Seriously?’”
I’m becoming more interested in understanding the traits that distinguish good company grade officers (Lieutenants and Captains) from field grade officers (Majors and Lieutenant Colonels). I’ve heard it said that if you do the things that made you successful as a Captain when you’re a Major, you’ll distinguish yourself as the best Captain in your unit.
The linked post discusses how choosing a good broadening assignement can help build out some of those skills to better prepare you for the next job.
Consistent through the post was the important role of mentors in this regard. Mentors (to include those in your chain of command) will likely have a better idea of what you need to work on than you will.
It’s rare (in my experience) to see officers who want to take that OC/T assignment at Fort Irwin or Fort Polk – but that really might be the absolute best thing based on their current skill set and development needs. When choosing assigments, we all tend to focus on what we want versus what we need. Mentors can help cut through that.