During Officer Candidate School this summer I learned the real importance of supervision. While at school I have been taught multiple times that supervision is important but I never dealt with a practical application of it. During school whenever I delegate jobs they get completed and I have never had the importance of supervision reinforced by a need for it. At OCS I received a Squad Leader billet, while doing this job I ran into multiple problems because I failed to supervise properly. I learned that you need to have trust in your men but that does not mean you should not watch them or make sure everything is getting done.
I was a squad leader when we went to the field for two days at OCS. During the field exercise I failed multiple times because I did not properly supervise. The first problem came when we set up the bivouac site. I told my fire team leaders to have the tents set up and aligned within fifteen minutes. I proceeded to go set up my tent and get my gear ready. After fifteen minutes the staff came and yelled at our platoon because we did not have the bivouac site squared away. I should have gone and made sure the men were doing what they were supposed to in a timely manner. The second time I failed a job was the next day during our nine mile hike. I was told to make sure every candidate changed their socks at the six mile point. I simply told everyone to do it and did not watch to make sure they were. The staff was watching and saw a couple of my squad members not change their socks. From these two instances and the problems that arose from them I have realized how important it is to supervise your men and make sure the job gets done correctly. Then as time builds trust it is still important to check up on everything to make sure standards have not dropped.