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First Sergeant Impression Help

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  • First Sergeant Impression Help

    I'm Not sure where to post this but I'm looking for anyone who has portrayed a Reb First Sergeant in the Army of Tn, or just a First Sergeant. I'm trying to get the impression correct. Any tips, recommendations or anything.
    John Schut (Sgt USMC)
    10th Tn Co D, WI

  • #2
    Re: First Sergeant Impression Help

    John, I would encourage reading Kautzís Customs of Service for NCOís That will certainly help your impression out.

    As far as advice I will give you this, as the Orderly Sgt. you are the one who is running the company. You are setting the example for the rest of the company and should be a model soldier.

    You need to be as knowledgeable of Hardeeís as your company officer.

    Handle all company issues before your CO finds out about them but keep him in the loop as to what you have the men doing. If you have a problem that you cannot, or do not know how to handle go to him for advice and if able with a potential solution.

    Do not burden yourself with doing everything. That is why you have 2nd, 3rd, and 4th SGTs along with Cpls. to assist you in insuring that the COís orders are carried out.

    When forming the company, make sure that they are formed and ready to go. The company waits for the CO and not the other way around.
    Ensure that you are filling out all company paperwork properly and forwarding it up the chain in a timely manner.

    Look out for the men in your company. Their needs come before your own, but do not let them take advantage of you. Always remember that as an NCO you work for them.

    Be confident when instructing or when addressing the company. If you mess up, learn from your mistake, but donít beat yourself up over it.

    I cannot stress enough for you to get into the manuals and read them. Leadership is a skill that you develop after being placed into the position.

    Most of this is things that I try to put into practice as a real life NCO and has worked for me. I am certain that your leadership experience in the Marine Corps will serve you well. I hope this helps, and good luck with your impression!
    Tyler Underwood
    Pawleys Island #409 AFM
    Governor Guards, WIG

    Click here for the AC rules.

    The search function located in the upper right corner of the screen is your friend.


    • #3
      Re: First Sergeant Impression Help

      Superb advice from Tyler!

      Here's another way to look at it...

      The captain is the middle manager, but the orderly is the front-line supervisor. Yes, there are other NCO's leading sections and platoons, but, it is the orderly that is in charge of the men.

      The well-being of the men is your top consideration, but that doesn't mean that they all like you or what you are doing... it can be a bit lonely wearing the yoke of leadership...
      - You must be the model soldier, so you can't participate in the grabassery that goes on in formation. Now YOU have to stop it!
      - YOU must tell the men to be quiet in the ranks.
      - YOU must hand out dreaded fatigue duties.
      - YOU must drag them from warm slumber to a cold roll call.

      Be prepared for that. If you take the job, own it. Don't be a hardcase because that's what you think the orderly does. Its not about being a hardcase... you're just doing your job. The men will see that when the ALSO see you looking out for their interests and well-being (e.g. "Gosh, Captain... do you think we should ask the men to do fatigue duty now? They've been marching all day and haven't eaten since noon. If they don't cook supper now, they'll have to do it in the dark").

      Have fun!
      John Wickett
      Former Carpetbagger
      Administrator (We got rules here! Be Nice - Sign Your Name - No Farbisms)


      • #4
        Re: First Sergeant Impression Help


        I've been reading the Kautz, and it makes sense on paper, its the Practical application of it. I learn by seeing and doing.

        I was wondering if anyone has the forms from previous events filled out that I can browse over. to get a better understanding of how they would be filled out. I'm also looking at the improving my units gear tracking. Which I'll be working with the Quartermaster to do.

        Real life Nco for me was a little different I was a Cpl working directly for a LT. COL as his gunner, however I believe that the leadership traits I've learned will help me with the impression.

        I just hope to find out if anyone has any links or tips that other 1st sgt have used.

        Thanks again.
        John Schut (Sgt USMC)
        10th Tn Co D, WI


        • #5
          Re: First Sergeant Impression Help

          Here's some forms help from my links page :

          This very forum has many valuable research links which can be accessed here :
 Some cover NCO type duties.
          Silas Tackitt,
          one of the moderators.

          Click here for a link to forum rules - or don't at your own peril.


          • #6
            Re: First Sergeant Impression Help

            Tom Willliams (who goes by 4thvaadjutant on this forum) also makes excellent copies of administrative forms for CS impressions. He makes great stuff for Federal, too. PM him for direct correspondence.

            All of the advice and links provided in this thread is excellent. Good luck.
            Ivan Ingraham
            AC Moderator


            • #7
              Re: First Sergeant Impression Help

              I had the opportunity to serve as a First Sergeant for my first time this past fall with a 30+ man company of men from a few different groups that we typically fall in with. For me Kautz and Casey's my reading material for a few months. Get yourself a small notebook for keeping roll and other notes during the event. I took a few pages and copied down some pertinent details from Casey's and Kautz to refer to if need be without fumbling through the big book. Since it was in my orderly book no one noticed if I took a look. Be sure to speak with your Officers and fellow NCO's ahead of time to establish you goals for the weekend. Most importantly for me was establishing how we wanted details to work with my 2nd Sgt. and Corporals. Once we formed the company the first time we inserted the corporals. The proper placement of Corporals made details easy, we simply rotated which Corporal was in charge of each detail and he used his section to accomplish the task. The biggest thing I struggled with initially was being assertive. I was asking people to do things instead of telling them what needed to be done. Brian Baird kindly pulled me aside in a down moment and reminded me that we are all there to experience a military weekend. Politely telling a Corporal or Private that something needs to be done goes a lot further than asking if someone wants to do it.

              Paperwork is important. The Morning Report doubly so. We were operating in a Battalion framework of mainstream units and really set a standard. We had all men on line at the last note of reveille, a roll taken and a Morning Report turned in to the Sgt. Major before the Battalion officers were out of their bunks. It went a long way with Battalion staff and helped us earn their trust to more freedom in what we wanted to accomplish for our Company.

              For me it was a very rewarding experience. The duties kept me far busier than I ever expected, but I enjoyed every minute of it. I definitely gained a new level of respect for the men that had to do it day in day out for real.
              Scott Sheets
              Joliet, IL

              36th Illinois
              Dirty Shirts


              • #8
                Re: First Sergeant Impression Help

                I have just been elected as 1st Sergeant of my company, and am trying to prepare myself for the upcoming season. In numerous articles, I have seen the recommendation and necessity to carry a notebook, one for 1st Sergeant purposes and another for the company. Where is a good place to find a good/authentic notebook for these purposes? Is there a sutler out there that specializes in reading/writing materials?
                Stephen Lunsford

                Possum Skinners Mess/Tick Creek Troublemakers

                150th Pickett's Mill May 2014-5th Kentucky
                150th Franklin (Carnton Plantation) November 2014-20th Tennessee
                150th Bentonville, March 2015-10th Iowa
                Pea Ridge Adjunct, September 2015-24th Missouri
                Blakeley Living History, April 2016-1st/3rd Missouri CS
                Picket Post, May 2016, Company C, 9th Tennessee "Creek Bank Mess"
                Lookout Mountain Living History, June 2017, 31st Iowa "Root Hog or Die"
                154th Chickamauga Living History, September 2017, Co. C, 23rd Tennessee
                Battle of Wauhatchie (Aka "Wet-hatchie"), Tennessee, October 27-28, 2017, 78th New York "12th Corps!!!"


                • #9
                  Re: First Sergeant Impression Help

                  Sutler of Fort Scott has some online. I've never seen one in the flesh, but they look decent in the pictures.

                  Andy Hartley
                  34th Georgia


                  • #10
                    Re: First Sergeant Impression Help

                    Button Barron is an approved vender on this site which means they support the AC to keep it online, carry quality items with good service. They have notebooks, stationary, nibs, pens and more.


                    Jeremy Bevard
                    Civil War Digital Digest
                    Sally Port Mess


                    • #11
                      Re: First Sergeant Impression Help

                      From looking at LOC pictures, I've seen most First Sgt stripes as the typical 3 stripes and diamond. Does anyone have anymore documentation for at least anything else? I've seen one picture of just a diamond. Ive read most ripping them off prior to going to battle and sewing them back on afterwards.
                      John Schut (Sgt USMC)
                      10th Tn Co D, WI