CPT Matthew Giersdorf Advice


To all future Army Leaders, congratulations and thank you for choosing to serve our Great Nation. It will be a challenge, highly enjoyable, lots of problems with solutions both easy and hard to make. Having served as a Platoon Leader, XO, S3, SPO Deputy, Commander. Each organization is different, between ABCT's, IBCT, SBCT, SUS BDE, DIVARTY, CAB's, MEB, and so many other aligned units in the Army. What works at one point might not work at another, be flexible and mindful you are a Leader and your actions carries a lot of weight. Things to know as a 2LT:

  1. Your Commander or 1SG do not hate you, your replacing someone that had been in the seat a while and you are not experienced as them nor knowledgeable as them but it will come.
  2. Your NCO's and Soldiers will make you and your mission a success, people are not hardware or robots and are living breathing, they need sleep, food, water, and recovery time; Plan accordingly
  3. Take Care of yourself it's not a sprint, it's a marathon and the road is not always flat, learn where to push and where to pull back it will come with time.
  4. You have a foundation of Leadership and you need to continue to build onit, self-study the Army has changed so much since I first joined in 2003, we adapt overcome and persevere throughout the ages, you have to too.
  5. Volunteer, Leadership opportunities are everywhere, whether it be a Voting Assistance Officer, Battalion Hail and Farewell, Range OIC, UMO, Airborne School, Ranger School, or a civilian educational and development program plenty of opportunities.
  6. You're from Institutes that are very well known: SCSU, SJU, CSB, you're Fighting Saints, as I was enlisted prior to commission on active duty, I enjoyed flying greatly with my SJU pilots and loved being lead on the ground by my SCSU officers, The program is well known and respected do not tarnish the legacy of the Fighting Saints, give back and when future Leaders seek guidance or assistance always offer what you can.
  7. Enjoy the Army you will go to beautiful places, do amazing things, help amazing people and build friends for life here. Enjoy it, it will go by in a blur. It's a beautiful roller coaster with great heights and turbulent ride, but you will be smiling when it's all over and will be a better human because of it.

Alumni Advice

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