My first experience being called a LID was when I first rocked up to Darwin and I was posted to my unit after completing IET’s.

I had arrived just before first parade one day and was sitting outside in the hangers waiting for roll call and to begin PT when one of the senior diggers came up to me and threw a set of keys at me and said “take these back up to CHQ you F$@%&g LID” Being a junior soldier I wasn’t too sure what to say or how to act at that. It made me angry, I was embarrassed and I wanted to tell him to F!#^ off but being new I didn’t say anything.

I was talking with my partner about this and I was discussing how this is the sort of behaviour that needs to stop, belittling people and treating the junior soldiers in this way isn’t a good example of proper leadership.

Unfortunately this is the sort of behaviour and mentality that will continue as people will say “I was treated poorly so now I will treat the new soldiers poorly”.

Hence the cycle continues.

Obviously this is a very minor thing; I am just using it as an example of poor leadership.

There are many more things I have experienced and witnessed that are much worse however I will leave them be for now.

I find that being a good leader doesn’t require you to treat your subordinates poorly at the end of the day we are all made of the same blood and guts. When I was 2IC of a section I was pulled aside by my Platoon SGT and Platoon commander and was told I need to yell at my lads more. Straight away I was on the defence and said NO. (This did not go down well as they did not like being told no) I said to them that my lads respected me enough that I don’t have to yell at them to get them to do their job, if they were asked to do something they would do it without hesitation.

Unfortunately this painted a target on my back and reflected my evaluations pretty badly as I continued to not listen to them when it came to me yelling at my lads for no reason. The funny thing is that we performed really well and never missed a beat, so what does this tell you about different the leadership styles?

Over the years I came across this belittling behaviour in more ways than I could count.

One of these was when I was taken off an Afghan trip due to injury ( I snapped my ankle and had other issues going on with my feet ).

I was still hanging around the deploying company while I was sorting myself out and we had a heap of new lads march in from IET’s. Now these lads looked so lost and no one would give them the time of day and I even heard people calling them LIDS, champs etc.

These guys had no idea what they needed to do or where to go. Me being me I just went up to them and introduced myself and helped them out, I showed them to their rooms, got their paperwork in order and gave them a tour of the base.

I didn’t think anything of this as it’s just what we should do. Fast forward 12 months or so and we were on a deployment to Afghan and it just so happened that some of the new lads were in the same platoon as me. We were talking one day and they said that the way I treated them that day was awesome and they really appreciated it. It had meant even more to them than I actually realised.

This really goes to show that you should treat people how you want to be treated.

We were all new at one point in time!

We have all needed to ask for help!

We are all human!

There are so many more stories and examples of this I could talk about as it is something that has happened time and time again.

I just think it is time that we start acknowledging this sort of behaviour and change our ways because if we don’t the same cycle will continue and continue.



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