My former medic, now an officer and friend, describes it thus, “The death of us has been the creation of a full blown Command, with concomitant layers of official bureaucracy, which has killed a lot of initiative. There is an overbearing burden of risk assessments and pre-approval requirements, by everyone, before anything can get done. This snuffs even the simplest of training plans before they can leave the team room. And operations? Fergitabowtit! If there’s a hint of risk, the aversion is like the black plague.

As for the warrant thing, a double edged sword. They often compete with the captain for power, and the entire warrant program has been downgraded by the fact that a guy can now apply straight out of the “Q” (Qualification) course, and get fast tracked through courses without the benefit of commensurate experience. In other words, just like a lieutenant, who, if selected, put through the basic schools and then through the “Q”, brings the same as the warrant officer, with a few bennies. A major bennie is that when he does become captain/ team commander, he’s vetted, experienced and clued in!
“As for nco/officer relations- the officers average 12-15 months on a team, before they move to staff where they spend 2-3 years telling team guys what/how to do things. And so, there is a big rift right now between the officers and NCOs, all easily resolved if lieutenants are let in, and then groomed by the NCOs, which would endear both to each other instead of the enmity that exists now.”

That’s pretty much how it was when I was a team second-in-command. I was a senior lieutenant when I joined the team. It was very much an apprentice situation. By the time I got my own team, I was ready to command it. Not by giving orders, but simply by having a fully formed idea of what we wanted to accomplish in the time available, and making it clear what that idea was.

I had great NCOs and they did the rest. Other than that, I made sure their pay wasn’t messed up, and, oh yeah, led by example in the field.