EFFECTIVE WRITING SGM MACE 13TH Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Fort Hood, Texas Munitions Branch SGM INTRODUCTION • Introduce Yourself • Who am I AGENDA • The Value • Writing a Bullet • Preparation • Writing Exercise • Bullet Statement Mechanics • Review and Edit WHY DO WE WRITE AWARDS? To recognize Soldiers for valor, meritorious service, and achievement. It's our formal way of thanking them and recognizing them for their outstanding contributions to the success in mission accomplishment. Awards given to deserving Soldiers increase esprit de corps in the unit and provide other Soldiers the necessary incentive to go above and beyond their day-to-day responsibilities thus contributing to the success of the unit. BOTTOM LINE!!!!! TAKING CARE OF THE SOLDIER! AAMs Army Achievement Medal (AAM) is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States, or to any member of the Armed Forces of a friendly foreign nation, who while serving in any capacity with the Army in a non-combat role, distinguished himself or herself by meritorious service or achievement of a lesser degree than required for award of the ARCOM. The AAM will not be awarded to general officers. ARCOMs Army Commendation Medal (ARCOM) is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces who distinguishes themselves by heroism, meritorious achievement or meritorious service. Award may be made to a member of the Armed Forces of a friendly foreign nation who distinguishes himself or herself by an act of heroism, extraordinary achievement, or meritorious service which has been of mutual benefit to a friendly nation and the U.S. ARCOMs Awards of the ARCOM may be made for acts of valor performed under circumstances described above which are of lesser degree than required for award of the BSM. These acts may involve aerial flight. An award of the ARCOM may be made for acts of noncombatant-related heroism which do not meet the requirements for an award of the SM. The ARCOM will not be awarded to general officers. MSMs Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States or to any member of the Armed Forces of a friendly foreign nation who, while serving in a non-combat role, has distinguished himself or herself by outstanding meritorious achievement or service. An MSM is not meant to be a lesser award than the BSM. VALUE OF THE AWARD • Word a picture of what the Soldier did • Only way someone who does not know the Soldier can effectively evaluate their performance • Shows not only what they did but how they did it and what the outcome was WRITING TIPS Use “hard-hitting” facts, actions and phrases; start with a strong, fact-filled statement Each bullet should contain substance; limit fluff WRITING TIPS Be enthusiastic, and make your writing come alive! Use active voice…. Use common terms everyday people can understand, instead of using job specific jargon PREPARATION FOR WRITING • Start with a comprehensive description • Use detailed narrative of performance • Make sure you have the who, what, where, when, why, how many, how much, time/money, and numbers EFFECTIVE BULLETS ALWAYS CONSIST OF… • What they did • How they did it • The impact or result of their action (why it was significant) 3 PARTS OF A BULLET • Start with a strong impact word (action verb, past tense) • Follow with the fact • Support fact with impact/results ACTION VERBS Activated Aggressive Aspired Attained Battled Capitalized Commanded Commended Committed Created Dedicated Delivered Designed Detailed Earned Employed Energized Enlisted Executed Guided ACTION VERBS Illustrated Inspired Led Motivated Maximized Mentored Navigated Outshined Overcame Refined Reinforced Secured Sparked Strengthened Structured Terminated Transformed Validated Visualized Voiced WORDS AND PHASES After the standard opening, each bullet should start with an action word like these: Displaying Using Exhibiting Making Demonstrating Through Showing WORDS AND PHASES The next words should be an adjective-noun combination like: • superior leadership, he … • exceptional competence and professionalism, she … • expert technical skills, he … • highest degree of proficiency, she … • accomplished organizational abilities, he … • finely honed ... SINGLY POWERFUL WORDS courageous implemented distinguished performed masterfully orchestrated spearheaded ADVERBS Adverbs work well for the next words: quickly proficiently capably adeptly professionally effectively skillfully efficiently IMPACT AND RESULTS • This is the outcome of what was done • Put impact in some type of measurable term • Quality: best, most successful, first • Quantity: numbers, percent increase/decrease scope of effort and effect • Time: hours, man-hours/days saved, hours/days/months ahead of schedule JARGON Steer away from using specific jargon or acronyms or names of equipment that are not commonly used in the English language. A good rule is to use simple, everyday words that convey powerful thoughts. Also avoid being gushy or using “puffed up” words that seem phony or pompous. ROLL ALL TOGETHER Now, simply mix and match the words and phrases to ensure each bullet is a flowing sentence or two. Start with the accomplishment you consider to be the most significant. WEAK PHASES Be careful using certain words that may weaken phrases that otherwise would be strong. These can make a sterling performer into an instant weak one…. NOT GOOD usually almost rarely GOOD EXAMPLE Expertly administered the training requirements for 143 individuals and tracked 129 special operations courses; achieved a 100 percent course utilization rate-enhanced overall mobility readiness (Has an action, result and impact) BAD EXAMPLE Truly an outstanding NCO, leader, supervisor and manager who possesses resourcefulness, initiative and charter to accept and succeed at the most demanding of tasks-exudes the Military in all he does IT’S THAT TIME 15 minute break MOVIE Little Motivational clip NOW YOUR TURN Write an achievement on the following TRY THIS • SGT Joe Blow worked at Corps Storage Area as Ammo Handler with 60th Ordnance Company • He did inventories, re-warehouse and renovations and that increased productivity in operations • Helped retrograde about 759,000 lbs of New Explosive Weight of unserviceable and good Class V in 90 days to Kuwait • Helped bring down explosive arch and keep out of harms way 2 DFACs and 3 living areas on Anaconda SOLUTION SGT Blow worked as an Ammunition Handler with the 60th Ordnance Company at the Corps Storage Area assisting with inventories, re-warehousing and renovations resulting in increased productivity in ammunition operations. SGT Blow assisted in retrograding an estimated 759,239 pounds of Net Explosive Weight (NEW) of unserviceable and serviceable excess Class V to Kuwait in a 90 day period. This greatly reduced the explosive arch keeping two dining facilities and three living areas on LSA Anaconda out of harms way. TRY THIS • PFC Highspeed watched LNs and done guard duty in a tower for about 4,000 hours on Anaconda to help out on force protection and base defense plan here on Anaconda • Her warrior ethos, dedication, attitude, professionalism helped the safety of about 26,000 soldiers, navy, Airmen, Marines and KBR that live and work on Anaconda. SOLUTION PFC Highspeed served over 4,000 hours in support of LSA Anaconda base defense plan overseeing Host Nation laborers and performing Force Protection tower operations. PFC Highspeed’s Warrior ethos, dedication to duty, attitude and professionalism directly contributed to the safety and security of over 26,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and civilians living and working on LSA Anaconda. LAST ONE FROM ME Assigned to the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), Distribution Management Center as an Ammunition Supply Sergeant. During OIF 06-08, SSG Lowdrag did good stuff for the ammo people for the Multi-National Corps Iraq which had 2 Divisions, 15 BCTs and 12 Brigade separates. SSG Lowdrag had an integral Role in being in control of over $129 million dollars of Class V and Around $13 million of expenditures by the BCTs. SOLUTION While assigned to the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), Distribution Management Center, Munitions Branch as an Ammunition Supply Sergeant in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08, SSG Lowdrag provided outstanding ammunition customer support for the Multi-National Corps Iraq, consisting of two Divisions, 15 Brigade Combat Teams and 12 Brigade separates. SSG Lowdrag played an integral role in the management of over $129 million of Class V stocks and over $13 million of expenditures by the BCTs. NOW YOUR TURN Write an achievement on yourself and see how you can do REVIEW AND EDIT Look at what you have written Does the bullet start with an action verb? Did you state the fact? Did you include the impact? REVIEW AND EDIT Make the impact strong Fill the line Review, Edit, Review, Edit, Review, Edit….. CHECK, CHECK AND CHECK SUMMARY • The Value • Writing a Bullet • Preparation • Writing Exercise • Bullet Statement Mechanics • Review and Edit WELL…… Questions LASTLY…. THANKS Just one last BANG!
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