These young guys just don’t get it.
Have you heard that said before? Maybe you have said it yourself. As this site and Facebook page grow, I see a lot of post and articles about the new generation. So I wanted to share some thoughts on it.
This concept of a younger generation, and older generation’s opinion of them is nothing new. Back in the mid 90’s I was a young Lance Corporal in the Marines and I was stationed at Quantico, VA. I worked at the school that Communications Officers went through to be Comm O’s. One day I over heard a couple of Gunnery Sergeants talking about the, “new corps.” I had never heard this before. I didn’t understand what was the new corps. I thought we were, The Marine Corps. Basically these older Marines were being critical of younger Marines, referring to them as the new corps. Because these young Marines were different, or acted different, or had different values than the older Marines. So this concept is not new.
Judging a younger generation will never go away. The young firefighters of today, that are taking heat, someday will be judging and talking smack about younger firefighters when they get older.
So how would you describe today’s young firefighters? I would describe them as, diverse. Yes I think it’s true that some millennial generation do come with a sense of entitlement. Let’s face it, rookies are treated a whole different today then they were say 13 years ago. Some their biggest achievement is moving out of their parents house.
But this same generation has also been at war for over 10 years. And you can look around at fire departments around you and even your own. These young firefighters have a different maturity level. Many of them have been on deployments and some are even combat veterans.
So how do we handle this generation? I say you have to handle almost on a case by case basis. The guy or gal just out of their parents house that thinks they shouldn’t get wet on a hot training, might need more attention. A more mature, new firefighter that has actually had responsibility in their life will need less attention. And I’m a firm believer that, if you are messing with someone because they aren’t doing what they are supposed to be doing, you’re just being a dick.
Approach your new guys with an open mind. Get to know them and their background, understand where they are coming from. And, don’t be a dick.