It must have been difficult to face the band of misfits that George Washington did. Then again, I wonder if he faced them in the same way that teachers introduce ourselves to a new class of fourth graders at the beginning of each year. He, as many, tried "to get his bluff in on them" by being strict and "not smiling until Christmas". Actually there is evidence that Washington frowned on "Smiles" shared with subordinates, calling the attempt to be a pal to them a "kind of stupidity".
What we do know is that George Washington had a filthy, unkempt, unorganized, and unmannerly bunch with which he had to raise an army. Paperwork and inventories were nonexistent due to laziness and apathy. There was no uniformity to the troops' uniforms. Washington quickly acknowledged a dire need for strict discipline.
It requires no military Skill to judge of the Difficulty of introducing proper Discipline & Subordination into an Army while we have the Enemy in View & are in daily Expectation of Attack, but it is of so much Importance that every Effort will be made which Time & Circumstance will admit.
Be strict in your discipline. Require nothing unreasonable of your officers and men, but see that whatever is required be punctually complied with. Reward and punish every man according to his merit, without partiality or prejudice; hear his complaints; if well founded, redress them; if otherwise, discourage them, in order to prevent frivolous ones. Discourage vice in every shape, and impress upon the mind of every man, from the first to the lowest, the importance of the cause, and what it is they are contending for....Be plain and precise in your orders, and keep copies of them to refer to, that no mistakes may happen. Be easy and condescending in your deportment to your officers, but not too familiar, lest you subject yourself to a want of that respect, which is necessary to support a proper command."
- I am not a friend to my students. They are welcome to become my friend when they are out from under my wing.
- Organization can and must be taught.
- Every student deserves consequences and rewards on the spot. No student should go without.
- Bad manners should not be tolerated.
- Instructions and procedures should be precise and simple.
- There is no smiling allowed at school.