One of the platoon commanders immediately took cover behind the nearest tank. Generally, one would think this a prudent reaction to gunfire. However, leaders, and in particular commanders, have more of an influence on the Marines around them than they often realize. Seeing their platoon commander take cover behind the tank, Marines began to follow his example and joined him there.
My father waded into this mess, smacked the Lt on the helmet with the butt of his .45 bellowing: “Spread your %*$#@ men out!”
Young lieutenants receive dents on their helmet regularly. I had a Company XO who used to catch it. All. Day. Long. This poor young Lt suffered from unfortunate geography. His office was next door to the Company Gunny and diagonally across from mine. From my desk I could watch him work. He got shot in the face non-stop from the minute he entered the building.
“Geez Sir, nice of you to show up today! I wish I could get away with your BS hours!” In all fairness, he could have been in his office since midnight and I would claim he was late. But if you let a young Lt get comfortable he’ll no doubt immediately screw something up. Even a seasoned Lt needs a good scuffing up once in a while.
Another time I pointed out to the XO enlisted Marines had to complete the Leading Marines MCI in order to be promoted to corporal. In comparison, lieutenants merely had to have their name on the morning report for selection to captain. He spent the day muttering under his breath.
Sometimes you have to be the bad guy in order for learning to occur. Other times it’s just kind of fun.