All good things must come to an end. The 'I Wish I Had Known...' Cove Challenge is now complete.

Thanks to all the RSMs and other Cove users who provided responses. It became clear to us throughout the campaign that there were three main themes. Whilst we could not promote every response on our social media platforms, all responses can be found in their grouped themes via the links below:

The Cove Team has chosen the top five responses from the RSMs who will each receive a limited edition 2021 Cove Coin. 

  • 'I wish someone had told me that as a JNCO I was more influential than at any other time in my career. A JNCO directly commands more people, everyday, than any other commander and are therefore the most critical leaders in Army. The rest of us are there to support you.' – RSM 1 RTB
  • 'The one thing that I wish someone had told me early on in my Marine Corps career, before my first combat deployment, is to embrace the shared adversity we endure in training and in life. Through shared adversity we build leadership, understanding, confidence and grit. We build confidence in each other and our team. We must put our marines and soldiers through shared adversity, but I also think it is important to give them the 'why' behind the hard training. This will enable them to push themselves and each other harder in order to prepare for combat.' – COMD SM Marine Rotational Force, Darwin
  • 'I wish someone had explained to me the value of self-reflection. Looking in the mirror is hard, judging yourself can be harder. Leaders must be able to do both if they are to influence others.' – RSM 5 Bde
  • 'I wish someone had told me that it is ok to let your JNCOs make mistakes. From infancy, we as human beings have learnt from our mistakes. We reflect on and re-adjust our avenue of approach from these failures. As long as there is no breach of safety, risk to welfare or capability, let your soldiers make decisions 'within their lane' and learn.' – RSM SOARTY
  • 'I wish someone had told my younger self, the following: do not define yourself through your work, you need to understand what your value is, the military does not define who you are. Do not be too hard on yourself, nobody is perfect and you will make many mistakes. Learn from them but do not let them become a burden.' – RSM SOER

The Cove Team thought these five responses below were the pick of all the submissions. These authors will also receive a limited edition 2021 Cove Coin.

  • 'I wish I had known that I didn't have to know everything. It is ok to ask for help and advice from peers and there is a good chance they have dealt with something similar.' – WO2 Scott Chivers, School of Artillery
  • 'I wish I had known to not be afraid to speak up, to not be afraid to ask questions and to not be afraid to stand up for what is right out of fear of being unpopular or embarrassed. It's ok to be different.' – SGT Carlos Barrera, 2 RAR
  • 'I wish as a JNCO I had known that there’s no rush - enjoy the experience good and bad, accept every opportunity, network and ultimately have fun at all ranks. It’s your experiences, personal growth and mateship that will enable and enhance your success throughout your career, so take your time.' – SGT J Murphy 
  • 'I wish I had known how to deal with welfare issues rather than just learning how to lead. I was aware of the supporting elements but I felt all I did was refer the soldier. I wish I had known how to better support them in the critical early stages.' – SGT Zachary Hammond, School of Artillery
  • 'I wish I would have known how quickly my time as a JNCO would actually go. I never really understood the influence I had in training, guiding and shaping my soldiers as a junior commander. With the ever changing soldier of today, we must provide the “why” behind the decisions of varied training methodologies. This will empower them to believe they are part of the decision and they will push harder than ever before IOT develop the team and achieve greater results. It’s as equally important to let JNCOs make mistakes to enable the hard learning to take place, as long as it has no effect on safety, welfare of the soldiers or capability.' – WO2 Lance Kieghran, Army School of Transport

We gained a lot of support for this initiative and witnessed some excellent engagement on our social media sites. We will look to conduct something similar later in the year. Do you have any ideas as to what you would want the topic to be? We welcome your feedback at