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UPDATED

EDITION

COMPANY COMMAND THE

BOTTOM

LINE

UPDATED EDITION

MG (R) JOHNG.MEYER, JR. & MAJ SPENCER BEATTY EDITEDBYMARILYNSILVERMAN

Company Command: The Bottom Line Copyright©

2017-2021 by Mentor Enterprises

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from Mentor Enterprises, Inc. Printed in USA by Mentor Enterprises Inc. 1st Edition. 6th Printing, 2021 1st Edition. 5th Printing. 2020 1st Edition. 4th Printing. 2020 1st Ed1t1on.3rd Printing. 2019 .1stEdition. 2nd Prin/lng, 2018 1st Edition. 1st Printing. 2017

4~.ME NTOR lW 1

ENTERPRISES, INC.

123 CASTLEDR STE C, MADISONAL. 35758 256.830.8282 [email protected] ISBN-13: 978-1-940370-12-5 ISBN-10: 1-940370-12-4 The views expressed in this book are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the United States Army. Defense Department. or the United States Government DISCLAIMER

The content of this product is a compilation of information and personal experience from the author. numerous contributors and editors. It is possible that mistakes may be found in both content and typography. This book should and can only be used as a guide. Information gleaned from this product should be modified according to existing situations by seeking guidance from competent professionals including your chain of command. military lawyers. inspector generals. or other competent staff professionals. No warranty is made or implied with regard to completeness and/or correctness, legal effect, or validity of this product in any state or jurisdiction. It is further understood that any person or entity that uses this product does so at their own risk with full knowledge that they have a legal obligation. duty. and responsibility to ensure the information they use or provide to others is in accordance with up-to-date military law. procedure. regulation. policy, and order. No part of this product shalt in any way substitute for professional guidance or regulatory requirement

TO THE SOLDIER

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF COMPANY COMMAND A company commander is charged with a sacred trust:The lives of his Soldiers, men and women he may be called upon to lead in combat. There's no greater trust that can be bestowed by the American people than a personal responsibility for the lives of their sons and daughters .... Company command, if it is successful. is the most rewarding. personally satisfying position the Army offers. It provides a young officer a fundamental

knowledge. experience. and a sense of capability that

will serve him well the rest of his Army career. If he can command a company properly, he'll be able to command a battalion, brigade or division. Successful company command is an absolute prerequisite for subsequent success in the Army.

-General Frederick J. Kroesen

./

CONTENTSr

Preface ............................................................................. xv • Acknowledgements .......................................................xx 2.. Who's In Charge? ................................................................ s. z. Taking Command ............................................................... 3

./

TO BEOR NOTTO BEA COMPANYCOMMANDER..................... 4 WHAT IT TAKESTO BEA SUCCESSFULCOMPANY COMMANDER................................................................................ 5 YOU GOTTAWANT IT..................................................................................... 5 YOU GOTTAHAVETHE BASICS................................................................. 6 YOUGOTTAHAVECOURAGE...................................................................... 6 YOUGOTTABE FAIR...................................................................................... 6 YOU GOTTA LEAD BY EXAMPLE............................................................... 7 YOU GOTTACARE.......................................................................................... 8 YOU GOTTAHAVECONFIDENCE............................................................. g YOUGOTTAESTABLISHSTANDARDS.................................................. g YOUGOTTABE ORGANIZED..................................................................... 10

GOALS................................................................................................................................ 10 DECISION MAKING............................................................... .......................................................... 10 YOURTIME. .............................................................................................................................. 10 ORGANIZE YOURDAILYWORK............................................................................................. 11 MEETINGS ....................... ........................................................................................................... 11 CORRESPONDENCE ............................................................................................................. 12 YOUGOTTABE COMPETENT.................................................................... 12 YOUGOTTABEYOURSELF .......................................................................... 12

YOUGOTTAMAKETHINGSHAPPEN.................................................. 13 YOUGOTTA DEVELOPTEAMWORK..................................................... 13 YOUGOTTACHECK.CHECK.AND RECHECK............................... 13 YOUGOTTABEAN ACTIVELISTENER............................................... 13 YOUGOTTAHAVECOMPASSION ........................................................... 14 YOUGOTTAKNOWYOURBOSS............................................................. 15 YOUGOTTABE FLEXIBLE ............................................................................. 15 YOUGOTTABE PRACTICAL ........................................................................ 16 YOUGOTTABEA SALESPERSON .......................................................... 16 YOUGOTTAHAVEFUN............................................................................... 16 YOURACTIONSPRIORTO COMMAND........................................ 17 THINK......................................................................................................... 17 EDUCATE YOURSELF .................................................................................. 17 SPENDTIMEWITH THE OUTGOINGCOMMANDER................ 19 DRAFTYOURCOMMANDPHILOSOPHY .......................................... 20 FIRSTDAYSANDWEEKSIN COMMAND..................................... 23 DOS......................................................................................................... 24 OBSERVE AND LISTEN............................................................................... 24

HAVE PATIENCE.................................................................................... 24 CHECK YOUR SUBORDINATES............................................................. 24 BE FIRM RATHERTHAN EASY.............................................................. 24 CONDUCT A COMMAND CLIMATE SURVEY ................................ 24 SURVEY YOUR SUBORDINATE LEADERSHIP.............................. 25 DEVELOPA FAMILY NEWSLETTER ...................................................... 26 DON'TS ................................................................................................. 26 DON'T BE A KNOW-IT-ALL.. .................................................................. 26 DON'T MAKE QUICK CHANGES ............................................................ 26 DON'T BAD-MOUTH THE "OLD GUY" ................................................. 27 DON'T BRAG........................................................................................... 27 AFTER 90 DAYS,THE UNIT IS YOURS .......................................... 27 THE BOTTOM LINE FOR TAKING COMMAND ........................... 29 BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR TAKING COMMAND ................................. 30

3. You and Your First Sergeant ......................................... 32.

THE COMPANY COMMANDER COMMANDS THE UNITTHE 1SG RUNS IT .................................................................. 33 EDUCATE YOURSELF............................................................................ 35

TALKWITH YOURFELLOWCOMPANYCOMMANDERS...................................... 35 TALKWITH THE 1SGSIN OTHERCOMPANIES .......................................................... 36 TALKWITH YOURBATTALIONCS/vi........................................................................... 37 TALKWITH YOURBATTALIONCOMMANDER........................................................... 38

IDEAL COMPANY COMMANDER-1SG RELATIONSHIP ...........39

COMMUNICATION................................ .............................................................................. 39 CONFIDENCE............................................................................................................ 39 COOPERATION AND TEAMWORK. ............................................................................ 40 CLEARGOALSAND REASONABLESTANDARDS ..................................................... 40

COMMON PROBLEMS....................................................................... 41 LACK OF COMMUNICATION ................................................................. ,41 YOU ARE BULLHEADED-THE 1SG HAS A DIFFERENT AGENDA........................................................................................... 41 LACKOF AGREEMENTON UNIT GOALSAND STANDARDS.....42 LACK OF MUTUAL SUPPORT AND RESPECT............................... 42 PERSONALITY CONFLICTS ................................................................... 42 WHAT A 1SG WANTS IN A COMMANDER ................................... 42 A CONFIDENT LEADER.......................................................................... 43 AN OFFICER WHO LEADS BY EXAMPLE ......................................... 43 A LEADER WHO CARES ABOUT SOLDIERS................................... 43 A "COOL-HEADED" LEADER.................................................................. 44 A LEADER WHO TRUSTS THE NCOS.................................................. 44 A LEADER WHO IS A BUFFER............................................................... 44 A LEADER WHO ADMITS MISTAKES................................................... 45 WHAT A 1SG DOES NOT WANT IN A COMMANDER ...............46

A COMMANDERWHO WILL NOT LISTEN..................................... -46 A COMMANDERWHO IS TOO AMBITIOUS ................................... -46 A COMMANDERWHO IS INDECISIVE.............................................. ..46 A COMMANDERWHO WINGS IT ........................................................... 47 A COMMANDERWHO MICROMANAGES........................................ 47 A COMMANDERWHO IS A DESKRIDER........................................ ..48 WHATA COMMANDERWANTS IN A 1SG.................................. 48 A STRONGLEADER........................................................................................ 48 A LEADERBY EXAMPLE................................................................................ 49 A COMPETENTLEADER................................................................................ 49 A TRAINERAND A DEVELOPER ............................................................. -49 A GOODCOMMUNICATOR ......................................................................... 49 A DEDICATEDLEADER................................................................................... 50 A LOYALSUPPORTER .................................................................................... 50 WHAT A COMMANDERDOESNOTWANT IN A 1SG...............50 A 1SGWHO DOESNOTLISTEN................................................................ 51 A 1SGWHO DOESNOTKEEPTHE COMMANDER INFORMED .............................................................................................. 51 A 1SGWHO DOESNOTSUPPORTTHE COMMANDER.......... 51 A 1SGWHO DOESNOTLEAD BY EXAMPLE................................. 52 A 1SGWHO DOESNOTTRAINAND HOLD THE NCOS ACCOUNTABLE ...................................................................................... 52 A 1SGWHO ISA DESKRIDER.................................................................... 52 A 1SGWHO OVERRULES LIEUTENANTS'DECISIONS.......... 52 DAYONEWITH YOUR1SG-INITIAL COUNSELING............... 53 COMPANYCOMMANDER............................................................................ 58 lSG .............................................................................................................. 58 ABAD1SG................................................................................................... 59 LET'SGOBACKTO THE BEGINNINGFORA MOMENT..........62 THE BOTTOMLINE FORYOUANDYOUR1SG......................... 63 RESOURCES ........................................................................................ 64

4. MIUtary Justice and Administrative Law Matters ... 65

THECOMPANYCOMMANDER'SJUDICIAL RESPONSIBILITIES ................................................................... 67 ENFORCE THE LAW.................................................................................... 67 PROTECT YOURSOLDIERS'RIGHTS................................................... 68 EDUCATE YOURSELF ................................................................................. 69

TALKWITHYOURTRIALCOUNSEL... ................................................................................ 69 TALKWITHYOURBATTALION COfvlfvlANDER. ............................................................ 70 TALKWITHYOURSUBORDINATE LEADERS .............................. ............................... 72 TALKWITHYOUR1SG. ......................................................................................................... 72

KNOWYOUROPTIONS.................................................................... 73 ADMINISTRATIVE OPTIONS....................................................................... 73

REHABILITATIVE fvlEASURES .......................................................................................... 73 LOSSOFDISCRETIONARY PRIVILEGES ........................................................................... 74

ADVERSEAO/vf!NISTRATIVEACTIONS SHORT OF SEPARATION................... 74 SEPARATIONFRO/vfTHE fvf/LITARY .............................................................................. 74

REHABILITATIVE MEASURES ......................................................... 75 COUNSELING ........................................................................................ 75 EXTRATRAIN ING .................................................................................. 78 REHABILITATIVETRANSFER................................................................ 79 BAR TO REENLISTMENT....................................................................... 80 LOSS OF DISCRETIONARY PRIVILEGES..................................... 80 DENIAL OF PASS PRIVILEGES.............................................................. 80 ADVERSEADMINISTRATIVEACTIONS SHORT OF SEPARATION.................................................................................. 81 SEPARATIONFROM THE MILITARY..................................................... 82 NONJUDICIAL PUNISHMENT OPTIONS .................................... 85 DO NOT THREATEN.............................................................................. 85 DO NOT BLUFF...................................................................................... 85 DO NOT GO IT ALONE ........................................................................... 87 DO NOT MAKE EXAMPLES.................................................................. 87 DO NOT FORGETSUSPENSIONS........................................................ 88 DO NOT FORGETMITIGATION AND REMISSION....................... 90 COURT-MARTIAL OPTIONS ................................................................. 91 MILITARY JUSTICE DECISION-MAKING CONSIDERATIONS .. 92 BETIMELY ............................................................................................. 92 BE FAIRAND EOUITABLE..................................................................... 92 BE FIRM AND CONSISTENT................................................................. 93 JUDGE EACH CASE ON ITS OWN MERITS..................................... 93 BE AWARE OF THE MESSAGESYOU SEND ................................... 93 BE AWARE OF REPERCUSSIONSOF YOUR DECISIONS......94 MAKING YOUR DECISION ................................................................ 95 CONDUCT A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION.................................... 95 CON SU LT............................................................................................... 95 LET THE ACCUSED TALK ...................................................................... 95 MAKE THE DECISION............................................................................ 96 LET'S GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING FOR A MOMENT ...........97 THE BOTTOM LINE FOR MILITARY JUSTICE AND ADMINISTRATIVE LAW ............................................................ 98 BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR MILITARY JUSTICE AND ADMINISTRATIVE LAW ............................................................ 99

5. Personnel and Administration ...................................2.02.

NOW WHAT HAPPENS, COMPANY COMMANDER? ............. 102 THE COMPANY COMMANDER'S PERSONNEL AND ADMINISTRATION RESPONSIBILITIES .............................103 PERSONNEL ACTIONS .......................................................................... 103 PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT ............................................................... 103 EDUCATE YOURSELF ..................................................................... 1.04

REVIEWREGULATIONSAND INSPECTION REPORTS........ 104 TALKWITH KEYINDIVIDUALS.............................................................. 106 VISITKEYORGANIZATIONS..................................................................... 107 VISITYOURLOCAL FINANCE OFFICE............................................. 108 FOUR UHOT"PERSONNELAREAS............................................. 108 1.ELECTRONIC MILITARYPERSONNELOFFICE(EMILPO)..108 2-EMILPOREPORTS ...................................................................................... 109 UNITMANNINGREPORT(Ufv1R) ................................. ............................................ ........ 109 AM "TRIPLEALPHA.162 ..................................................................................................... 109 ENLISTED ADVANCEfv1ENT REPORTAAA-117.......... .............. ................................ 109 ENLISTEDPROfv1OTION REPORTAAA-294..................................................... ........... 110

3-NONCOMMISSIONEDOFFICEREVALUATION REPORTS(NCOERS).............................................................................. 111 4-OFFICER EVALUATIONREPORTS(OERS)............................... 114 OERSUPPORTFORM..................................................................................... 114 SENIORRATERSECTION............................................................................ 115 PERSONNELACTIONS................................................................................. 116 AWARDS......................................................................................................... 117 REENLISTMENT .............................................................................................. 122 LEAVE............................................................................................................. 123 FLAGGINGACTIONS...................................................................................... 124 UNITTRANSMITTALLETTER(UTU ................................................... 125 PERSONNELMANAGEMENT....................................................... 125 PROMOTIONS ................................................................................................. 125 SPONSORSHIP ............................................................................................... 128 PUBLICATIONS ............................................................................................... 130 EQUALOPPORTUNITY(EO)..................................................................... 130 FINANCE....................................................................................................... 131 UNITCOMMANDER'SFINANCEREPORT...................................... 131 BASICALLOWANCEFORSUBSISTENCE(BASl......................... 131 BASICALLOWANCEFORHOUSING(BAH)................................... 132 PAYGRADE................................................................................................... 132 LEAVEDATA.................................................................................................. 132 OTHERITEMSTO LOOKFOR.................................................................. 132 LETUS GO BACKTO THE BEGINNINGFORA MOMENT ..... 134 THEB01T0MLINEFORPERSONNELAND ADMINISTRATlON .. 135 BIBLIOGRAPHY FORPERSONNEL ANDADMINISTRATION.. 136 &. Training ............................................................................ 2.37 WHA1 DOYOU DO NOW,COMPANYCOMMANDER?........ 138 THECOMPANY COMMANDER'S TRAININGRESPONSIBILITIES ....139 EDUCATEYOURSELF..................................................................... 140 TALKWITH KEYINDIVIDUALS ................................................................ 141 VISITKEYORGANIZATIONS ..................................................................... 143

SAFETY................................................................................................... 144 DEVELOP A TRAINING PHILOSOPHY ........................................ 144 NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICERSTRAIN INDIVIDUALS, CREWS. AND SMALL TEAMS ........................................................ 146 TRAIN TO STANDARD ............................................................................ 147 TRAIN FUNDAMENTALS FIRST............................................................. 147 LEADERS TRAIN TO DEVELOPADAPTABILITY ......................... 148 TRAIN TO SUSTAIN................................................................................ 148 TRAIN TO MAINTAIN .............................................................................. 149 CONDUCT MULTI-ECHELON AND CONCURRENT TRAINING......................................................................................... 150 UNDERSTAND THE OPERATIONAL ENVIRONMENT ............ 151 PUBLISH YOUR TRAINING PHILOSOPHY...................................... 152 TRAINING MANAGEMENT ............................................................ 153 TRAINING DETRACTORS....................................................................... 153 HOW TO TRAIN ....................................................................................... 154 PLAN ....................................................................................................... 154

IDENTIFYREQUIREMENTS ......................................................................................... 154 DEVELOPA LONG-RANGETRAININGCALENDAR................................................ 155 DEVELOPA SHORT-RANGETRAININGPLAN............................................................ 155 TRAININGSCHEDULE................................................................................................ 156 WEEKLYTRAININGMEETING..................................................................................... 157 HAVEAN AGENDA...................................................................................................... 157 DISCUSSHIGHERHOS TRAININGNOTES.................................................................. 157 DISCUSSPAST PRESENTAND FUTURETRAINING............................................ 157 DISCUSSAND ALLOCATERESOURCES ..................................................................... 157 PUBLISHMINUTES.................................................................................................... 158

PREPARE................................................................................................. 158 EXECUTE................................................................................................. 159 ASSESS.................................................................................................... 159

AAR............................................................................................................................ 159 EVALUATIONRESULTS.............................................................................................. 160 PERSONALOBSERVA TION......................................................................................... 160

BATTLE FOCUS INTEGRATION ................................................... 161 COLLECTIVE AND INDIVIDUAL TASKS............................................ 161

INDIVIDUALTRAINING............................................................................................... 161 COLLECTIVETRAINING.............................................................................................. 162

LEADER TRAIN ING .................................................................................. 166 TRAINING TOOLS .................................................................................... 168

HIP-POCKETTRAINING. .............................................................................................. 168 CONCURRENTTRAINING.......................................................................................... 169 CERT/FICA TIONCOURSESAND DIAGNOSTICTESTS.......................................... 170 ADVENTURETRAINING.............................................................................................. 171 CHECK CHECK CHECK.............................................................................................. 171

MANEUVER VS. SUSTAINER MOS ............................................... 171

LET'S GO BACKTO THE BEGINNING FOR A MOMENT ........173 THE BOTTOMLINE FORTRAINING ............................................ 174 BIBLIOGRAPHYFORTRAINING................................................... 175

7, Supply ............................................................................... 'J.77

THE COMPANY COMMANDER'S SUPPLYRESPONSIBILITIES .. 178 RESPONSIBLEFORALL UNIT PROPERTY.................................... 179 ACCOUNTABLEFORALL UNIT PROPERTY................................. 179 EDUCATEYOURSELF..................................................................... 180 REVIEWREGULATIONSAND INSPECTIONREPORTS.......180 TALKWITH KEYINDIVIDUALS............................................................... 181 VISITKEYORGANIZATIONS ..................................................................... 182 EDUCATEYOUR UNIT ON SUPPLYPROCEDURES...............183 SETAN EXAMPLE.......................................................................................... 183 CONDUCTUNIT CLASSES........................................................................ 184 CONDUCTLOW-DENSITYTRAINING CLASSES...................... 185 MONEYTALKS.............................................................................................. 186 INVENTORIES................................................................................... 187 CHANGE-OF-COMMANDINVENTORY........................................... 188 PREPARATORY PHASE................................................................................ 190

TALKWITHYOURBAITAL/ONCOMMANDER ....................... ............................... 190 TALKWITHTHEBAITAL/ONS-4 AND PBO................................................................ 190 TALKWITHYOURFELLOWCOMPANYCOMMANDERS .................. ................ 190 READCURRENT REFERENCE MATERIALS ............................................. ................... 190 DETERMINE WHATTOINVENTORY. CONDUCT100 PERCENTINVENTORY OFALL......................................................................................................... 191 DEVELOP YOURINVENTORY STRATEGY. .................................................................... 191

MEETWITH THE OUTGOINGCOMMANDER.............................. 191 INVENTORY PHASE..................................................................................... 192 FOLLOW-UPPHASE.................................................................................... 193 CYCLICORMONTHLY10 PERCENTINVENTORY................... 195 SENSITIVE ITEMINVENTORY................................................................. 195 PROPERTY RECORDS.................................................................... 195 PROPERTY BOOK........................................................................................ 196 MASTERAUTHORIZATION LIST(MAU ........................................... 196 ADJUSTMENT OF PROPERTYRECORDS................................. 197 HEREARETHREEMETHODSOF COLLECTION...................... 198

CASHCOLLECTION VOUCHER .......................................................................................... 198 STATEMENT OFCHARGES ................................................................................................ 199 FINANCIAL UABIUTYINVEST/GA TIONOFPROPERTY LOSS(FL/PU........... 200 EXCESS PROPERTY .......................................................................................................... 200

LETUSGOBACKTO THE BEGINNINGFORA MOMENT.....202 THEBOTTOMLINEFORSUPPLY ................................................ 203 BIBLIOGRAPHY FORSUPPLY...................................................... 204

8. Maintenance ...................................................................205

NOWWHAT HAPPENS. COMPANYCOMMANDER .............. 206 THE COMPANY COMMANDER'S MAINTENANCE RESPONSIBILITIES ................................................................. 207 YOU HAVE TWO MAJOR MAINTENANCE RESPONSIBILITIES........................................................................... 207

fv/AINTAIN.................................................................................................................... 207 TRAIN........................ .......................................................................................................... 207

EDUCATE YOURSELF ..................................................................... 208

REVIEW REGULATIONS AND INSPECTION REPORTS.......208 TALK WITH KEY INDIVIDUALS .............................................................. 209 VISIT KEY ORGANIZATIONS ................................................................... 210 LEARN FROM THOSE WHO KNOW ............................................ 211 EDUCATE YOUR UNIT .................................................................... 212 SETTHE EXAMPLE .................................................................................. 212 CONDUCT UNIT CLASSES..................................................................... 214 SCHEDULE A COMET TEAM VISIT ...................................................... 215 CONDUCT LOW-DENSITY TRAINING CLASSES ...................... 216 MAINTENANCE OPERATIONS................................................................ 216

PREVENTIVEfv/AINTENANCECHECKSAND SERVICES(Pfv/CS) . ............... 216 SCHEDULEDSERVICES.......................................... .................................................................. 217 CANNIBALIZATIONAND CONTROLLEDEXCHANGE... ........................................ 218 ARfv/YOIL ANALYSISPROGRAfvl(AOAP)...................................................................... 219 CALIBRATION............................................................................................................... 220 INSPECTIONS............................................................................................................... 220 MAINTENANCE MANAGEMENT. .......................................................... 221 PUBLICATIONS............................................................................................................ 221 THEARfvlYfv/AINTENANCEfv/ANAGEfv/ENTSYSTEfvlrTAfvlfv/SJ... ................ 222 PRESCRIBEDLOAD LIST (PLU ..................................................................................... 222 DISPATCHPROCEDURES............................................................................................. 223 LICENSINGPROCEDURES ............................................................................................ 224 RECOGNITION.............................................................................................................. 224 ON-THE-JOB TRAINING(OJT)AND CROSS-TRAINING...................................... 225

SHOP OPERATIONS................................................................................. 225

SHOP LAYOUT.............................................................................................................. 225 SHOPAPPEARANCE..................................................................................................... 226 STANDINGOPERATINGPROCEDURES(SOP)........................................................... 226 TOOLROOfv/.................................................................................................................. 227

LET'S GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING FORA MOMENT ........228 THE BOTTOM LINE FOR MAINTENANCE .................................229 BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR MAINTENANCE .......................................230

g. Other Important Command Matters ........................232. THE OLD KITCHEN SINK ............................................................... 231

INTEGRITY ......................................................................................... 232 SEXUAL HARASSMENT ASSAULT RESPONSE AND PREVENTION (SHARP) ..........................................................234 SUICIDE .............................................................................................. 237 INSPECTIONS: A WORD OF ADVICE ..........................................239

CONDUCTANNOUNCED INSPECTIONS...................................... 240 CONDUCTUNANNOUNCED INSPECTIONS............................... 241 DEVELOPTHE RIGHTMIX.......................................................................... 243 CONDUCTUSEFULINSPECTIONS..................................................... 243 USEA CHECKLIST ......................................................................................... 244 EMPHASIZETHE GOODAS WELL AS THE BAD...................... 245 FOLLOW-UP................................................................................................. 245 DO NOT'CRAM" FORAN INSPECTION........................................... 247 DO NOTFORGETYOUR FREECOMMAND INSPECTION..247 REQUEST ASSISTANCEVISITS.............................................................. 248 SAFETY.SAFETY. SAFETY............................................................. 248 PHYSICAL TRAINING (PT) ............................................................. 252

MANDATORY ................................................................................................ 253 ORGANIZED ................................................................................................. .253 INTERESTING ............................................................................................... 254 DEMANDING................................................................................................ 255 CHALLENGING ............................................................................................. 256 UNITSPORTS.............................................................................................. 257

SUPPORT YOURPROGRAM ................................................................................................ 258 DONOTOVERDO IT............................................................................................................. 258

DRUG ABUSE.................................................................................... 258

CONSULTJAG............................................................................................. 259 USEURINALYSIS TESTING....................................................................... 259 USEANY OTHERLEGALAND APPROPRIATEMEANS AVAILABLETO COMBATUNIT DRUG PROBLEM......... 260 TALKWITH YOURSOLDIERS.................................................................. 261 ALCOHOLABUSE ............................................................................ 261

PREVENTION .............................................................................................. 262 EDUCATION ............................................................................................... 263 IDENTIFICATION ......................................................................................... 263 REHABILITATION AND TREATMENT................................................ 264 READY ANDRESILIENT CAMPAIGNAND PERFORMANCE TRIAD.................................................................................................. 265 PERFORMANCE TRIAD(P3)..................................................................... 265

SLEEP ............................................................................................................................ .266 ACTIVITY ........................................................................................................................ 266 NUTRITION .................................................................................................................... 267

WEIGHT CONTROL......................................................................... 268

FOLLOWTHEREGULATIONS ................................................................ 268 DO NOTMAKEEXCEPTIONS .................................................................. 269

HELP YOUR SOLDIERS........................................................................... 269 THE CHAPLAIN'S ROLE IN YOUR COMPANY .........................271 A GOOD CHAPLAIN WI LL BE ................................................................ 271 A GOOD COMMANDER WILL ................................................................ 272 WORKING WITH THE INSPECTOR GENERAL (IG) ................272 MEET THE IG........................................................................................... 272 FOSTERA GOOD RELATIONSHIP........................................................ 273 BE CANDID ............................................................................................. 273 YOUR SOLDIERS AND THEIR FAMILIES ................................... 274 CONCERN ............................................................................................... 274 ACTION .................................................................................................... 275 RESPECT................................................................................................. 276 EN RICH.................................................................................................... 277 TOXIC LEADERSHIP........................................................................ 278 UNIT STATUS REPORT................................................................... 280 AMMUNITION ACCOUNTABILITY .............................................. 282 SECURITY AWARENESS ................................................................ 284 TRANSGENDER ISSUES ................................................................ 285 BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR OTHER IMPORTANT COMMAND MATTERS.................................................................................... 287

2.0. The Bottom Line ............................................................289 THE BOTTOM LINE FOR COMPANY COMMAND ...................294 MG (R) JOHN G. MEYER, JR. BIOGRAPHY ................................ 295 MAJ SPENCER BEATTY BIOGRAPHY ........................................ 297

Updates and corrections can be found online: http://asktop.net/ccue Access Code: MEYBEA:1.7

PREFACE The updated version of this book is designed to help lighten the load of one of the most overworked Soldier in the US Army-THE

COMPANY

COMMANDER. It is commonplace for military leaders to call a company commander's job the hardest job in the Army. Company commanders have more to do in one day than they can ever accomplish. A company commander works ten to twelve hours a day. six or seven days a week and refers to over 100 manuals and documents-just to stay ahead of the proverbial power curve. Despite the time and stress. successful company command is the most rewarding job in the Army. Company Command: The Bottom Line spells out the essential tasks a

company commander must complete and shows how they should perform them in order to command successfully. It's not a book on leadership. nor is it a book that includes everything a company commander does- although much in it applies to leadership and the many burdens of command. It's a concise practical reference that will help make a "rookie" commander into a "true professional." The book is written for any unit. regardless of mission. Although we concentrated on company command in the Active Forces, this book's general principles and most of the concrete details and specific references apply equally to command in the Guard and Reserve units. We are, and always will be one Army. It is written for the worst case: You have your own orderly room, budget, motor pool. supply room, etc.: and you have real problems to deal with. Read this book and it will

xvii

Start you off running when you take command. Identify your most important tasks and tell you how to complete them Show you how to set new directions for your company. Challenge you to think and solve typical company commander problems. Give you confidence to command with authority. Arm you with previously unpublished tricks of the trade. Make you a better commander. If you have time to read only one book prior to assuming command. read this one. Read it as a platoon leader and as an incoming commander. Then use it as a reference while in command. Get your lieutenants to read it and especially your 1SG.He needs to buy into chapter 3, "You and Your lSG." The book is arranged so each chapter addresses one particular command responsibility. You can read all the chapters in order or use the book as a reference for a particular issue. You will discover how many command responsibilities over lap and how solutions to command problems apply to many unrelated matters. In case you need more information on a particular topic, each chapter contains its own references. Of course reference titles and numbers of Army Regulations. Field Manuals. DA Pamphlets. etc may change or be superseded: therefore double-check the current validity of the ')Urce before using it for official purposes . .is book is written in plain English and filled with TIPS,WAR STORIES, .nd QUOTES("The BrassSays")-all designed to make company command a great experience for you and your Soldiers.

xviii

TIPS-ways

to do things smarter and more professionally. (You won't

find these Tips in Army Regulations. Field Manuals or other doctrine.) WAR STORIES-reflections

of actual situations and how to do or not

do something THE BRASS SAYS-quotes

from military leaders who have been in

your shoes and commanded successfully. This book comes from hundreds of hours of interviews and discussions with general officers, brigade and battalion commanders, company commanders

(successful and unsuccessfuO. brigade and battalion

command sergeant majors. company first sergeants, Soldiers. and our own personal experiences. The ideas and ways of doing things are proven. Pick and choose those you feel comfortable

with and

become the best commander ever. This book is a guide not a bible. THE BOTTOM LINE: Company command is the greatest job in the

Army. Do it right-right from the start.

xix

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS When GeneralJohn Wickham was Army Chief of Staff, he announced as one of his eight principles of leadership, "Make history-make

a

difference." I hope Company Command: The Bottom Line will make such a difference. Over the past several years I have been asked by friends, colleagues. superb soldiers and caring leaders-why

don't you update your book.

Company Command: The Bottom Line. CSM (R) Mark Gerecht. CEO of Mentor Enterprises, finally convinced me to update the book. He, as well as others. thought this updated version would be as useful for a company commander and his/her leadership team today as it was several years ago. I thank Mark for not only convincing me to update the book, but also his expert advice and assistance in making the necessary changes. It is a big advantage to have your publisher deeply involved in the revision as well as publishing your book. A very special thanks to Major Spencer Beatty. author of Beans to Bul-

lets,Logisticsfor Non-Logisticians,who became my co-author. Spencer was able to expertly provide the changes for "then to now." Spencer is an extremely capable and unique officer and was invaluable in this endeavor.. A sincere debt of gratitude goes to my wife, Mary. I thank you for your oatience, understanding and support, for without that this updated ok would not be possible. :>the reader: I know acknowledgement sections can be boring and

patronizing but never forget those who helped you get where you are today-for without them, you are nothing.

xx

ON LEADING SOLDIERS The American Soldier, the finest fighting Soldier in the world, deserves your steady leadership, your care, your compassion. and your genuine love. You will know when you have given sufficient measure of these qualities. You will know when you look into your Soldiers' eyes. for it is there you will learn how they judge and respect you as a leader. In the end. you are a TRUE leader only when your leadership is ratified in the hearts of your Soldiers. -General William J. Livsey Jr.

xxi

WHO'S IN CHARGE?

1

YOU ARE. AND DON'T EVER FORGET IT!

2

TAKING COMMAND Leadership in a democratic Army means firmness. not harshness; understanding,

not weakness; justice. not

license: humaneness. not intolerance. generosity. not selfishness: pride. not egotism. -General Omar N. Bradley

Company command is the most demanding job in the Army. It's the toughest job you'll have as a captain and one of the toughest jobs you'll have during your career. Command can be lonely. but remember, you were selected to command, not win a popularity contest. You were selected because you've shown you're a leader that has potential and who can complete the mission. Your potential contributions as a good company commander are infinite. Remember. you're a role model everyday you're in command. Soldiers need and want to be led: they look to you for guidance. Be a positive role model and leader. You'll cherish the rewards of a successful command the rest of your life. Don't waste this opportunity. Be the best company commander you can be and make a difference to your Soldiers, your unit, and the Army.

3

TO BE OR NOT TO BE A COMPANY COMMANDER Don't be insulted by this question: Why do you want to command? Is it because you want to lead Soldiers, or is it because you need to punch your ticket and become branch qualified for promotion? Self-serving individuals will find command to be an unpleasant experience. They'll do their time, punch their ticket. make no impact. and then move on. Worse yet. their impact may be very detrimental The only positive impact will be in the examples they provide their subordinates in "how not to be a leader." Take a few moments and review the following questions to determine your motivations and desires to command: Are you willing to dedicate yourself 24 hours a day, seven days a week, if necessary,for your unit and for your Soldiers? Is your family willing to bear the sacrifices? Are you willing to lead by example in everything you do-to live in a fishbowl with your personal and professional life open to view? Are you a doer? Canyou lead your company to excellence? Do you understand that loyalty is a two-way street? Canyou challengeyour Soldiers to go the extra mile knowing the challenges may increase and the rewards may remain the same or be reduced? Are you willing to put your neck on the line and take risks when necessary? Are you willing to make tough decisions, regardless of the consequences?

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Are you willing to take responsibility for everything

that

happens, or that doesn't happen. in your unit? Are you willing to support your boss completely and wholeheartedly, even if you do not like him or her? Are you willing to sacrifice your career to protect and preserve the dignity of your Soldiers? Can you be diplomatic to achieve the greater goal? Can you set aside personal biases and work for the common good of the unit. its mission, and those around you? Simply put. successful company command requires total dedication, energy, commitment. and support to your Soldiers-anything less can hinder the mission and hurt your Soldiers.

WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A SUCCESSFUL COMPANY COMMANDER It's time for plain language. You "gotta" be many things to all of your Soldiers, all of the time. Successful company command is judged not by your report card, but by service and loyalty to your Soldiers and to your commander. The following are Meyer's 21 essential "you gottas."

YOU GOTTA WANT IT: You must have the desire, dedication, and commitment to lead, train, and love your Soldiers. You must want to command people more than anything else in the world.

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YOU GOTTA HAVETHE BASICS: The basics include integrity, courage, loyalty, humility, and respect. You either have these basics or you don't. If they aren't a part of you now, unfortunately, they probably never will be. Simply said, these basics are the givens that must be practiced automatically. Violate a "GIVEN,"and you have compromised yourself and are doomed to fail.

YOU GOTTAHAVECOURAGE: Courage is so important that it deserves separate treatment; call it "guts," "intestinal fortitude," "risk-taking," "bravery"-whatever: You must have this quality. As the commander, you're responsible for everything that happens. If you think a particular action is wrong, stand up and tell your Soldiers what you think. Your opinion may not always satisfy the troops, but you'll establish a reputation as a commander who looks out for the unit. But, be smart when you take this stand. Pick the right times, the right )laces, and the right issues.

YOU GOTTABE FAIR: If you're fair in everything you do, everything else will fall into place. Being fair means treating every Soldier evenhandedly with dignity and respect. How can you discipline a private first class for violating the company smoking policy, if your operations sergeant does it every day? How can you put a sergeant on the remedial PT program for consistently failing his physical fitness test. if one of your platoon leaders can't pass a physical fitness test? If you set double standards, you will quickly undermine your Soldiers' trust and willingness to follow orders. A substitute for fairness does not exist.

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YOU GOTTA LEAD BY EXAMPLE: The most important attribute for success is leading by example. If you lead by example in everything you do, you will succeed. Be second-to-none

as a role model to your officers, NCOs (non-

commissioned officers), and Soldiers. They'll willingly follow a leader who sets the example by word and by deed. There's no room for a "do as I say...not as I do" leader.

WARSTORV A battalion commander felt so strongly about leading by example, he developed a "Follow-the-Leader Day.· Every NCO and officer in the battalion had to complete this day of instruction, led personally by the battalion commander and his Command Sergeant fvtajor (CSfv1). The commander's intent was to develop the belief that LEADERSARE STANDARD-BEARERSand, as such. must lead by example in everything they do and say-no excuses. Therefore, he conducted this training in the open. so all of the young enlisted Soldiers could see what leading by example was all about. The day went like this: PT (Physical Training)-Rigorous, varied, and instruc-

tional; for example, three kinds of push-ups and sit-ups topped off by a four-mile group run. In-ranks inspection-From

head-to-toe

and from

front-to-rear. The battalion commander inspected the , officers, and the CSfv1inspected the NCOs. Room standards-Participants visited three different

'

rooms to see what a Soldier's room should Look like

7

when he is on duty, when he is off duty, and for an official inspection.

Lunch-A group lunch in the dining facility. Teach/coach time-Lecture and discussion on leadership, safety, and security. Rap session-Until now. it was a one-way street and

the commander was driving. Now, a~er seven or eight hours in the front seat, he took a backseat: listened and responded to any subject raised by the participants. Follow-the-LeaderDay helped officers and NCOs see that they had to lead by example. even in their own behavior.

YOU GOTTACARE The ·most" important point is you have to care for your company and your troops! You must be sincere and willing to go that extra mile for your Soldiers. Soldiers can distinguish a "ticket-punching," insincere commander from one who wants to command for all the right reasons. Only grudgingly do they follow a commander who's just going through the motions of command.

WARSTORY An experienced company commander overheard her first , sergeant (1SG)helping a Soldier go on emergency leave due , to a death in the family. Because the Soldier needed money and had to leave immediately, the company commander personally intervened with the Red Cross to obtain a $200 loan for the Soldier. The 1SGdrove the Soldier to the bank, then to the airport.

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The Soldier returned 10 days later. and repaid the Red Cross the following payday. The Soldier never forgot the concern shown by the commander and by the 1SG. Word spread throughout the company that both of these leaders cared about their Soldiers.

YOU GOTTA HAVE CONFIDENCE: If you don't believe in yourself, nobody else will. If you are decisive and show your troops that you are eager to solve their problems, the confidence will be contagious. Yes, command can be intimidating and overwhelm your sensibilities. That's the job and it's yours to get done. Press forward with confidence.

YOU GOTTA ESTABLISH STANDARDS: Standards are the foundation of your unit. Be tough, fair, and reasonable. Involve your chain of command when developing company policy, because you want your standards to be their standards: enforcing them will be easy. Standards must be known, understood, and enforced. If any one of these actions is not followed, you will have a problem. It's always better to set firm standards when you take command and then back off, rather than to start out soft and trying to get tough later. The first way earns respect the second earns a lack of respect and a weak reputation. Whatever you do, don't ignore the standards you set. because when you do, you set new and lower standards.

*****

THE BRASS SAYS*****

General Carl Vuono on standards: Draw on the past, be

responsible for the present, and shape the future.

•••·•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

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YOU GOTTA BE ORGANIZED: A company commander has more to do than he or she can ever personally accomplish. Here are two keys to being organized: Managing time and delegating tasks. Time is your most precious asset; use it wisely to organize yourself. Share the workload through delegation. It strengthens your chain of command by demonstrating confidence in your subordinate leaders and more importantly, it develops your subordinates. Once you delegate, give your subordinates a chance to do their jobs. They know their jobs better than you do. The following checklist draws from the experience of several management experts. Look it over and see what applies to you. Then make your own list. Keep this list around and look at it at least once a month. You'll be amazed at how much it'll help you stay organized.

GOALS: v

Rewrite your goals once a month.

v

Put signs in your office to remind you of your goals.

DECISIONMAKING: t1 Know when to say "no." t1 Know when to stop working on a particular task. v

Know when to avoid involving unnecessary people in the decision-making process.

YOURTIME: t1 Continually ask yourself, "What's the best use of my time right now?"

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v

Set aside large chunks of time for tasks requiring uninterrupted concentration. Consider setting aside time prior to or after the normal duty day for these tasks.

v

Relax frequently and smile at the decision you've just made.

v

Reward yourself when you've done something important.

ORGANIZE YOUR DAILY WORK:

v

Keep a calendar of specific items to be done each day.

v

Work on your "Things You'd Really Like to Do" list.

v

Do your thinking on paper. Carry 3 x 5 cards. Write things down.

v

Keep your desktop cleared: put the most important items in the center of your desk.

v

Get rid of busywork: it's not how much you're doing that's important. but how much you get done.

v

Throw away things you don't need.

v

Ask yourself what you're avoiding when you're procrastinating.

MEETINGS:

v

Have a purpose when you hold a meeting, set a time limit, and ask only individuals who are informed, to take part.

v

Schedule meetings before lunch or at quitting time. This helps keep the meeting focused. However, realize people have to be on their way-just

like you.

,1

Try stand-up meetings: they tend to be brief and businesslike.

,1

Ask open-ended questions. Listen actively.

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CORRESPONDENCE: v

Generate as little paperwork as possible. If you generate paperwork keep it short, simple, and to the point.

v

Handle correspondence only once: trust your signature at the bottom of the letter.

v

Write short letters/emails, and memos whenever you can. Otherwise use the telephone.

v

Use simple charts or diagrams, rather than long, drawn-out papers to communicate your ideas.

YOU GOTTABE COMPETENT: Technical and tactical proficiency are musts. Your Soldiers look to you for answersand solutions. You must produce. Read, study, and think about your job, and you'll produce positive results. Consult with senior commanders when you're up against a tough problem.

*****

THE BRASSSAYS*****

GeneralJohnPershingon competency:A competent leader can get efficient service from poor troops while, on the contrary, an incapable leader can demoralize the best of troops.

YOU GOTTABEYOURSELF: Being yourself is what made you successful so far. You know yourself better than anyone else.When you become a company commander, don't be awed by the power of your new position and change your personality. It won't work. There was only one Eisenhower and one Patton.Just like there is only one you.

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YOU GOTTA MAKE THINGS HAPPEN: Be a doer. Get involved and be seen. Develop a reputation for making important changes happen in your unit. but know when to get involved and when to let your chain of command handle the problems. Act: never react.

YOU GOTTA DEVELOP TEAMWORK: Teamwork builds unit cohesiveness,

that necessary bond

which must exist among Soldiers. No one has won a war by themselves, lately. TheArmy, and commanders in general. are fairly good at rewarding individuals for their accomplishments. But when was the last time a squad or platoon in your

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unit was recognized as a unit for any accomplishment? Group recognition solidifies the importance of teamwork.

YOU GOTTA CHECK, CHECK, AND RECHECK: As a 1SG used to say "Who's checking the Checker?" Just because the company commander directs something be done, doesn't always mean it will be done. Keep checking until your subordinates consider it business as usual. Remember, that which is not inspected is neglected. Checking is not micromanagement. A wise leader once said, "I don't care who you told ... tell me who you checked."

YOU GOTTA BE AN ACTIVE LISTENER: As a general rule, you, as well as other company commanders. must work at developing the quality of being an active listener.

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If you act before hearing all of the input, you'll make mistakes. Active listening means keeping your mind from wandering off to tomorrow's inspection: maintaining eye-to-eye contact with the speaker: asking for clarification when necessary: allowing the speaker to finish their point without interruption: and providing the speaker with feedback to ensure you heard what they intended you to hear. It's easier to make decisions once you've heard the entire story.

***** THEBRASSSAVS ***** GeneralDennisReimeron listening:/just go back to what GeneralAbrams told me-Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all shadow of a doubt. Always give everyone their day in court. If your operations NCO proposed a change in procedures. don't make a snap decision. First. let them present their entire proposal. Then. if you disagree. tell them no

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and the reasons why. Your chain of command must feel free to present new ideas without fear of rejection. Only then do you inspire creative thinking and innovation. When you buy into a subordinate's idea. recognize that person for it. especially when you're complimented on its success.

YOU GOTTAHAVECOMPASSION: Compassion is absolutely essential for a leader. Compassion doesn't mean you're weak. It means you're sympathetic-fairto your Soldiers when you should be. Command is tough. and you gotta be tough, but you can't be unmoved by your Soldiers'

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problems. A leader who lacks compassion and empathy is a tyrant not a leader.

*****

THE BRASS SAYS*****

General Omar Bradley on compassion: Far from being

a handicap to command, compassion is its measure. For unless one values the lives of his Soldiers and is tormented by their ordeals, he's unfit to command.

YOU GOTTA KNOW YOUR BOSS: Some new company commanders get carried away with their own agenda and forget that boss-imposed tasks must go to the top of the priority list: Know your boss's idiosyncrasies. You've got some, so don't be surprised to learn that your boss has them too. Keep your boss informed. Like you, they don't welcome surprises. Remember, bad news gets worse with age. Better he hear bad news from you, than from his boss. Be totally honest with your boss. He must be able to trust your word. If in doubt. seek your boss's counsel. This axiom is not a sign of weakness-it's smart business. It tells the boss you're not a know-it-all and you'll also get the benefit of their experience.

YOU GOTTA BE FLEXIBLE: If you can't roll with the punches and be flexible. you're in trouble. Don't box yourself into a corner ...have a "plan B"-such as one for inclement weather.

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YOU GOTTABE PRACTICAL: Sometimes the quality of being practical is lost in the heat of the moment. Commanders must think first. be cool under pressure. and use common sense. New commanders tend to go "by the book" in the early stages. That's okay. but if the situation dictates a change. don't be afraid to make your move. A good sense of humor helps reduce stress and maintain stability in a unit. It places the demands and pressures of commanding

a

company into proper perspective.

YOU GOTTABEA SALESPERSON: If you don't sell your unit. no one will. You're the commander and the unit's public relations director. Let your unit's actions speak louder than words. Find discreet and humble methods to share your success. Perhaps a slide in your quarterly brief to the boss that lists significant unit achievements during the last quarter. Let your boss feel good about the unit's success. Invite your boss and his CSfvt to take part in some meaningful training or be present at an award cer-

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emony.Seize the upper hand: it could help you avoid their unannounced visits.Surprise visits tend to be less than pleasant occasions.

YOU GOTTAHAVEFUN: This is number 21 and we deliberately saved the best for last. Having fun and being a company commander are not contradictory. Commanding a successful company is like managing a winning baseball team-its fun! Encourage your Soldiers to take leave and ensure you take leave as well.

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YOUR ACTIONS PRIOR TO COMMAND THINK: Most incoming commanders don't take the time to develop their unit vision. The most important step is developing a mental road map and then commit it to writing. Sit back and reflect on the direction you want to take the unit before you actually take command. Once you assume command, 1000 alligators will threaten to bite your butt every day while you're trying to build your team. Isolate yourself for at least an hour every other day for 10 days so you can think, read, and contemplate on the nature of command. If you really want to command, you'll think about your actions as a future commander several years before you assume this role. You'll watch and learn from your current company commander the right and wrong ways to do things. Make notes and keep them in an organized file for periodic review. This will help you develop your goals and your objectives. Once you receive the guidon, you'll have a "honeymoon· of about 60 seconds ...and then your battalion commander will expect you to be off and running. You better know where you're going.

EDUCATE YOURSELF: Talk with key individuals and visit key organizations before your change of command. Examples include: o

Your fellow company commanders

o

Your future executive officer and battalion CSM

o

Several commanders who recently relinquished command

o

A senior officer whose counsel and ideas you value.

17

Ask them questions, such as: o

What was your vision before taking command?

o

How did you prepare to take command?

o

Do you have any documents I can read to help me prepare? What will the battalion commander expect of me in

o

the first go days? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the unit I'm

o

about to command? o

What did you do the first week of your command?

o

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

o

What references should I review or read?

Visit Key Organizations o

The inspector general's office

o

The provost marshal's office

o

The judge advocate general's office

o

The Material Assistance Inspection Team (MAIT)

Visit your battalion and brigade staff principals and ask questions, such as : o

What policies are creating problems for company commanders?

o

What assistance can I expect from you? Does your organization provide assistance visits?

0

What regulations should I know best? Which companies perform best and why

Your goal is to educate yourself by visiting and by talking with as many people as possible. Evaluate their input and THINK about how you want to incorporate other ideas into your game plan.

SPEND TIME WITH THE OUTGOING COMMANDER: Spend as much transition time as possible with the outgoing commander. Get his or her views on the unit's strengths and weaknesses. Ask about any "unfinished business." Have the outgoing commander

give you a status report on

where the unit is today in all areas. such as training, supply, and maintenance. Know what's been done, so you don't waste time. A word of caution: You can spend too much time with the outgoing commander. Since this command is most likely your first, you might think that you need more transition time. The truth of the matter is that while you're new to the unit. the majority of your subordinates aren'l They're capable of answering your questions and are anxious to brief and to help you. In addition, they may view too much time with the outgoing commander as a "negative." Open your mind as well as your door to your subordinates.

* * * * * THE BRASS SAYS * * * * * General Eric Shinsehi on taking command: Not every-

one gets the privilege to command. Look down - see your unit; know your mission; understand your Soldiers. Mahe them better at the mission every day they are in your care. That's responsible leadership - truly caring for those entrusted to you. The rest will take care of itself

19

DRAFT YOUR COMMAND PHILOSOPHY: Prepare a final draft of your command philosophy as soon as you've had time to review all of the necessary information. talk with key individuals, and think about what you want to do. One of the keys to being a successful company commander

is

to be yourself. More than any other document. your command philosophy should express your personal beliefs about how you want to command the unit. Content and format are your options. Some commanders develop lengthy documents to cover almost every subject in the unit. Others have shorter command philosophies, focused more on their leadership style. A lengthy command philosophy could include the following: Duty environment (duty hours, time off, and leave) Leadership philosophy (decision making and supervision) Unit standards Training Maintenance Physical training Drugs and alcohol Safety Discipline Pride and esprit-de-corps Security awareness Uniform appearance Education

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Reenlistment Readiness Awards Reports, correspondence, and suspenses. Communication VIP visits Quality of life Here are some themes and phrases you may find useful: Memories fail: always write things down. When I ask for your opinion, I want to hear your opinion. not what you think I want to hear. Be aggressive and responsible. Never try to transfer blame to another-it

destroys your credibility. If you step on it,

admit it: then fix it. Don't bring me a problem. unless you have at least one recommended solution. Be a problem solver-not

a problem

maker or a problem messenger. I'm very straightforward. That statement means at times you may hear things you don't like. But one thing for sure-you'll know where I stand. I'll be honest with you. and I expect you to be honest with me. I don't micromanage or over-supervise-don't

you do it either.

Here are the keys to winning. We're going to win.

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The Winner is part of the answer. The Loser is part of the problem. The Winner has a program. The Loser has an excuse. The Winner says, "Let me help you do it: The Loser says, "That's not my job.· The Winner sees an answer in every problem. The Loser sees a problem in every answer. The Winner says, ·tt may be difficult but we can do it." The Loser says, ·tt may be possible but it's too difficult.· The Winner sees something wrong and fixes it on the spot. The Loser sees something wrong and procrastinates.

A command philosophy lets your subordinates understand their new commander-your intent. purpose, and direction. The thoughts in your command philosophy don't have to be original: After all. you aren't the first captain to command. Get a copy of your battalion commander's command philosophy, so you will know their direction. Read it: then draft your own. Upon assuming command and after you've listened to your Soldiers, finalizeyour command philosophy. By waiting awhile, you give yourself time to adjust your ideas, based on your observations of the unit. Once you're satisfied with your philosophy, print it and distribute it-to every Soldier in the unit. Also, ensure that your boss, the CSM,and every newly arriving Soldier receives a copy.

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FIRST DAYS AND WEEKS IN COMMAND First impressions last the longest. When you take command, your Soldiers will watch every move you make. They will observe your appearance and note how you make decisions. You don't get three strikes before you're out. Just as you size up a new Soldier when he reports to your unit, your Soldiers are sizing you up too. Look at your unit as a new Soldier would. Ask yourself these questions: Is the outside area attractive: is this a proud company? Is the inside of the unit clean and ready for an unannounced VIP visit? Is military courtesy routine? Are unit formations conducted according to TC 3-21.5, Drill and Ceremonies? Are the billets' standards high? Do my Soldiers present a good military appearance? What is the readiness rating of your equipment? Are there deadlined vehicles? If so, for how long and why? After two days in the unit, would a Soldier feel that they're in a unit that cares? Your new Soldiers also are looking at you. Their impressionsgood or bad-get

laid at your feet, even if you're the new kid

in town. It "ain't fair"...but that's the way it is, because you're the commander. Here are some do's and don'ts to consider during your first weeks in command:

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DOS OBSERVEAND LISTEN: If your unit ever needs a good listener, it's now. Keep your eyes open and watch how the unit goes about its daily business. Ask questions. Let everyone give you his or her opinion on the state of the unit. Be a sponge and soak it up.

HAVE PATIENCE: Don't try to change things overnight. If the unit is really as bad as some people tell you, your predecessor would have been relieved. Command is a new experience for you: take your time.

CHECKYOURSUBORDINATES: Testthe abiLitiesof your subordinates.Give them challenging tasks and check their proficiency and responsiveness. You'll quickly distinguish which leaders need your special kind of motivation.

BEFIRM RATHERTHAN EASY: It's better to demand more in the beginning and then ease up, rather than be too lenient and to try to tighten the screws later. Above all, be yourself.

CONDUCTA COMMANDCLIMATE SURVEY: The command climate survey is required by AR 600-20,

Army

Command Policy.

·companylevelcommanders(orequivalents)will conduct a unit commandclimatesurveywithin30 days of assuming command (120 daysfor ARNGand USAR),again at 6 months, and annually therea~er.•

24

This process will be managed closely by the Equal Opportunity representative

and is usually automated. It's a good way to

help evaluate factors such as cohesiveness, morale, attitude toward training, living and working conditions, as well as any concerns related to gender, race, or other sensitive issues. It's very likely that you'll review the results of this survey with both the Equal Opportunity representative and the ballation commander. Prepare a plan of action to address any concerns or to continue positive trends.

SURVEY YOUR SUBORDINATE LEADERSHIP: Ask your platoon sergeants, platoon leaders, section chiefs, and 1SG to write out responses to the following questions: What does this unit do best? What areas need improvement? What programs and policies should be stopped or changed and why? If you were the new commander, what would you do differently? Give your subordinates three days to complete the task. Their responses will tell you a lot about them and about the pulse of the unit. Written responses to questions give you a chance to

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see who can think and write. This will help determine whether your officers and NCOs need certain professional development.

25

DEVELOPA FAMILYNEWSLETTER: Let your Soldiers' spouses and families know that you're the new commander and are concerned for their welfare. Let them know you're available to help them with their problems. and give them a general idea of your expectations for the unit. Mail or email the family newsletter directly to the spouse: it provides a more personal touch-and

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it

gets there. You might consider a monthly spouse newsletterfrom you and your spouse. Opening lines of communicationwith your Soldiers' families is the crux.

DON'TS DON'T BEA KNOW-IT-ALL: Being a know-it-all is the quickest way to shut off communication. Instead,you want your Soldiers to open up and to tell you what they think.

DON'TMAKEQUICKCHANGES: Everyunit fears a new commander will make quick changes. As you observe and listen. you'll note things you want to change ... to put your personal stamp on immediately. Don't. that is unless it is illegal. unethical, immoral. or unsafe. These things require immediate intervention. Tell your Soldiers you don't make quick. arbitrary changes. Nothing is worse than a new commander who comes in and immediately changes established procedures. particularly if they were closely associated with a popular ex-commander. Tell them that you'll change any situation that's dangerous or harmful to your Soldiers or to your unit. Most changes, however, deserve your thoughtful and careful deLiberation. 26

11

DON'T BAD-MOUTH THE OLD GUY": Your predecessor could be the biggest zero this side of the Mississippi-but don't bad-mouth him. You're the commander: if you want something changed. give the order and it'll happen. Don't say, "This is all screwed up: it shows total ignorance on Captain Smith's part and I'm changing it." This attitude will reduce your stature in the eyes of your subordinates.

DON'T BRAG: You've been selected to fill a very important position with more power than you ever thought possible. Don't let it go to your head. Soldiers know you're good or you wouldn't be a company commander. Statements like, "I'm going to make this ragbag unit a first-class

outfit," willjust turn your Soldiers off. Remember the

difference between confidence and bragging: Confident commanders don't brag-they

get their unit to produce.

* * * * * THE BRASS SAYS * * * * * Lieutenant GeneralJulius W. Becton Jr., on bragging:

Remember. you have been appointed-not

anointed!

AFTER go DAYS, THE UNIT IS YOURS Technically, the unit is yours from day one: however, the time will come when you can't blame the old commander for the problems in the unit. Around the go-day mark. the reality will hit you that the unit. with all of its warts. successes. and challenges, is now yours-lock,

stock, and arms room.

Regulations require a courtesy inspection from your battalion commander within the first go days. Insist that the inspection be thorough-to

find what's wrong so that you can fix it. It's an excel-

27

lent means of getting an independent view of your unit's strengths and weaknesses, and a chance to confirm your views. The results may cause you to change the unit's direction. Make the necessary adjustments, but don't berate the supervisors of sections that did poorly. Your goal is to correct deficiencies. If one of your section supervisors can't cut the mustard, quickly replace him. A~eryour "free·inspection, write or email your boss a formal letter assessing strengths and weaknesses in the company and how you propose to fix the problems. Consider attaching this letter to your Officer-Evaluation Report (OER)support form and use it as part of

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your goals and objectives. Don't be self-serving and exaggerate the weaknesses. Don't supply excuses and never, never, never use your "newness" to mitigate deficiencies.Simply state the facts and how you intend to fix the problems while capitalizing

on the

good programs in the unit.

*****

THE BRASSSAYS*****

General George C. Marshall on leading: The Soldier is a man: he expects to be treated as an adult, not as a schoolboy. He has rights: they must be made known to him and therea~er respected. He has ambition: it must be stirred. He has a belief in fair play: it must be honored. He has a need of comradeship: it must be supplied. He has imagination: it must be stimulated. He has a sense of personal dignity: it must be sustained. He has pride: it can be satisfied and made the bedrock of character once he has been assuredthat he is playing a useful and respected role. To a man this is the acme of inspired leadership. He has become loyal because loyalty has been given to him.

·····················•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 28

THE BOTTOM LINE FOR TAKING COMMAND Company command is the most demanding job in the Army. Soldiers need leadership-don't

disappoint them.

Educate yourself and think before you take command. Make deliberate changes. Quick changes can be divisive for a unit. You "gotta" lead by example in everything you do. Publish your command philosophy. It's your unit's road map to success. Ensure you make a good first impression on your unit, and your unit makes a good first impression on new Soldiers. Company command is the most rewarding job in the Army.

29

BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR TAKING COMMAND .;

AR 600-20, Army Command Policy

.;

AR 600-9, Army Body Composition Program

.;

AR 600-85, Army Substance Abuse Program

.;

TC 3-21.5,Drill and Ceremonies

.;

Small Unit Leadershipby Dandridge M. Malone (San Francisco: Presidio Press,1983).

.;

Taking Charge by Perry Smith(Washington. DC: National Defense University Press.1986) .

.;

Mechanics of Company Command by Bryan Langley (Madison,AL: Mentor Enterprises, 2017) .

.;

LeadersEat Lastby Simon Sinek (New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2014).

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YOU AND YOUR FIRST SERGEANT No one is a leader until their appointment is ratified in the minds and hearts of their Soldiers. -Old Army Saying THIS COULD HAPPEN TO YOU-It

is your first opportunity to

command a company. You have just assumed command of the worst unit in the battalion. In your initial interview with the battalion commander, he states that the unit has made a dramatic turnaround in the last six months, primarily because of the new First Sergeant (1SG)who was promoted with the assumption of his 1SG duties, he is smart. aggressive, leads by example, and has earned the respect of all of the Soldiers in the unit. The 1SG is the complete opposite of their Retired on Active Duty (ROAD) predecessor, who the battalion commander fired. The battalion commander mandated you maintain the good work your 1SG started, and to challenge your Soldiers with meaningful training. In other words-do

not screw up the 1SG'sgood work. You are

not a proven entity to your boss-your

1SG is.

To your delight. you and your 1SGquickly develop a good working relationship. You listen: he teaches. You command the unit:

31

he runs il Although the two of you have differences of opinion, you communicate well and develop joint solutions. You also respect the fact that he is a family man with a very supportive wife and two boys. After four months, you and your boss could not be happier with the unit's progress. Then it happens. At 0130 hours, you receive a telephone

call

from the military police station.The Military Police (MPs) ask you to pick up your 1SG,who is charged with being drunk in public, disorderly conduct. and resisting arrest. You cannot believe it! When you arrive at the station, the MPs hand you a preliminary report. According to the report, your 1SGwent to the club for a quick beer with a few Soldiers. In the past. he usually had a beer, talked to the troops, and left. Last night. he had quite a few beers, and joined your Soldiers in a brawl with Soldiers from the unit next door. His right eye is black and blue, and he reeks of alcohol Angry and disappointed, you sign for him and drive him to his quarters. When you get back to his quarters, you inform your battalion commander of the situation, and state that you will submit the Serious Incident Report (SIR)per battalion Standard Operating Procedure (SOP),investigate the matter, and provide a recommendation no later than 1500 hours. She approves your plan of action. You can tell that she is less than overjoyed to receive the phone call At 0530 hours, you are at the unit and the 1SGis waiting in your office. What do you do now, Company Commander? The point is, you must be ready for anything.

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Fortunately, most commanders will not have to deal with such a situation. Chances are, your 1SGwill be an excellent leader. a trusted mentor. and an effective manager of all company activities.

THECOMPANY COMMANDER COMMANDS THE UNIT-THE

2.SG RUNS IT

By now. you know you are responsible for everything your unit does or fails to do. However, the burden of responsibility does not mean you must do everything yourself. As a rule, the company commander commands the unit and the 1SG runs it. But, this is a general rule, and there is an overlap. You cannot do everything yourself: therefore, the Army "issued" you an extra right-hand with 17 to 23 years of experience to share parts of the burden. What parts? That is for the two of you to work out between yourselves. Remember, the two of you have far more shared responsibilities than separate and distinct responsibilities; leverage each other's knowledge and experience.

* * * * * THE BRASS SAYS * * * * * SMA Daniel Dailey on first sergeant responsibilities: A

First Sergeant oversees many important tasks, but the most important of these tasks is ensuring their Soldiers can fight, win, and adapt to the rapidly evolving battlefield! On the other hand, do not be intimidated by the 1SG's age and experience. If you are a typical company commander you are in your 2o's with less than ten years of military experience. Under these circumstances, how do you comfortably tell someone with 21 years in the Army, and perhaps six years of experience as a 1SG,what to do? The short answer-your

role as a company

commander is a sacred duty and you are entrusted to execute

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those duties to the best of your ability. Do not discount your experience. As a company commander, you have between five and ten years of experience and are well prepared to command. Use your experience in conjunction with the 1SG's suggestions and lessons learned, to assist in making command decisions.

WAR STORY A parishpriestaskeda ReserveOfficersTrainingCorps (ROTC) collegeseniorto escorta retiredmarine brigadier general to fvtasson Sundaysbecause the general was losing his eyesight and neededhelp.Thestudent agreed.and a friendship graduallyemerged.Thegeneral.in fact. enjoyed the student's persistentquestions. OneSundaya~erfvtass.thesoon-to-be commissioned "butter

bar.·askedthegenerala toughquestionduring breakfast. The cadetwouldsoonbe a platoon leader with the inherent duty of teWnga platoon sergeantwith 14to 17years of experience. what to do. Of course.the cadet was worried about the gap betweenhis limitedexperienceand the career achievements of a seniorNCO[Noncommissioned Officer).How was he going to tell thisplatoon sergeantanything? The old general sat back and laughed, and said that his answernot only applied to the relationship between a new lieutenantand a platoonsergeant.but also to a new company commanderand a veteran1SG.Theanswerwas simple: "You 1

hunt out the good platoon sergeants and 1SGsand listen ar:,dlearnfrom them.Simplydisregardwhat the bad platoon sergeantsand 1SGshave to say.·

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"Sounds simple enough.· the student replied, "but how do I tell the good ones from the bad ones?" The general replied, "You'll easily distinguish the good from the bad. The good ones visit their Soldiers at night and on the weekend. They ensure that every Soldier eats and sleeps while in the field. They care enough to make it happen. These are the leaders you should seek out. listen to, learn from, and reap the rewards.· The general concluded with a final thought: "Do not roll over. Remember, you are in charge. The really good platoon sergeants and 1SGs train their lieutenant or captain without them ever knowing it."

EDUCATE YOURSELF TALK WITH YOUR FELLOW COMPANY COMMANDERS: Education is both formal and informal. The best informal education will come from your fellow commanders. Draw on their experience. They know your 1SG's reputation in the battalion. More importantly.

they have dealt with countless situations

involving their own 1SG and can therefore tell you how they handled these situations. Ask their advice. Here are some suggested topics: •

What is essential in a good 1SG?



What is the 1SG'srole in Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) matters? In training?



What are the biggest mistakes you have seen a 1SG make?

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How do I work out disagreements wi th my iSG?



How does the battalion Command Sergeant Major (CSM) interact with 1SGs?



Tell me about my 1SG. Keep in mind when you ask for someone's opinion about another person, it is an ·opinion."Always give the person the benefit of doubt in these situations, or any person for that matter.

Each company commander has a different opinion concerning the relationship between the company commander and a 1SG. Eventually you will have your own distinct view. That's okay! Remember.Unit missions,personalities, and locations vary. Your goal is to prepare for, and cultivate your own, commander-1SG relationship.

TALKWITH THE 1SGSIN OTHERCOMPANIES: The other great source of informal education is in the form of other 1SGs.Talking with someone else's 1SG may seem strange, but you will benefit from additional perspectives. Additionally, these proven leaders want to share their knowledge and understanding concerning 1SGduties. Ask them the same questions you asked their bosses.Keep the conversation on a professional level Be direct and do not pull punches. Be sincere and objective. 1SGsagree on one rule: Good 1SGs mold rookie captains into

goodcommanders, One final note to remember is 1SGs tend to be competitive by nature, and are sensitive to hidden agendas.

*****

THE BRASS SAYS*****

SMA Julius W. Gates on company commanders: /vfyjob

as a first sergeant was to make my company commander the best company commander in the battalion-period!

TALK WITH YOUR BATTALION CSM: Your CSM has more than likely served as a 1SGat least twice. He or she has trained many a company commander. Keep in mind that 1SGs usually have a strong relationship with the CSM and with their battalion commander. When talking with the CSM, you are also speaking with the battalion commander to some degree. When talking with the CSM, consider the following questions: What does our unit do well? Where does our unit need improvement? Are there any specific issues I need to address immediately? What areas does the CSM feel need my immediate attention? Are there any leadership issues I should be concerned about? Are there any specific shortcomings with regard to unit leadership? What are the strengths of unit leadership? How are enlisted personnel assignments handled within the battalion? How are 1SGs selected within the battalion (if your 1SG will change out while you are in command)? Note. this can be a sensitive area of discussion as some CSMs feel they, and they alone. select 1SGs. •

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By ask.Ing open-en d ed questions • you allow the CSM latitude to share information versus asking specific questions. Trust me, if the CSM has something to say. odds are, he or she won't be bashful in sharing their thoughts with you. This conversation fulfills another requirement. It gives you insight into how the CSM thinks. Perhapsmore importantly, it provides a glimpse into the CSM's personality.This is critical in how you will approach the CSM in the future with regard to key issues in leadership, training, personnelmanagement. potential issues with your 1SG, or with other key enlisted leaders. Understanding how the CSM thinks and his or her personality, you are in the best possible position to develop a strong and lasting rapport during your tenure as a commander. If you are having problems with your 1SG,seek the battalion CSM'sadvice. Anytime there is an issue, it never hurts to consider that your 1SG may be okay and that you are the one doing something wrong. A little self-reflection can be a good thing.

TALKWITH YOURBATTALIONCOMMANDER: You may have gained a great deal of perspective regarding the proper relationshipbetween a company commander and a 1SG, but your battalion commander has a great deal of experience in this area as well The battalion commander will tell you their opinion ofyour1SG and provide you with guidance on your relationship. The battalion commander and the CSM both want you and your lSG to succeed because as your unit goes, so goes the battalion. Keep both the battalion commander and the CSM informed of any issues between you and your 1SG.

IDEAL COMPANY COMMANDER-2.SG RELATIONSHIP A productive company commander-1SG relationship is your goal because such a relationship begets a successful unit. Mutual respect is essential. Think about the following areas in building an excellent relationship:

COMMUNICATION: Communication must be open, direct, and two-way. The commander and the 1SGmust continually tell each other what they are doing. When they speak, they must speak with one voice. Tell your 1SG that he or she will always be able to speak freely and openly. Military courtesy prevails, but remember-once you close the door to your office, expect candid discussions. Tell the 1SGthat. although you probably won't accept all of their recommendations, you will always seek and respect open and direct advice.

Have a short session with your 1SGat least once a

Tl p

day-in

the morning or in the evening. Make these

sessions a permanent part of your daily calendar.

CONFIDENCE: In a stable company commander-1SG relationship, each has total trust in the other's ability. Mutual support is essential: Your 1SG must be certain of your support. A 1SG who is not certain of the company commander's support, is an indecisive leader. You achieve solid support only if that confidence has mutual trust and two-way loyalty. Of course, the company commander can never back bad decisions. Blind loyalty is poor leadership. If your 1SG is wrong, say so and expect similar frankness in

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return. Once you establish mutual support, trust. and loyalty, then confidence in each other will follow.

COOPERATION ANDTEAMWORK: Cooperation solidifies a good relationship. Neither of you should put the other in a win-lose situation: "I'm right or else." Each must admit mistakes and know when to give in. Commanding a company requires the teamwork of two knowledgeable and professional leaders.They are a team: Together we stand; divided we fall.

CLEARGOALSAND REASONABLESTANDARDS: Immediateagreementon goals for the company is essential. Most Soldierswill meet your expectations if they clearly understand them. Speakwith one voice asyou apply those standards: Firm but fair standards are besl Demanding impossible standards can only lead to failure. If you are uncertain at first. be tough. It is easier to relax high standards than to be too lax. Commanders who start tough and then ease up a bit. gain respect: those who start soft at first and then get tough when trouble comes, garner resentment and are seen by their troops as weak and self-centered.

Inviteyour 1SGand his or her family over for a backyardbarbecueoccasionally.Do not talk shop. Relax and haveyourfamiliesget to know each other. That

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way,you strengthenthe relationship between you and your1SG.Moreimportantly,you get to know the "whole"person,notjust the person at the office.

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COMMON PROBLEMS While an ideal company commander-1SG relationship is the goal, you can realistically expect problems to arise between you and your 1SG. Here are some of the more common problems:

LACK OF COMMUNICATION: If good communication is the greatest asset between a company commander and a 1SG, bad communication can be the most serious liability: Therefore, routine daily meetings where both speak freely, are essential. Failing to keep each other informed, spells disaster.

YOU ARE BULLHEADED-THE DIFFERENT AGENDA: Many new company commanders

1SG HAS A

are headstrong and self-

assured They tend to disregard the advice of their experienced and capable 1SG. A few blunders usually bring them back to reality. You can avoid this with common sense. Listen to your 1SG: draw on that experience. Now, if your 1SG is bullheaded about what will and will not work and has no tolerance for something new, you have just as big a problem as if you were bullheaded.A stubborn and rigid 1SG usually has a fixed agenda: "This young, inexperienced captain had better 'get in step' in this unit." In this situation, you must take charge. Pity the poor company with both a bullheaded

commander and an arrogant 1SG. Shake-

speare said of a similar situation: "Confusion now hath made its masterpiece.

1

"J

You must undo the confusion.

Macbeth, act 2, scene 3, 41

LACKOF AGREEMENTON UNIT GOALS AND STANDARDS: Both 1SGs and Commanding Officers (COs) should decide jointly on the direction of the unit. It is a problem easily solved. The company commander is in charge: the 1SG takes direction and runs with it.

LACKOF MUTUALSUPPORTAND RESPECT: This sort of problem does not usually happen overnight.

It

tends to develop over time when the company commander and the 1SGfail to communicate or become complacent.

Left

unattended, this Lackof mutual support and respect can, and will, divide a unit.

PERSONALITY CONFLICTS: Personalityconflicts should never disrupt your unit. Seasoned commanders often say that a personality conflict in a seniorsubordinate relationship cannot exist-only a ·communication problem exists.'The best fix is to talk it out between the two of you. If necessary,seek advice from your battalion commander, battalion executive officer, or CSM, but do not Let it fester or it could harm your unit. Long-standing personality conflicts are the hardest to overcome.

WHAT A 2.SGWANTSIN A COMMANDER Meeting the expectation of a 1SGis not easy, especially if you are a rookie commander,but certain qualities will help you. Here is what any good 1SGwants in a commander:

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A CONFIDENT LEADER: The 1SG does not need a fainthearted officer at the helm. He or she wants a commander who exudes confidence in action. bearing, and thinking ...one who leaves no doubt about who is in charge. Remember. you must be a doer: get out from behind your desk and check training, maintenance, and your troops. It is better to be a decisive hard charger who makes an occasional mistake, than an indecisive officer who does not.

AN OFFICER WHO LEADS BY EXAMPLE: Not the first time you've heard this saying, right? Lead by example in everything you do-everything! You know you are leading by poor example when your 1SG comes into your office, shuts the door. and says, "Sir. we need to talk. You are inspecting the troops tomorrow a~ernoon, and you need a haircut, and your

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boots need shining.· Your credibility just hit bottom. If he has to tell you something so basic, what kind of confidence will your subordinates have in your ability to command the unit?

A LEADER WHO CARES ABOUT SOLDIERS: Your 1SG wants a commander who takes measures to respect. Love, and protect Soldiers. You must be a commander

who

goes the extra mile, because you are genuinely concerned for each Soldier's welfare. This quality seems to develop (or fails to develop) early in Life.You cannot fake it.

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A "COOL-HEADED"LEADER: Do not show your "hind end." Be mature and deal with difficult problems in a determined manner. Yellers and screamers are ineffective. A 1SGwants a patience commander who employs common sense and wise practical application. You and your 1SGshould determine to tackle your most difficult problems first. Sometimes.just your determination to go after the hard targets first. will foster confidence, and confident

leaders

seem to have luck on their side.

A LEADERWHO TRUSTSTHE NCOS: Words do not accomplish this. Actions prove your trust in your NCOs.Show trust for your NCOs by giving mission-type orders to demonstrate their ability. Make your goals and standards clear, and then let your NCOs perform. Do not clobber them the first time they make a mistake. When they do make mistakes.determine the root cause. and coach. teach, and mentor them. Help them grow from the event: do not browbeat them. Seniorleadersneed to share experiences, lessons learned. and knowledge with subordinates. Build them and grow them. If they continue to make the same mistakes, then there are other issues at hand: ability, lack of knowledge, incompetence,

and

so forth. Regardlessof the cause, you cannot continue to accept the same mistakeswithout documentation and firm action.

A LEADERWHO ISA BUFFER: Be the buffer between the battalion staff and your unit. Filter out training detractors and unnecessary community details-but in a positive way: ·we would love to help with that project. but we are two days away from deploying to the field for a month. When we return, let us get together, review the bidding, and

44

--, maybe we can help then." In other words, keep the mission first and protect your people against the peripheral stuff and "good ideas." In fairness. some members of the battalion staff may be new to their jobs and inexperienced or lack alternative solutions. A good alternative is to ask that taskers be laid out in accordance with a unit's resources and capabilities. For example, it is inappropriate to task a HQ (Headquarters) company in the same manner as you task a line company. While the HQ unit needs to pull their weight. they usually do not have the same personnel capabilities as a line company. Therefore, it would be wise to task the HQ's company for equipment or for smaller personnel numbers. The staff has a job to do and you need to support them in achieving their objective. Remember, the battalion staff objective is the battalion commander's objective. The key is to find the mutually beneficial way of achieving these staff requirements while safeguarding the unit mission. If you happen to be a HO commander. your staff elements must understand

that when you receive a task order, they might

just be tasking themselves. Every staff section must be tasked in accordance with its capabilities. Therefore, if the S-3 has a higher number of personnel. they are likely to receive a higher percentage of personnel taskers.

A LEADER WHO ADMITS MISTAKES: No one is infallible. However, the power you have as a company commander might slowly convince you that you are incapable of committing

errors. You may discover, quite painfully, that

you are mistaken. Be big enough to admit that you are wrong and learn from this experience. Do not make the same mistake twice. Admit mistakes to your troops: you are not fooling anyone if you do not. and honest humility will encourage honesty and candor in the ranks!

45

... WHAT A 2.SGDOES NOT WANT IN A COMMANDER A normal, healthy 1SG"ain't bashful." They will quickly tell you which qualities guarantee failure in a company commander. For example:

A COMMANDERWHO WILL NOT LISTEN: Your 1SGwants and needs to be heard: 1SGsmay not always be right, but their experience and position warrant that you listen. You do not have to agree with every recommendation,

but you

should listen. A wise old commander once said: "You have two ears and one mouth. You ought to listen twice as much as you talk ...Especially if you have a good 1SG."

A COMMANDER WHO IS TOO AMBITIOUS: This commander accepts every task regardless: "Bring on the world ..We can handle it."Such a commander's expectations

of

the unit are unrealistic and the resulting pressure on the unit causes low morale and inefficiency. The 1SG's role is to reply, 'Rogersir,buL."and the commander replies, "Do not worry about it, 1SG.We can handle it."Sound familiar? Knowwhen to say, "No!"

A COMMANDER WHO IS INDECISIVE: A commander who cannot. or will not, make a decision, keeps a unit in the cellar forever. A 1SGwould usually prefer to live with a mediocre decision than with no decision at all When you have considered the alternatives and the options, just realize that you will never get all of the information you need. You will have to accept some risks. Do not start thinking out loud in front of the NCOs and Soldiers.What they need from you are the magic words, "Okay,here is what we do."

A COMMANDER WHO WINGS IT: The commander who "wings it." is one who acts first and who thinks second. A unit under this type of commander has no direction and no standards because everything is spur-of-themoment. If you tend to be that way, force yourself to hold planning sessions. Tell your 1SGto schedule a planning meeting. at least once a month. and resolve to focus on nothing else during those meetings except to review your current situation and to plan where you want to be by a specific time. As a team, you and your 1SGcan do it! If you aspire to excel as a senior planner. chief of staff. or senior commander, then you need to get used to both conceptual and detailed planning as a lifestyle. The pressure of the job and the demand for instant results can press company commanders into a reactionary mind set. The proactive commander is one who knows how to consistently plan and then act. If

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you know you lean toward a more reactionary method, then tell the 1SGabout this tendency and explain that you want him or her to give you a heads-up when you are slipping and then ash for their advice. Planning on a regular basis often eliminates this tendency over time. Your 1SG is the hey.

A COMMANDER WHO MICROMANAGES: Micromanagement

drives any 1SG up a wall and makes it es-

pecially tough on good 1SGs.A micromanaging commander does not know how to give a mission-type order. He sends an unfortunate signal to the subordinates: "I do not have confidence in you." Delegate and give mission-type orders. Your subordinates will not grow if you do not. You should also note that mi-

47

cromanagement is often considered a sign of toxic leadership. If you tend to lead this way, it will reflect in command

climate

surveys. It is unlikely that this factor alone would create a serious problem with your career, but it could contribute to doubts and be viewed as a contributing factor to other problems. Finally, it is important to understand that checking or following up is not micromanagement A smart 1SGonce stated: "I do not care who you told .. who did you check?" Good leaders follow up.

A COMMANDERWHO IS A DESK RIDER: A commander who is most comfortable at a desk, will never survive. Paperworkand correspondence are important. but not at the expense of checking your Soldiers. You cannot know the 'pulse' of your unit if you never leave your desk. Tell your 1SG to feel free to remove you from your chair if necessary. Note, you should also promise to return the favor: The desk-riding disease is contagious-1SGs get it too, and either one of you can spread it. Remember,the best time for paperwork and administrative tasks is either early in the morning or late in the day, when there are fewer interruptions.

WHATACOMMANDER WANTS IN A dG Expect the 1SGto be the best Soldier in the unit. What does that mean?You could describe the top Soldier in these terms.

A STRONGLEADER: You want a 1SGwho is motivated-a person who takes charge. The 1SGshould demonstrate confidence not only to you, but also to the troops. A strong leader adjusts their leadership style depending on the situation, that is, he or she knows when to "chew· and when to console.They can identify with an individual's personaLityand lead in a mannerthat best motivates that Soldier.

A LEADER BY EXAMPLE: Just as a 1SGwants a company commander to lead by example, you want your top Soldier to do the same. A 1SGwho leads by example, is one who establishes high standards that are not just enforceable. but infectious to everyone in the unit "Do as I do" always produces more wins than "do as I say."

A COMPETENT LEADER: You need a 1SGwho is both technically and tactically proficient as well as a self-starter leader. You should count your blessings (and not be intimidated or jealous) if your 1SGis widely respected as the expert, the most knowledgeable Soldier in the company.

A TRAINER AND A DEVELOPER: Training is the top priority for every NCO. It is likely the way that your 1SG made it this far and it is likely their bread and butter. The 1SG must set the individual training standard for every Soldier in the unit. Those standards determine how your Soldiers develop and how they accomplish the mission.

A GOOD COMMUNICATOR: A company commander needs someone who can speak and write. Good communication

also includes listening. The 1SG

must be able to articulate both sides of a problem. Of course, no one can communicate both sides of an issue if they do not know what is going on. The other benefit of good communication and listening skills, is the fact that Soldiers are willing to speak up and to tell their leaders what is going on.

49

\I

A DEDICATEDLEADER: A company commander wants a 1SGwho cares for Soldiers 24 hours a day. In fact. there is probably no other job in the Army so synonymous with this mandate than that of the 1SG.Accept no substitute. Observe your 1SGand see how many times they come into the unit at night and on weekends. Do they randomly eat meals in the dining facility? A

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dedicated 1SGwill visit the unit frequently after duty hours. Youwill know the 1SGis doing their job, when you run into them in the unit after duty hours. (They will also know you are doing yours.)

A LOYALSUPPORTER: Loyalty is a two-way street. A single breach of loyalty can destroy a good relationship. You have the right to expect fierce and dedicated loyalty from your 1SG because such loyalty is fundamentally and foremost directed at you as company commander-not to you as an individual. Loyalty to you as an individualwill take time, and may not ripen at all. If it does not happen, this does not mean that you and your 1SG will fail to be a dynamic, positive, and effective team. However, when it does, you will experience a new dimension of leadership and energy that will stay with you the rest of your life.

WHAT A COMMANDERDOES NOT WANT IN A 2.SG You know what you do not want in a 1SG.You have been a platoon Leaderand, possibly, an executive officer. This means you have seen enough to have clear and legitimate ideas of what you do not want in a 1SG: 50

A 1SG WHO DOES NOT LISTEN: Some 1SGshave their own agendas and likely suffer from tunnel vision. Such a 1SG may not be receptive to new ideas, but you are the decision maker. Be direct, honest. and confident. Help your 1SG understand that he or she must not only advise you, but also listen to you and execute your vision for the company.

A 1SG WHO DOES NOT KEEP THE COMMANDER INFORMED: Yes, you will both be busy, but never too busy to let each other know what is going on. Any command team that fails to maintain effective communication, is one vulnerable to Murphy and/or public humiliation during command huddles and events. Not only that, but an efficient division of the workload demands daily and frequent communication. Insist on it.

A 1SG WHO DOES NOT SUPPORT THE COMMANDER: Statements such as, "The commander said ...I tried to talk him out of it, but he said ..." does not promote unity or teamwork. A commander and 1SG must support each other. When they do not, one of them must leave. The same applies to your relationship with the battalion commander. Do not return from the battalion training meeting and say. "The old man said we will do it this way." The correct response is, "Here is the new procedure we are using-period!"

You should have learned

this lesson as a platoon leader, but now is the time to get it right. Higher headquarters' ideas and priorities should be seen by everyone in the company as your ideas and your priorities. Yes, you should sound off behind closed doors with your com-

51

mander and air out your concerns or grievances. But when the commander gives the word, you own the result.

A 1SGWHO DOESNOT LEAD BY EXAMPLE: How can you give a Soldier extra Physical Training to pass the PT test if no one has ever seen your 1SG take the PT test? How can you tell a Soldier to shine his low quarters if your 1SG's low quarters always need a shine and he looks as if he were hit by a wrinkle cluster bomb at close range? Get rid of double standards.

A 1SGWHO DOESNOT TRAIN AND HOLD THE NCOSACCOUNTABLE: If the top enlisted Soldier does not train and hold NCOs accountable, you will have a 1SGin name only. Luckily, a 1SG with this problem, is the exception, rather than the rule. A 1SG is the 1SG only when holding themselves and their Soldiers accountable.

A 1SGWHO ISA DESKRIDER: Most good 1SGsdelegate appropriately: hence they spend little time behind the desk-they do not want to be deskbound. If you have a desk jockey, assign projects that cannot be done at a desk. If the problem continues. talk it out. One "heart-to-heart" is all it should take.

A 1SGWHO OVERRULESLIEUTENANTS' DECISIONS: some 1SGsforget that lieutenants are inexperienced and make mistakes.However,good platoon sergeants and 1SGstraditionally forge inexperienced Lieutenantsinto good company commanders. If your lieutenants complain that the 1SG is overriding their decisions, resolve the problem. If you let this situation fester,

your lieutenants may hesitate to surface problems and see you as weak This can erode your command climate and unit effectiveness more than most problems you might face. However. 1SGs are subordinate to lieutenants and as such, should be professional when discussing disagreements or methodology. The bottom line is that the lieutenant is free to run the platoon as he or she deems appropriate. If the 1SG is a little too aggressive with the lieutenant. speak with the 1SGand ask him or her to be less critical and more of a coach and mentor. It fosters better results and eliminates resentment.

DAY ONE WITH YOUR 2.SG-INITIAL COUNSELING The most important meeting with your1SG is the one that takes place immediately

after you assume command. This is the

ideal time to perform your initial counseling with the 1SG.There is a high probability that your battalion commander will want to see a draft of your initial counseling prior to you assuming command. This will be for two reasons. The first reason is that it is his or her way of emphasizing the importance of counseling as a developmental

tool for organizations and for individuals.

In essence, what gets checked. gets done. Your battalion commander will definitely check you in this area even if it occurs after you assume command. If you start having problems in your organization. you can bet there will be a close look at what you have done with counseling. Furthermore. the 1SGoversees the unit counseling program; therefore, you set the standard when you properly counsel the 1SG.Historically, many commanders fail to counsel their 1SGs so you can bet that when a 1SG get a counseling statement from you, they immediately assume (and rightly so) that you are serious. Great first impression.

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The second reason for a pre-examination of your initial 1SG counseling will be the fact that it is an excellent way for the battalion commander to peer into your priorities, command philosophy. and to understand the immense responsibilities you are about to assume. The sooner you begin drafting the initial 1SG counseling. even if it is just a mental outline, the better. Ask other company commanders for examples of their initial counseling as well as for advice on how to best conduct the counseling itself.You should also seek out any and all field grade officerswilling to mentor you with regard to counseling. Then, there is alwaysthe instrumental advice of the CSM. If you do this one thing well, especially before taking the guidon, you will leave an excellent impression in the minds of your command team and, more importantly, with your 1SG.

• YOUGOTTABEAN ACTIVE LISTENER When it comes to the actual counseling session itself be cautious in using the opportunity

to

establish that you are the boss. The fact that you are the commander and now have the wherewithal to conduct a professionalcounseling session, is already proof enough for your 1SG.Thissession is the formal start of your command relationshipand therefore sets a tone for the future. The 1SGwill see your agenda when he or she glances through the DA Form 4856. A~er this. your bullet points should become talking points that result in a professional discussion.In fact. this counseling will probably be one in which you do far more listening than talking. Ultimately, the two of you will establish the plan to command and to run the company. It is also wise to provide the 1SG with a

54

copy of the counseling several days in advance for their review. Also. ask them to bring you a draft of their support form. You should provide them with a draft of your support form and your senior rater's support form when you provide them with the read ahead counseling. Conducting this sessionsoon a~er the change of command. sends a powerful signal to the unit on the importance of the commander-1SG relationship. Consider the following items as you plan your meeting with the 1SG: GET the 1SG's ideas on a command philosophy. DEVELOP and agree on unit goals, standards, and objectives: o

Specify and publish them (e.g.,a goal of 270 (go points per event)) for everyone. If this is the goal, make sure you can achieve it.

o

Agree on "the forbidden, the catastrophic, and the nonredeemable" (e.g.,Sexual Harassment Assault Response and Prevention violations, safety, weapons and ammunition accountability, drugs, DUI, and AWOU. You and your 1SG must be on the same "priority frequency" to ensure fairness and to prevent destructive misunderstandings later on.

PROVIDE your 1SG with a copy of your completed

OER

(Officer Evaluation Report) Support Form. The 1SG wants to know what will make you successful. Your professional destinies are naturally linked. AR 623-3 and DA PAM 623-3 requires that you provide your support and the senior rater's support form to the rated Soldier. DISCUSS your expectations of a 1SG.

55

SEEKthe 1SG'sexpectations of you. EMPHASIZEopen, two-way communication=(e.g., guarantee the 1SG his "day in court").

DETERMINE:The 1SG's role in UCMJ and administrative separation procedures. For example, the 1SG: o

Advises and recommends.

o

Initiates.

o

Checks to ensure that you have all of the details and supporting documents to make a fair and just decision. Protects Soldier's rights (this includes assuring that the

o

Soldier has both the time and the opportunity to consult with Trial Defense Services ITDS). Supervises any punishment imposed.

o

UCMJactions present the greatest opportunity for disagreementbetweena company commander and a 1SG.Open.two-way communication is vital! A dis-

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cussionon the topic of whether or not "compassion isa sin,·could be veryrevealingfor both of you. Tobe sure,compassionis not a sin, but when you and your 1SGunderstandeach other's understanding of "firm but fair,·the road ahead becomes smoother.

DETERMINE the 1SG'srole with company lieutenants. o1

Advises

o1

Trains

o1

Assists

,1

Listens

,I

Does not dictate

WARSTORY A young second lieutenant received a stern lecture from her company commander because her platoon failed a unit inspection. The commander knew the lieutenant had potential

and wanted to make sure that this miserable

performance was not repeated. She told the lieutenant she would reinspect the platoon in a week and that the platoon had better be ready. The commander and the 1SGdiscussed the situation later that day, and the commander suggested that the 1SG engage in a little "teach. coach. mentor.· The 1SG agreed with the company commander and followed up by talking to the platoon sergeant. Two days before the reinspection, the 1SG took the lieutenant to a quiet place. During their discussion, the wise NCOgave detailed guidance on things that the lieutenant should ensure were corrected and tips on how to "dazzle the company commander with her brilliance." The lieutenant was grateful and took the 1SG's advice. (On the side, the 1SG also gave "firm· advice to the platoon sergeant.) Fortunately, the second inspection went extremely well, and the company commander heaped praise on the lieutenant. on the platoon sergeant. and on the troops. "/ knew you all had it in you ..• On the way back to the office, the company commander smiled and said to her top Soldier, "Keep up the good work, 1SG.• DETERMINE a general division of labor. You should have a

division of labor because you can't do everything yourself. You and your 1SG must agree on what areas each of you will emphasize, and then keep each other informed. You are responsible for what goes on in the unit; however. you can better accomplish the mission if you and your 1SG share the workload. Here are some possibilities: 57

COMPANYCOMMANDER: ~

Commands, plans. and establishes policy and allocated resources

~

Outlines unit operations, readiness, and effectiveness

~

Organizes collective training

~

Promotes officer professional development

1SG: ~

Handles daily business, including health and welfare and quality-of-life matters

11 Overseesenlisted leaders, individual Soldiers. maintenance

of their equipment. and troop leading procedures 11 Organizes individual training 11 Promotes NCO professional development ~

Handles minor disciplinary matters

Considerable overlap exists. Find the right balance between stepping out of your lane and butting into your 1SG's. Chances are,your 1SGwill let you know when you teeter toward either side. Keep an open mind and realize you are building trust. efficiency, and effectiveness. Every system needs adjustments over time. Be concerned about the leader who states, "that is NCO business."There is no NCO business. It is all Leader Business.NCOs who use this term, generally lack confidence, resent someone following up, have something to hide, or were poorly informed. Officers who use this term, are either misinformed, lazy. or lack concern for their Soldiers. The bottom line is that as leaders (officers and enlisted), we have far more shared responsibili-

58

ties than separate and distinct ones. Pull together as a team of leaders who are unified and concerned about the well-being of Soldiers and mission accomplishments. DISCUSS the "good-guy/bad-guy"

role. Not everyone

agrees there should be a "good-guy/bad-guy"

role in a

unit. At the very least. it is good to know what each of you believes in this regard. The "book solution" says that both the company commander and the 1SGneed to be "good" or "bad," depending on the situation. Normally, the personalities of the company commander and the 1SG determine the natural roles. The 1SG, by the nature of the job and historical "mystique." is more often the "bad guy": the company commander becomes the "good guy" because he or she lacks experience. The true solution is to be yourself. You and your 1SG should both be able to be tough or compassionate, as necessary. Each situation is also very different. Your 1SG will usually present a strategy that is designed to develop the individuals in question.

ABAD 1SG Ninety-nine times out of 100, you will have a dedicated, capable 1SG.What about that one 1SGwho is hopelessly ineffective or even corrupt? A bad 1SG can destroy a unit. He or she has to go, and you have to make it happen.

59

• YOUGOTTAHAVECOURAGE Tooo~en,companycommandersare reluctant to relievea 1SGbecauseit is sure to ruin that 1SG'scareer.Reluctanceis also rooted in the fact that such an undertakingis not done lightly. It will requireeyeto eyepointedconversations.The process will necessarilybringscrutinyuponthe commander since your raterandyourseniorraterknowthat it is possible that the issuesarerootedthere.At the veryleast,you can be sure thatyour initial 1SGcounselingand subsequent counseling sessionswill be on the battalion commander's and CSM'sdeskfor review.If you are doing yourjob from day one,thendo what is necessarywith confidence and with professionalism.If you are lessthan ready for inspection, thenyou still need to act and to accept your own corrective trainingfor the good of the organization. That too is professionalism. If there is inaction, a nonproductive 1SG remains in place and becomes a mere figurehead,while one of the platoon sergeants becomes a de facto 1SG.Naturally, everyone loses. The 1SG position is too important, and in fact too sacred, to be executed by anything less than the best Soldier and leader available. Relieving your 1SGfor any reason may well be the hardest thing you do in command. Such action should be taken only as a last resort. Do not confuse relief for inefficiency with relief for misconduct or crime. Consult your brigade trial counsel or appropriate legal representative for procedures pertaining to evidence of a crime or of other misconduct. You can be certain

60

that your commander, the battalion Executive Officer (XO),the CSM, and even the brigade command team, will guide you during any such process. Among other things, you can expect to do the following: Review Local regulations and directive. Senior commanders frequently specify the procedures for the relief of a senior NCO. Seek advice from your battalion commander and your CSM. Inform them immediately of significant problems with your 1SG. Confront your 1SGverbally and in writing about your concerns. Give the 1SGassistance and support in correcting the problem. Allow sufficient time to correct the problem. As a Last straw-write

a 30-day notice Letter. This Letter is

official notification that the 1SG has 30 days to change or be relieved. Have JAG and the battalion commander review the Letter. Relieve your 1SG at the end of 30 days if he or she has not improved. Write a relief for cause Non-Commissioned Officer Evaluation Report (NCOER).Offer assistance in the reassignment process.

Two Key Pointsto Rememberin ThisSituation: 1.

Soldiers deserve the best Leadership possible: your 1SG has to be the best Leader.

2.

1SG relief for cause is a "career ender."

61

LET'S GO BACKTO THE BEGINNING FORA MOMENT Remember the drinking problem with your 1SG and the fight in the club? Did that look like the start of a relief-for-cause

to

you? Contemplate the following questions: Was it wrong for the 1SGto go to the club occasionally and to have some beer with the troops? What did he do wrong on the night in question? What does this incident do for his reputation in the eyes of the Soldiers?

As a result of this one incident. have you lost confidence inyour1SG? Can the 1SGremain in his or her current position? What actions will you recommend to the battalion

com-

mander? nswer these questions in light of what you have read in this :hapter.If you do not know the answers to these questions, you should knowwhere to find them. Perhaps this hypothetical situation would make an excellent discussion topic with your mentor.

62

THE BOTTOM LINE FOR YOU AND YOUR 2.SG The company commander commands the unit: the 1SG runs the unit. Good 1SGs mold rookie captains into good commanders. Communication (open and two-way) is essential for a company commander-1SG relationship. Conduct an initial counseling with your 1SG on day one. Discuss and resolve goals, standards. and roles. Problems between the commander and the top Soldier. if left unresolved, will destroy a unit. A 1SGwants a company commander who leads by example in everything. A 1SGdoesn't want a company commander who is indecisive. overreacts. and doesn't plan. A company commander wants a 1SGwho is the best Soldier in the unit. A company commander does not want a 1SGwho is not a team player. An old, wise 1SG once stated: "If you screw up, I screw up ... and I do not screw up!"

RESOURCES: The following are a list of resources that might be of use to a new commander. AskTOP.net o

Provides subject matter expertise on a variety of subjects and hasa panel of subject matter experts who are willing to answer questions you may have.

MentorMilitary.com o

Provides a wide array of leadership, training, counseling, and administrative products designed to make you more effective and efficient as a leader. Consider the following tools for starters: Rater Quick-Evaluation Software Counselor-Counseling-Mentoring

Software

Award Quick-Award Writing Software Numerous publications on leadership, administration, and evaluations

64

training,

MILITARY JUSTICE AND ADMINISTRATIVE LAW MATTERS Discipline must be a habit so ingrained that it is stronger than the excitement of battle or the fear of death -General George 5. Patton Jr. THIS COULD HAPPEN TO YOU-A Sergeant First Class (SFC),as-

signed to your company, has 16 years in service, and two years in grade. After a review of his records, an interview. and your 1SG's recommendation, you make him a platoon sergeant. His family has deferred travel and will not arrive for several months. This new platoon sergeant soon begins drinking heavily after duty hours and acting erratically on duty: he randomly praises some Soldiers and reprimands others. You notice that the Soldiers reprimanded are usually female. One night, this platoon sergeant gets drunk at the Noncommissioned Officers (NCO) club and then, on his way back to his temporary room in the barracks, accosts a young female Soldier. He tries to convince her to come to his room. When she declines, he pins her against the wall of a building, tells her how beautiful she is, and kisses her neck Recognizing his inebriated

state. she placates him. steers him to his room, shoves him in. closes the door. and runs to the CO (Charge of Quarters) for help. When you and your 1SGlearn of the situation, you inform the Battalion Commander. He orders an informal AR 15-6 investigation to determine the facts and to afford the platoon sergeant a chance to respond to the allegations. The AR 15-6 substantiates the allegations and also reveals three similar incidents involvingthe platoon sergeant and other female Soldiers. During each of these situations. the platoon sergeant was highly intoxicated.When asked why they didn't bring these incidents to the chain of command. each of the female Soldiers responded. ·who would believe my word over a sergeant first class? Besides. the chain of command would not do anything about it anyway.· Furthermore. you discover that the platoon sergeant received an Article 15 for a similar offense at his last unit and was relieved of his duties and responsibilities. This information was not in his Military Personnel File (MPF) and was not reflected in his last evaluation report. When you question the platoon sergeant about the incidents. he refuses to make a statement. What action should you take? How should you discipline him? What organizations can help you make your decisions? Should you talk to all of the female Soldiersin your unit to see if similar problems of this nature exist? Perhapsyou should also determine why female Soldiers in your unit feel that their complaints would not be properly addressed by the chain of command. These are just a few questions you will have to answeras a commander when you encounter similar situations. The decisionsyou make will send a message to your company. Beforemakingsuchdecisions.you should understand three key points:your role.your responsibility, and your authority

66

in the military justice system: the law and options available to you when dealing with violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ): and the long-and

short-term effects of your

decisions on the unit you command. More importantly, you need to understand the unintended consequences of your decisions. For example, a Soldier is given an Article 15 because he was in two fights in the last three weeks. Otherwise, this Soldier is a solid performer. When it comes time to reenlist. the Soldier cannot reenlist because he received an Article 15. Was this your intent? Why was the Soldier fighting? Is this normal behavior for this Soldier? How are issues of a similar nature handled within your unit? If the Soldier does not get an Article 15, what are the unintended consequences with regard to the unit? Should this be handled at a lower level with corrective training, a letter of reprimand. a letter of admonishment. and so forth? The key is to look at the big picture. You hold the Soldier's career in your hands: it is important you consider all aspects of the case and the unintended consequences of your decisions.

THE COMPANY COMMANDER'S JUDICIAL RESPONSIBILITIES You have two major responsibilities in the military justice arena: to enforce the law, and to protect the constitutional rights afforded to all Soldiers under the UCMJ process.

ENFORCE THE LAW: The company commander ensures his troops understand and follow the UCMJ and all rules and regulations. You must base the standards of discipline for your unit on military laws and regulations. Your command philosophy letter to your troops should already contain your broadly stated ideas about the

67

most common violations. Everyone should know your policies on such issues as alcohol and drug-related

offenses, sexual

harassment-assault. and safety. In fact. it is a good idea to formulate a unit Standing Operating Procedure (SOP) based on the UCMJ, battalion guidelines, Army practice, and your own good sense. The brigade trial counsel can review the SOP or help you shape your SOP.

PROTECTYOURSOLDIERS'RIGHTS: Many company commanders who are inept at enforcing the law, may inadvertentlyviolate the rights of Soldiers. In this leadership example that opened this chapter, the factual evidence obtained during the 15-6 clearly identified the platoon sergeant committed the offenses and therefore an Article 15 is recommended. It is very important that the Soldier's rights be protected. The last thing you want to do is violate a Soldier's rights. A violation of a Soldier'srights under the Article 15 process could result in chargesbeing thrown out. You must ensure the Soldier has an opportunity to receive legal counsel. Have your 1SG schedule the legal appointment and make sure the platoon

sergeant

keepsthe appointment Remember, your judicial responsibility is to make sure your Soldiers are apprised of their legal rights. The two goals of the military justice system are: (1) Be fair to the individual

(2) Make sure your policies reflect good discipline

order for the unit.

68

and

EDUCATE YOURSELF TALK WITH YOUR TRIAL COUNSEL:

The most important thing you can do for yourself, your Soldiers, your unit. your battalion commander, and the Army, is to consult a lawyer before taking ANY military justice action. Most organizations have a legal office with a Judge Advocate General UAG) whose responsibility

is to advise you on military justice and

on administrative matters. In fact. meet the lawyer before you take command. JAG representatives are willing to answer your questions and provide you with practical advice, current trends. and a couple of cautionary notes. It helps to develop a rapport that will last throughout your command. Cover everything from letters of reprimand to court-martial, from search-and-seizure to administrative

elimination proceedings. Do not leave the

JAG's office until you are satisfied you can impose UCMJ actions accurately and ethically. Make it a habit to confer with the JAG before taking action against a Soldier or before publishing a policy. If possible, confer with the attorney as soon as possible when misconduct emerges. You may often find that the actions you and your team take in the first minutes and hours are often the most consequential.

In addition, it is also important your

NCOs know the limits of their authority when implementing corrective training. Consider having the JAG and IG (Inspector General) provide classes to the NCOs. Encourage the 1SG to check with the IG and with the JAG before implementing corrective training. This methodology pays big dividends and prevents inappropriate and unintended consequences.

69

*****

THE BRASSSAYS*****

MajorGeneralJohnAltenburgon the importance of your relationshipwithyourSJA:Include your legal advisor as o~en as possible when you and your First Sergeant are tachling the tough issues-legal or otherwise. JAG officers are trained to analyze complicated questions i.e. Soldier relationships,fundraisers.discipline. etc. not just the stuff you THINKis "JAGstuff.' A lawyer will give you proposed courses of action and potential repercussions. This is a powerful way to allow a commander to command and NOTwastetime hand-wringingover irrelevant or emotional aspectsof the problem or. even worse. mahing snap decisionsa~er over/oohinga significant facet of the problem .................................................

u,

.......................................................................

.

Many JAGs have handbooks or published lines with information for your particular

guide-

convening

authority's jurisdiction. Seek out this information. ft

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will save you time and energy, and possibly prevent costly mistahes. A particularly

good reference is

the Commanders Legal Handbook

available

at

wwwjagcnet.army.mil. Use it.

TALKWITH YOURBATTALION COMMANDER: You must understand your commander's philosophy

concern-

ing the administration of military justice. A UCMJ conversation with the battalion commander should happen before you take command. Do not leavethe battalion commander's office unless you understand their policies and expectations on nonjudicial punishment, non-punitive measures. drugs, alcohol.

sexual

misconduct, leadership-EVERYTHING. There are usually categories of offenses(e.g.,SHARP(SexualHarassment and Assault

70

Response and Prevention] related incidents) that are reserved for battalion, brigade, or division level authority. Be sure you know what the boss expects you to handle. Discuss Article 15 procedures and how certain offenses were handled in the past. Your battalion commander most likely has been in your shoes several times and they want to protect you from making similar mistakes. Draw on these experiences before you have to act on a difficult matter. After the battalion commander delegates a matter to you, you must exercise your discretion to determine the appropriate action. After a while you will not need to discuss routine matters at length with the battalion commander beyond keeping them informed of what is going on. Your battalion commander's confidence in you should increase. A basic playbook for legal actions might look like this: "

First. learn all the facts.

"

Consult JAG for legal advice .

..,

Understand how past incidents were handled.

"

What are your options?

"

What are the unintended consequences of your actions?

"

Seek counsel from individuals you trust.

..,

If the issue rises to the appropriate level. inform your battalion commander. Usually you will brief UCMJ actions in your monthly reports to battalion.

"

Develop a list of actions and alternatives.

"

Understand how your actions or inaction will impact the unit. the Soldier, and the unit. 71

Develop a list of open-ended thought-provoking

v

questions.

These are designed to ensure you fully understand the situation. You should be asking questions of the chain of command and the Soldier. Questions to the chain of command should be conducted before the Article 15 hearing begins. v

Develop your plan.

v

Implement the plan with an open mind.

TALKWITH YOURSUBORDINATELEADERS: Consult platoon leaders and platoon sergeants before acting against one of their Soldiers.They know the Soldier better than you and understand how the particular situation affects the platoon. But they also are close to their Soldiers and could be overly protective.Consequently,they could attempt to minimize the significance of an incident. The Army pays you and your 1SGto remain objective and to recognize any lack of objectivity in your ranks.Over time, platoon leaders and sergeants will learn you requirefacts to make informed decisions. Conversely, these leaders could also allow their emotions to impact their decisionsand actions in a negative manner. It is important you fully understand the rationale behind the recommendation

for

punishment.Is this Soldier being treated differently than other Soldiers in the platoon? Yourjob is to seek out the truth!

TALKWITH YOUR1SG: Your 1SG'sexperience is invaluable, and 1SGs have a way of getting to the heart of the matter. Make sure your 1SG is present when you talk with platoon leaders and with their platoon sergeants. Demonstrate your respect for him and solicit his advice-you are a team.

72

KNOW YOUR OPTIONS As a company commander, you have a wide range of options for handling misconduct. As you will quickly learn, a few problem Soldiers will consume an inordinate amount of your time. Time is the one thing you will never be "issued" enough of. Try to reform the offending Soldiers, but if your initial attempts fail. then consider elevating the level of disciplinary action. Generally, you will want to dispose of an action at the lowest level commensurate with discipline and the nature of the offense and of the offender. Your options are administrative, nonjudicial. and judicial. Always identify your objectives when considering which option to take. For example, will an administrative measure correct a deficiency? If a Soldier is found guilty of an offense. do you want to punish, rehabilitate, or eliminate them or a combination thereof? Once you determine your objectives, choosing the appropriate option is easier.

ADMINISTRATIVE OPTIONS: Administrative options run the gamut from non-punitive measures to separation from the Army. Except for separation proceedings under AR 635-200, Active Duty Enlisted Administrative Separations. administrative options generally teach proper standards

of military conduct. Administrative options include the following: REHABILITATIVE MEASURES:

Counseling (oral and written) Extra Training Admonitions Reprimands

73

Rehabilitative Transfers Bars to Reenlistment

LOSSOF DISCRETIONARY PRIVILEGES Denial of Pass Privileges Denial of Allowance for Quarters Denial of Separate Rations Suspension of Driving License Privileges Termination of Family Quarters Termination of Off-Duty Employment Bar to Entry on Installations Revocation of Alcohol or Tobacco Privileges Revocation of Guest Privileges.

ADVERSE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONSSHORT OF SEPARATION: Relief for Cause Removal from Promotion List Administrative Reduction in Grade Poor Evaluation Report Suspension of Security Clearance MOS(Military Occupational Specialty) Reclassification

SEPARATION FROMTHEMILITARY Alcohol and Drug Abuse Unsatisfactory Performance Overweight Failure

74

Civil Conviction Acts or Patterns of Misconduct Personality Disorder Erroneous Enlistment Discharge for the Good of the Service This list is virtually endless, so check with JAG before taking action. When you are dealing with minor misconduct. consider imposing rehabilitative measures and loss of discretionary privileges, particularly early on. Such measures enable an individual to "Soldier their way back" from a mistake. Let us review these administrative options, stressing first the rehabilitative measures.

REHABILITATIVE MEASURES COUNSELING: This may be oral or written. Counseling for minor misconduct and for substandard performance. is both corrective and educational. Counseling informs a Soldier why their performance is unacceptable, gives notice that repeated or similar incidents will not be tolerated. and specifies sanctions the Army can impose if they repeat the blunder. Because your subordinate leaders will do most of the counseling, make sure they know how to counsel Soldiers properly. Advise them while oral counseling is generally appropriate for on-the-spot

instances of minor misconduct or

substandard performance, it can have two drawbacks: No written record is made, and a verbal reprimand can fade from the Soldier's mind. It is always a good idea to make a short note of verbal counseling issues and include a brief statement about

75

the issue on the Soldier's monthly or quarterly

performance

counseling. This ensures the incident is documented. Hence, written counseling is a valuable command

tool. or at

least. when it is properly used for both positive and negative situations. Army regulations require periodic written counseling for all Soldiers (officers,noncommissioned officers, and enlisted personnel). Be the commander who meets the standard-do written counseling. Your company will be better for it. and your successor will thank you for the documentation

you have kept.

The benefit for you, however, is the fact that few things support future command actions, both positive and negative, pertaining to Soldiers, like well-executed written counseling statements. Counseling becomes the evidence that supports adverse administrative,nonjudicial.judicial actions, and they can be used to support positive events like awards and promotions

in the

secondary zone. Imagine each counseling statement

you or

your subordinateswrite, may eventually become evidence on a BrigadeCommander's or a military judge's desk and it will impact the way in which you write and organize these documents. These statements should accurately portray a Soldier's track record,both good and bad. When it comes to positive actions such as awards, schools, and boards, a Soldier will be forever grateful for a command team that facilitated their success with professionalcounseling.

When a platoon leader requests an Article 15 for one of his Soldiers, ask to see the Soldier's file. If you find no counseling statements. good or bad, have a heart-to-heart chat with your young lieutenant who should then be directed to have a chat with the platoon sergeant. If the platoon leader says, "But sir, this Soldier has been told a million times to...• or words to

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that effect. remind the good lieutenant that spoken words "evaporate" the minute they leave the mouth. fvfake it a practice to periodically check counseling statements: you will uncover problems before they become a serious issue. Do not be surprised when the battalion commander or CSfvfscreen counseling packets. Knowing your team is ready for any inspection, is priceless.

New company commanders

usually hesitate to give adverse

written counseling or reprimands: instead. they elect to use oral counseling. It is an easy and expedient method; however, this practice inevitably leads to greater problems in the long run. A sure-fire method is to utilize the legal version of escalation of force: Minor misconduct should be gradually elevated: such as oral counseling. written counseling, and letter of admonition or reprimand.

77

WARSTORY A company commander kept giving oral counselings Soldier who was frequently in trouble for relatively alcohol-related matters. The process continued

to a minor

until one

night the Soldier got drunk and destroyed all of the government furniture in his room. Because of the serious nature of the offense. the commander referred the matter to his battalion commander for a field-grade Article 15. At the Article 15 hearing. the battalion commander reduced the Soldier's rank from E4to E1.and gave him the maximum extra duty. If the company commander had used administrative measures other than oral counseling. then he might have gotten this particular Soldier's attention. corrected the behavior. and subsequentlysaved both the command and the Soldier from an Article 15.Such solutions meet the needs of the unit more effectivelythan the alternative.So do not hesitate to discipline early;it may prevent further misconduct and save a Soldier. ADP 6-22 Army Leadership and ATP 6-22.1. The Counseling Process contain the doctrinal framework

for counseling.

: fvlakeit required reading for your chain of command. Utilize your professional development program to train the proper use of counseling.Bring in a JAG or HR