Army Command Team Relationships

In today’s post, I’m going to cover Army Command Team Relationships. This information applies to all levels of command from the company level up to the 4-Star General level.

What is an Army Command Team Relationship?

A Command Team Relationship is an officer and NCO working together to accomplish the unit’s mission AND take care of the Soldiers. They are the nucleus of the organization. They each have unique roles that support each other and be productive. When done right, it is a beautiful relationship that creates a motivated, highly skilled, and highly trained unit. When done wrong, it is a complete nightmare, just like a dysfunctional relationship.

army command team relationship

What is the Role of Each Person?

While this might vary slightly by duty position, and level of command, this is a 95% solution covering the roles and responsibilities of the officer and the NCO in any Army Command Team Relationship.

The Officer

Here are the primary roles of the officer, in a command team relationship:

  • Strategy & Mission Planning
  • Mission Accomplishment
  • Future Operations
  • Establish Policies & Procedures
  • Set the vision for the organization
  • Enforce the Army Standards
  • Create an Organizational Culture
  • Collective Training
  • Focus on the Big Picture


Here are the primary roles of the NCO, in a command team relationship:

  • Manage the Day-to-Day Operations
  • Mission Accomplishment
  • Soldier Morale
  • Soldier Discipline
  • Current Operations
  • Enforce Army Standards
  • Support the Commander and Their Intent
  • Individual Training

Army Command Team Relationship Tips for Success

Here are some tips for success to cultivate a great Army Command Team Relationship.

Mission First

Both the officer and NCO must make it their # 1 priority to ensure their Soldiers can accomplish their wartime mission. Their Soldiers must be trained on their individual and collective tasks and ready to deploy at moment’s notice. They must be able to accomplish any mission on time and to standard.

Taking Care of Soldiers

A healthy Army Command Team Relationship centers around the Soldiers in the unit (and their well-being). While the mission is the most important thing, Soldiers need to be taken care of, get the promotions they deserve, be developed as leaders, and get the schools they want and need to excel their career. While the NCO handles most of these things, the commander should support the NCO when needed.

Established Lanes

Both the officer and NCO should know their lane and stay in their lane. Early in their working relationship they should specifically identify who is responsible for what. That way they can both focus on what is important without micro-managing each other (or butting heads).

Unified (in Public)

The commander and NCO do not need to agree on everything. That is okay. What is important is that they are unified around others. When they have problems, and they will from time-to-time, they resolve the issues privately between themselves.


Trust is vital in any Army Command Team Relationship. They must have 100% trust in each other and know they can count on each other no matter what.

Within highly trusted workplaces, trust goes both ways. Meaning, employees have trust in their superiors and other executives, and managers have trust in their own teams.

When such synergy happens, managers are more likely to empower their employees to make their own decisions, and employees have the confidence and courage to make them. ~ Blog.Smarp


Like in marriage, communication is vital in a healthy Army Command Team Relationship. This means the officer and NCO can communicate freely with each other, about any topic. The officer and NCO keep each other in the loop and advise each other when necessary.


A healthy Army Command Team Relationship is based upon mutual respect. You respect your counterpart as an NCO or officer and as a person. And you respect their rank and duty position.


This is one of the most important attributes in a healthy Command Team Relationship. The officer and NCO should be loyal to each other, and to the unit that they lead.

Support your boss’s ideas among the employee ranks. Offer positive comments in staff meetings and generally strive to support initiatives, either in word or in action. Learn what your boss’s strategic objectives are and look for ways you can contribute to their success. If you can advance your boss’s agenda through your own work efforts, look for ways to do so. It creates a successful situation for both of you. ~

Shared Vision

The NCO and officer should be on the same sheet of paper about the vision for the unit. It’s the officer’s job to create this vision and then sell it to their NCO, so they can help make it a reality.


While this is not my strong point, I believe having empathy is quite important in the command team relationship. This means both individuals accept that their counterpart is a human being just like they are, and will therefore, never be perfect. Both people will make mistakes from time-to-time. Forgiveness and empathy are important.

officer and nco working together

Why Army Command Team Relationships Fail

Most Command Team Relationships go quite well. However, some go horribly wrong. When they fail, it’s normally because the violate one or more of the tips I mentioned earlier. Some of the most common reasons for a Command Team Relationship falling apart include:

Lack of Trust

One of the individuals in the relationship violates the other person’s trust, either by lying or not living up to their expectations. Once the trust is gone, the relationship is doomed.

Poor Communication

The two people do not keep each other informed or they do not listen to each other.

Undefined Roles

Each person steps in the other person’s lane and micro-manages them for whatever reason.

No Respect

The two individuals lose respect for each other for whatever reason.

Personality Conflict

The officer and NCO have a serious personality conflict and simply cannot get along.


One (or both) of the individuals has an ego problem and think they walk on water.


One of the two individuals is completely incompetent and is not qualified, motivated, skilled, or committed to do their job properly.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, these are my best tips on command team relationships in the military. What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with me? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.

Other Posts You May Enjoy:
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  2. My KFOR8 Deployment
  3. Military Friendly Insurance Companies
  4. Gold Star Families
  5. Military Drill Weekend
chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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5 thoughts on “Army Command Team Relationships”

  1. Johndel Callora

    A unit that has an awesome camaraderie will surely stand out! But it always start with their leaders. A good commanding officer should know his boundaries and learn to listen to his team members.

  2. This is the roof of the house of a quality unit. You can have a great house (great platoon leaders and great troops) but if you have a leaky roof it will filter down and ruin the house.
    On the other hand a quality team can cover some of the problems and keep the house together long enough to fix the problems.

    1. Everything in the Army rises and falls on leadership.

      A good commander and NCO can make a bunch of delinquents into a winning team. On the other hand, a bad commander and NCO can ruin a good unit.

  3. There are so many ways that a working relationship goes sideways and you have identified many of the hot-button issues in this post. Weak leadership and poor communication are two of my biggest pet peeves and really take a leader down a few notches in my mind. If you are in a position of leadership, such as a Company Commander, own it!

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