Army Pre Command Course for Company Commanders

Prior to taking Company Command, Company Commanders must meet a variety of requirements. One of those requirements includes the Company Pre-Command Course.

Prior to assuming command, you must enroll you in the company level Pre-Command Course. The Pre-Command course is a 40-hour block of instruction designed to help future Company Commanders and First Sergeants prepare for command.

The purpose of the Pre-Command Course is to provide institutional knowledge about a variety of topics such as leadership, equal opportunity, unit readiness and much more. The Pre-Command Course also offers valuable insight from former Company Commanders.

The Company Commander / First Sergeant Pre-Command Course is a 40-hour education program designed to prepare and orient Company Commanders and First Sergeants for duty at Fort Benning. It provides pertinent information and an opportunity to train as a Command Team. This course is required for all Company Commanders / First Sergeants and may be attended prior to but must be attended within 90 days after assuming their duties as a Company Commander or First Sergeant. ~ U.S. Army

Pre Command Course for Company Commanders

Most of the instructors are former Company Commanders and First Sergeants. They will share their experiences, successes and talk to you about common “pitfalls” and “mistakes” of new Company Commanders.

In the Army National Guard, the Pre-Command Course is usually conducted during two drill weekends. In most States, the Pre-Command Course is a requirement before you can become a Company Commander.

Even if it isn’t a requirement in your state, you should still complete the Pre-Command Course prior to assuming command because the information is very informative and helpful.

In my opinion, you should be proactive and complete the Pre-Command Course as a senior First Lieutenant or junior Captain. That way, you can position yourself ahead of your peers. And, when you find a vacant or available Company Commander slot, you won’t need to jump through hoops to complete the Pre-Command Course. You will already have it done.

What I enjoyed most about the Pre-Command Course was the awesome information about topics such as Unit Status Report (USR), Yearly-Training-Calendar (YTC) and After-Action-Reviews (AARs). In addition, I also learned about Mission Planning, Equal Opportunity, the Inspector General, and Leader Development.

Another benefit of the Pre-Command Course is that you will meet other current and future Company Commanders and First Sergeants. You can network with them and get great advice about any issue or concern you might have.

Pre-Command Course (PCC), Tactical Commanders’ Development Course (TCDC), Battle Command and Training Program (BCTP), and Brigade Command and Battle Staff Training Program (BCBST) = courses, programs, and more courses that add up to increased readiness for Reserve Components (RC) brigades. In the summer of 1988 the School for Command Preparation at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC), Fort Leavenworth, KS, expanded the tactical instruction (TCDC), taught during the PCC from three days to two weeks. PCC itself was shortened from two weeks to one week, and the brigade and battalion command designees attending PCC stayed at Fort Leavenworth for two more weeks of intensive tactical training. ~ GlobalSecurity

Pre Command Course for Company Commanders

When I attended my Pre-Command Course, I was bombarded with information. It really “opened my eyes” about all the responsibilities of the ARNG Company Commander.

In summary, the company level Pre-Command Course is very helpful for future Company Commanders and First Sergeants. You will learn the basics about Company Command and you will have the opportunity to network with other company level leaders.

So, do yourself a favor right. If you’re thinking about becoming a Company Commander, get enrolled in the Pre-Command Course as soon as possible. You will be glad that you did. To get started, simply sit down with your Unit Readiness NCO, Battalion S1 or Battalion S3.

Have you completed the Pre-Command Course? Please tell us what you found helpful in it. If you have and questions or comments, please post them below. Thank you.

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chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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4 thoughts on “Army Pre Command Course for Company Commanders”

  1. Great advice to jump on the pre-command course early. Never wait for a course if it can be avoided. It's much easier to be placed in a command position if you already have the prerequisites. Make yourself the better and easier choice for your superiors.

    When you attend the course make sure you don't just pass the course but really soak in the information they give you. Take copious notes and mark down any reading they recommend.

    Be as prepared as you possibly can for command because you will be bombarded with unexpected things and you don't want to worry about more stuff than you need to.

  2. I like your recommendation of being proactive and completing the Pre-Command Course as a way to position yourself above your peers. So much of career success in the military is being able to plan ahead and position yourself strategically for advancement. Get yourself prepped now, so that when a Company Commander spot comes open, you will be well position. Great advice!

    1. I also agree with Joey; being proactive and jumping into this Pre-Command Course is a very wise move, even if you are not considering a command position in the near future. By having this in your portfolio, you will not need to worry about it at the last minute when you decide to take a command position.

      I also like what you said about networking. The more “brass” you know and network with, the better your career can go.

  3. Chuck,

    I think one of the biggest “eye openers” for ARNG Commanders is the fact that they are responsible for recruitment/sustainment. Active duty commanders will have Soldiers show up and allocated to them. But, ARNG Commanders have to work diligently to ensure that their readiness numbers are good. It is actually something they are rated on during their OER! Something they WON’T teach you at Captain’s Career Course, but yet very important!

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