In today’s post, my goal is to educate you about the most common Army Team Leader duties, responsibilities, and job description. I’ll also share some of my best success tips and mistakes to avoid. By the time you are finished reading this article, you should have a solid grasp of what a Team Leader does on a day-to-day basis in the U.S. Army.
Sample Army Team Leader Job Descriptions
Listed below you will find three example Army Team Leader job descriptions. Feel free to use these examples as a reference or to modify them as needed to fit your particular situation.
# 1: Leads and supervises a Military Police team consisting of three Soldiers, responsible for maintaining and enforcing 100% accountability of the team’s weapons and equipment; Supervises individual and team level training and mentors subordinates to ensure that they are properly prepared for combat operations; Assists the squad leader in planning, coordinating, and supervising all activities that the team is assigned to accomplish the mission; Additional duties includes unit HAZMAT NCO.
# 2: Serves as a Team Leader in an Light Infantry Platoon; Supervises three Soldiers: Responsible for the health, welfare, morale and training of his Soldiers; Leads and maneuvers fire team in combat; Responsible for maintenance and accountability of three vehicles and $250,000 in MTOE property; Assists the Squad Leader in planning, coordinating and supervising all activities that the team is assigned to accomplish; Additional duties include TMDE NCO.
# 3: Assigned as a Team Leader in a Maintenance Platoon. Directly supervises four Soldiers; Provide leadership, direction and training to his Soldiers; Develops Soldiers for positions of increased responsibility by counseling, mentoring and job shadowing; Responsible for section’s MTOE property valued at $180,000; Assists the Squad Leader as necessary; Additional duties include Equal Opportunity NCO.
Army Team Leader Duties & Responsibilities
The Army Team Leader is responsible for everything that happens or fails to happen within their team. The Team Leader works closely with their Squad Leader for guidance and direction.
Prepare Soldiers for Combat – Without a doubt, the number one responsibility of a Team Leader is to prepare their soldiers for their wartime mission. They ensure their soldiers are mentally and physically tough, and know how to do their MOS, Warrior Tasks, and collective tasks in combat.
Trains Team on Individual &Collective Tasks – Team Leaders ensure their Soldiers know how to shoot, move, and communicate. Soldiers must know how to do their individual job and accomplish their team, squad, and platoon (collective) tasks.
Maneuvers Team in Combat – In combat, or in the field, Team Leaders are responsible for the maneuver of their Team. This includes convoys, foot march, and air movements.
Mentor & Develop Subordinates – Team Leaders mentor their Soldiers. They do counseling, job shadowing, one-on-one mentoring, and lead by example. They groom their Soldiers for positions of increased responsibility. They make sure their Soldiers attend the military and civilian schools they need and get the training they need to be successful today, and in the future.
Manages Administration & Logistics Needs Within Team – The Team Leader coordinates, resources, and manages the administrative and logistics issues for the team. This includes administrative paperwork, transportation, food, ammo, supply, and more.
Works with the Squad Leader to Accomplish Squad Objectives – The Team Leader interacts with the Squad Leader on a daily basis to ensure the squad’s objectives are fulfilled.
Provides C2 Oversight of Soldiers – The Team Leader supervises their soldiers, ensuring they are where they need to be, in the right uniform, and at the right time.
Supervises Maintenance of Team Vehicles & Equipment – The Team Leader ensures their team’s equipment is maintained properly. They work closely with their soldiers during PMCS and interact with maintenance personnel when needed.
Maintain Accountability of Equipment & Property within the Team – The Team Leader ensures his soldiers safeguard, maintain, and service their equipment.
Recommends Soldiers for Awards, Recognition, and Punishments – The Team Leader submits their Soldiers for awards such as AAMs, COAs, and unit coins. They are the first line supervisor and are responsible for corrective training, disciplinary issues, and making recommendations for formal punishment.
Mission Planning – When necessary, the Team Leader prepares OPORDS and risk assessments for combat missions. They also review the Squad Level OPORD to determine mission requirements and to conduct mission analysis.
As you can see, the Team Leader is responsible for everything that happens or fails to happen with their soldiers. Being a Team Leader is where the rubber meets the road. I think it’s one of the most important jobs in the Army. It is the first leadership position one can earn, but also comes with tremendous responsibility.
5 Tips for Success as a Team Leader in the U.S. Army
What I’d like to do in this section is share some of my best success tips for Army Team Leaders.
# 1: Lead by Example
Inspire your soldiers by your own personal example. Do the things you want them to do. Show up on time. Be in the right uniform. Maintain a positive mental attitude. Never stop learning. Be a team player. Put the mission first. You get the picture!
# 2: Know Your Soldiers & Their Job
Take pride in everything you do. Spend time with your soldiers and learn each of their jobs. That way you know when they are doing things right, or wrong, and you can correct them and provide regular feedback. Also, get to know your soldiers without trying to become their friend. Learn about their personality, background, education, family, and find out what motivates them.
# 3: Conduct Your Counseling
Counseling is YOUR FRIEND. It creates a paper trail and shows your soldiers that you care and know what you are doing. Put EVERYTHING in writing. This will help cover your butt, if needed. Make sure you do the required initial counseling and follow-up counseling with each of your subordinates.
# 4: Develop a Leadership Style & Be Consistent
Figure out your leadership style and be consistent. That way your soldiers know what to expect. Enforce the standards equally and set a good personal example for your soldiers to follow. Be firm and fair!
# 5: Make On-the-Spot Corrections
When you see something wrong with one of your soldiers, it’s your job to fix it. Do not be scared of confrontation. Do not be scared to address an issue when you see it. That is your job. Of course, there are many ways to do this. Figure out the leadership style that aligns with your personality and do that.
Bottom Line: These are five of my best success tips for new Army Team Leaders. Follow this advice and you will make great strides in your job.
Top 5 Army Team Leader Mistakes
In this section, I’d like to share five common Army Team Leader mistakes. These are common mistakes MANY new Team Leaders, and young NCOs make, at some point in time.
Before I dive too deep into the topic, keep in mind, mistakes are okay if we learn from it. In fact, making mistakes is HOW we learn. It’s just wise not to make the same mistake twice. Plus, if you can learn from someone else’s mistakes, you can save yourself time, money, and energy.
What you will see below are the most common Army Team Leader mistakes I’ve observed.
# 1: Trying to Be Friends with Their Soldiers
This is easily the biggest mistake that new Army Team Leaders make. Lots of new E-5/Sergeants were promoted in the same unit that they were a Soldier in. Even though I am against that happening, it is a reality in today’s Army. Lots of new Sergeants still have the junior enlisted mentality, because that’s all they know.
To make things worse, the soldiers they lead are often their friend(s). I’ve found that it’s next to impossible to properly lead and supervise someone who is your buddy. It’s impossible to give punishment, manage disciplinary issues, or correct mistakes when you are buddy-buddy with someone. My best advice to the young Team Leader is to be your Soldiers’ leader, not their friend. You can’t be both!
Maintain the line. Do not cross it. Be professional, be fair, and even be nice, but DO NOT become best friends with the people you supervise.
# 2: Being a Worker, Not a Supervisor
I’ll be the first to admit that there will be times that you will need to roll up your sleeves and do some work WITH your Soldiers. When required, do it! But remember that the Army pays leaders to get things done through others. Write that down and remember it.
As a new NCO, you are now a supervisor, manager, and leader. It’s your job to delegate, supervise, and inspect. Make sure you give clear instructions and then step out of your Soldiers’ way and let them do the work. You can’t do everything yourself, nor should you!
# 3: Letting Their Rank Go to Their Head
Another common mistake that new Team Leaders make is letting their new rank go to their head. This might be the first time in your military career that you have had some authority, responsibility, and POWER over others. Don’t let those things give you an ego or make you think you are better than others. You’re not. If anything, your new rank means you now have a job to SERVE the people that you lead. Treat your soldiers with respect and make sure the people who work for you show you the proper respect, but don’t become an egotist who thinks they walk on water.
# 4: Poor Time Management
Time is our most precious asset. In the ARNG and USAR, we must put a month’s worth of work into one weekend. You will quickly discover that you have a lot of UNPAID work outside of drill weekend. In fact, a lot of your work is PREPARING for drill weekend ensuring everything is planned and resourced. This might include reading or writing OPORDs, preparing risk assessments, conducting site visits, attending meetings, etc. Make sure you plan your time wisely during drill weekend and outside of it. Look at the day training schedule and OPORD and use a day planner. Block off time for the specified, implied, and essential tasks that you must do during drill weekend. If you don’t manage your time it will manage you!
# 5: Avoiding Confrontation & Issues
When something or someone is wrong, address the issue immediately. That is what you get paid to do. Even if you are a naturally shy or an introverted person, you are paid to fix things and manage issues. NCOs get paid to enforce the Army standards. Use your rank in a good way to address issues and fix them when you discover them. Do not be scared to address someone if they do something wrong. By all means, be professional when you do it, but make sure that you do it. It’s your job.
In summary, these are my best tips for Army Team Leaders. Serving as a Team Leader is an important job with lots of responsibility. If you are put in this position, take pride in what you do and always do your best. Your soldiers deserve it!
What are your thoughts about Team Leaders? Do you have any tips or suggestions? Leave a comment below to tell us about your experience as an Army Team Leader. I look forward to hearing from you.
Check out my Army Team Leader Initial Counseling Packet. This is a great resource for Squad Leaders wanting to know how to conduct their initial counseling, the right way, with their new Team Leader.