Book Review of Company Command: The Bottom Line by John G. Meyer

Company Command: The Bottom Line is a classic book for aspiring Company Commanders.  I first read this book about a year before I took command.  One of my peers recommended it, so I went on Amazon and bought a copy.  When I got it in the mail, I read it in two settings.  If you were to look at my original copy (which I no longer have) you would see that it is marked up really good.  I found the information useful and helpful.

Major General Meyer writes in an easy to follow manner.  The book is well organized and to the point.  He doesn’t add in much fluff.  Although most of the information was geared toward Active Duty Company Commanders, most of the information also pertains to USAR and ARNG Company Commanders, too.

This book covers details such as:

  • Taking Command
  • You and Your First Sergeant
  • Meetings
  • Admin
  • Supply
  • Maintenance
  • Dealing with Soldier Issues
  • And Much More!

While some of the “details” are a little outdated, most of the information is still applicable to today’s Company Commanders.  It also covers “the big picture.”  One of my favorite things about Company Command: The Bottom Line is the War Stories that are provided.  MG (ret) provides lots of great stories about his leadership experience, and people that he knew.  These stories are a wonderful way to get his message across.

Overall, I give the book a 7.5 of 10 and consider it a must read for any aspiring or current Company Commander or First Sergeant.  You will learn a few helpful ideas from this book that will make you a better leader, so it is definitely worth spending a few hours of your time to check it out.  However, it is by no means “a 100% solution” to every challenge you will ever deal with as a Company Commander.

The book was first published in 1990 by the National Defense University Press.  It contains 235 pages.  John Meyer is a retired Major General.  You can buy the book on Amazon for $15 to $20.  You can also normally find a copy at your local Post Exchange or Base Exchange.

Final Thoughts

Have you read Company Command: The Bottom Line? Please tell us what you thought about the book. If you have any comments or questions, you can post them below. Thanks.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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7 thoughts on “Book Review of Company Command: The Bottom Line by John G. Meyer”

  1. “Taking the Guidon” is another spectacular book and is see it is advertised on this site along with the book referenced here. I will have to read this book and see how it stacks up to the advice and insight provided by “Taking the Guidon”.

  2. The Guidebook for the Young Officer- The Definitive Guide for Lieutenants & Captains
    While not specifically for Company Commanders this is an excellent book for young officers and it is a great book for Company Commanders to recommend to new Lieutenants or Platoon Leaders. Here is part of the description: Guidebook for the Young Officer is LTC(R) Frank Caravella’s little red book of Army Leadership secrets. Caravella guides junior leaders from their first days as officers in the United States Army up to battery or company command and beyond. How do you assimilate into your first unit? How do you determine your commander’s expectations? How do you make a positive impact and steadily move through the ranks? The Guidebook provides thoughtful insight and proven principles that work. Reading this book is a great first step for any company grade officer who wants to improve his or her leadership potential. You can order the book at Link:

  3. A commander, like any leader in organizations that have been around as long as government, has much red tape to keep in the form of regulations, inspections, and policies. Most commanders are thoroughly informed on the use of these, and the proper procedures and paperwork involved to lead be the company command. Am I right or wrong on this? The thing about this book by John G. Meyer is that he goes a little deeper into the actual philosophy needed to cope and command with strength, care and determination. The war stories included in the book make it a fascinating and educational read.

  4. Neil ODonnell

    Getting advisement from a Major General is certainly a great way to start researching the ins and outs of Company Command. I am sure the advice on the importance of the bond between a Company Commander and her/his First Sergeant alone is worth the time invested in this book. As for the War Stories, I imagine the tales help clarify what leadership styles work and which styles do not. Have you considered writing a similar text, Chuck?

    1. I’ve written a book for Company Commanders, Neil. It sells pretty well and gets lots of good reviews.

      The book “Company Command The Bottom Line” is loaded with helpful information, although it is geared for Active Duty Company Commanders and First Sergeants. The war stories are great. I really like his writing style. It’s to the point and easy to follow.

      I consider this a must book for any aspiring Company Commander.

  5. For between fifteen and twenty bucks, I will probably take a chance and buy this book. It’s a small price to pay for the potential reward of learning some really valuable lessons and tips that can make one a better leader.

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