In today’s post I want to educate you about the most common Company Commander duties and responsibilities.
Please keep in mind that Company Commanders are ultimately responsible for everything that happens or fails to happen in their unit. The buck stops with them!
Listed below are the “big things.” Keep in mind this is not an “ends-all” list for Company Commander duties.
Every unit and command is different. Things come up. It would be impossible to list “everything” you will ever be responsible for. However, this list is a good starting point, based upon my experience as a Company Commander, and from interviewing other current and former commanders. Enjoy!
Company Commander Duties & Responsibilities
It’s difficult to put this list of Company Commander duties in any specific order. These duties are equally important.
# 1: Mission Planning
While your NCOs handle the day-to-day operations of the unit, you are the “future operations” officer. You focus on the next 30 to 180 days out. This is one of your most important Company Commander duties.
# 2: Sharing Your Vision
Similar to a CEO of a large corporation, as the Company Commander it’s your job to develop and share your vision for the organization. In other words, what are you ultimately trying to achieve? Where do you see the unit in twelve to eighteen months from now? Once you develop your vision, it’s your job to share it and sell it to your followers so they “buy into” it and help turn it into a reality.
As a leader you have to look forward and see where you and the company are headed. This is important in order to avert catastrophe before it happens, or to plan for increases in staffing, production, etc. Vision helps a leader prepare for the future. Vision keeps a leader on course during rocky times or unexpected set backs. ~ TakingitPersonelly.com
# 3: Establish Priorities
As the Company Commander, you set priorities for your unit and for your subordinate leaders. These priorities are determined by your mission, your vision, and your Battalion Commander’s objectives. You must decide which tasks are most important and make sure your unit does the most important things first.
# 4: Establish Policies & Procedures
It’s your job as the commander to establish policies and procedures for your unit. This ranges from sexual harassment, to promotions, to leave, to your open-door policy. It’s important to chat with your boss and the different staff sections to make sure you dot your “i’s” and cross your “t’s” and have the proper policies and procedures in place (in writing).
# 5: Collective Training
It’s your job to plan, resource, and assess collective training for your unit.
Collective training is training at the squad level and higher. Think of collective training as “group training.” NCO’s focus on individual training and officers focus on collective training.
Basically, you need to ensure your squads and platoons (and the company) can perform their wartime mission.
# 6: Property Accountability
You are the primary hand receipt holder for your unit. You must ensure all equipment is maintained properly and accounted for at all times.
Inventories must be done on time and to standard. Your unit must safeguard the government’s property and be fiscally responsible.
# 7: Morale
The Company Commander has a direct impact on Soldier morale. A good commander will keep their troops highly motivated.
You can do this by providing tough training, leading by example, setting high standards, recognizing good performance, and making sure your Soldiers are taken care of.
Morale is measured in the extent an individual’s needs are being met and the level of satisfaction they gain from what they do. Morale is high when there is interest in and enthusiasm for the job one does. Morale is what a person believes and feels, rather than what others may think of them or their team. The benefit to an organization for having high morale among its’ members are increased satisfaction and productivity. It is, therefore, incumbent upon leaders to act in ways that contribute to positive morale among their team members. ~ Performance Matters Inc.
# 8: Unit Readiness
The Company Commander must ensure their Soldiers and equipment are ready to deploy at moment’s notice.
They ensure their Soldiers are trained, medically qualified, know their job, and know how to do their Warrior Tasks so they can do their job and return home safe.
They also keep a close eye on equipment readiness, training readiness, and personnel readiness. They track the status of each Soldier and piece of equipment on an individual basis.
# 9: Physical Fitness
It’s your job to maintain a high level of physical fitness in your unit. This means you administer the APFT every six months (12-months for Reservists). It means you do the proper Height/Weight test for your Soldiers. You enforce the Army standards and FLAG Soldiers who do not meet the standards.
# 10: Discipline
Company Commanders are ultimately responsible for the discipline in their units. They do this by enforcing the Army standards, establishing policies and procedures, setting a good example, and dealing with issues as they arise.
Your First Sergeant will handle most of discipline issues for you, but it’s your job to lead from the front and set a good example.
# 11: Senior Tactician
The Company Commander is the senior tactician in the unit. They must be technically and tactically proficient and know how to lead their unit in combat and peacetime.
# 12: Role Model
The Company Commander is a role model for everyone under their command, especially their subordinate officers. An organization takes on the personality and style of their leader, so make sure you do your job right!
Furthermore, your Soldiers are always watching you. Even when you think they aren’t, they are. It’s your job to set the example for your unit. Your Soldiers will do what you do!
A good role model is someone who is always positive, calm, and confident in themselves.
# 13: The Mission
Your job is to make sure the mission gets done, done right, and done on time! Whether your mission is to clean the armory or to fight in combat, completing your mission is your # 1 priority.
That doesn’t mean you do it yourself. It just means you ensure it gets done. In most cases, the Army pays you to get things done through other people, so it’s your job to delegate and supervise.
# 14: Decision Maker
As the Company Commander, you are the decision maker. 98% of your decisions are easy to make. You make the “big bucks” for the other 2% of your decisions. These are the tough decisions that aren’t always fun or easy to make.
Collect the facts, seek input, and make an informed decision. Don’t be wishy-washy or indecisive. Don’t always run to your boss to get advice. Don’t be scared to make a decision. That’s what the Army pays you to do.
# 15: Recognition
This is another important part of a Company Commander’s job. You need to recognize the people who work for you when they do a good job.
Send hand written notes. Give away challenge coins. Put Soldiers in for formal and informal awards. Tell people that you appreciate them.
Do the little things for your team members. The little things matter!
When employees know they’re appreciated, it shows in their work: 90% say that recognition motivates them to give more effort. Both employee productivity and performance are 14% higher in organizations that actively practice recognition. ~ Achievers.com
# 16: Leader Development
One of the most important things that a Company Commander does is leader development. This is the process of preparing your subordinates for positions of increased responsibility.
You do this via counseling, training, one-on-one mentoring, sending Soldiers to military schools, helping Soldiers get promoted, challenging your subordinates, and helping each person develop their potential. Basically, your job is to grow your current leaders and develop future leaders.
As you can see, there are many different Company Commander duties. Although it is a tough job, it’s very enjoyable and rewarding. I hope you are up for the challenge.
What are your thoughts about these most common Company Commander duties? Did I miss anything? If you have experience as a Company Commander, leave a comment below to tell me what you think the most important duties of a Company Commander are. I look forward to hearing from you. Hooah!