The first 90 days in Company Command are critical.
In fact, the first 90 days of Company Command will ultimately determine your ultimate level of success as a leader.
There’s a saying that you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
When it comes to Company Command, that statement is definitely correct.
When you first assume command, it’s important to start off strong.
You need to set the tone for the organization from day one.
You must appear confident, assertive, decisive, fair and firm.
Simply put, you must act like a leader.
Furthermore, you must look and act professional.
During your first IDT weekend, you should meet with your entire company to introduce yourself and state your expectations.
During this time, make sure your uniform, grooming and hygiene are squared away.
During the first IDT weekend, you should give every Soldier a copy of your Command Philosophy.
Your Command Philosophy should outline your goals and expectations of the unit.
It should also include your vision statement, which describes what you ultimately want the company to be like.
In order to accomplish success in your first 90 days of Company Command, you must have a game-plan.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
You must know exactly what you will do in your first 90-days of Company Command, BEFORE you actually take command.
It’s extremely important.
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You should also remember that your first 30-days in Company Command is the same as your first drill weekend.
Since you only train one-weekend-a-month, you must be efficient.
Also, plan on visiting the armory minimum once per week; especially in the first 90 days of command.
Listed below is a proposed “first 90 days of Company Command for new Company Commanders.”
I hope you find it helpful.
First 30 Days
- Finish inventory if not already complete
- Publish Command Philosophy
- Meet with entire unit
- Conduct Command Climate Survey
- Conduct Initial Counseling with XO, 1SG and PLs
- Sub-hand-receipt all property on property book
First 60 Days
- Review Company Policies
- Review Company SOPs
- Assess Unit Maintenance and Supply Procedures
- Visit different armories (if unit is in more than one location)
- Request unit inspection by Battalion Commander
First 90 Days
- Publish new unit policy letters
- Update and Publish Unit SOPs
- Conduct 100% company wide Army Physical Fitness Test
- Spend Time in Each Platoon
As you progress through your first 90 days in Company Command, make sure you monitor your progress.
More importantly, please know that you don’t have to do everything by yourself.
After all, you probably have an eager First Sergeant and Company XO who want to help you succeed.
So feel free to delegate some of these tasks to them.
Additionally, once your first 90 days are complete, I think it is very important to develop another 90 day game-plan.
In my opinion, you should do this throughout your entire time in Company Command.
That way, you always have goals and a game-plan.
By following this technique, you will quickly separate yourself from your peers.
Most Company Commanders simply go with the flow.
Rather than being a leader and determining their flow, they simply follow their Battalion Commander’s game-plan or don’t follow any game-plan at all.
Never forget, you are the leader.
You are personally responsible for the success of your unit.
And your Soldiers, NCOs and subordinate Officers are counting on you.
If you don’t develop a plan, you are planning to fail.
And remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
If you start strong, you will finish strong.
And, it’s always easy to start strong but loosen up a little bit later on down the road, than it is to start weak and try to raise standards later on.
I hope that helps.
What are your thoughts about what you should do during your first 90 days of Company Command?
We would like to hear what worked for you and what didn’t.
Leave a comment and let us know.
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8 thoughts on “What to Do During Your First 90 Days of Company Command”
The most important part of your plan is… having a plan. If you walk in day 1 and start making your plan it is already too late. You should be ramping up to your command using whatever time you have. Try meeting some key personnel early if you can.
Have a plan, but be flexible on the plan. If one section has it's stuff together, but another is a disaster you may have to devote more of your efforts in that direction.
Failing to plan is planning to fail. I’ve worked with countless leaders that didn’t have a plan. Things never worked out well. Morale was low. Soldiers didn’t perform at the level they were capable of. And no one knew the vision or game plan. Good leaders always have a plan, even if it changes.
The first 90 days in any duty position has a huge impact. You definitely need to have a game-plan ahead of time so you can be organized and effective. You don’t want to wing it. You have to set the right tone right from day one.
I agree Jasmine. Your first 90 days are critical, so having a plan is vital. The most successful Company Commanders know have a clear action plan to follow.
The first 90 days in any new job is vitally important. I think it’s best to be observe, take notes, and get to know the people working for you. You want to learn what is working in the unit and what isn’t working. You don’t want to be too quick to change things. It’s really important to make a strong first impression.
Getting off on the right foot in any job sets the tone – that is for sure. You are providing some valuable information here to those when it comes to new positions of Company Command. Breaking things down into one-month chunks makes it very clear what needs to be done. You make a great point that you actually need plan how you will accomplish these things before you 90 days is underway.
“Publish new unit policy letters”
I’d enjoy learning more about this item. What topics are key to cover? What method (bulletin board?)is best for publishing? A couple of examples would be great.
I will do a separate post about unit policy letters in a few days. I’ve found that a cork bulletin board hanging outside the company office works great. It also helps to give each soldier a copy of the policy letter and to make a policy letter book that is stored in the commander’s office. Check back on my blog in a couple days and you will see a post about unit policy letters. Thanks for visiting my blog.