This is an interview I did with myself about my experiences as a Forward Support Company Company Commander. I hope you enjoy it.
What Is Your Job Title?
My job title is Company Commander for a Forward Support Company.
What is the Job Description for Your Duty Position?
Company Commander of a 127 soldier Forward Support Company, part of a Brigade Support Battalion. Ultimately responsible for the ability of the company to fight and win in combat. Responsible for planning and executing individual training of the Soldiers and collective training of the company towards full mission readiness in support of the battalion combat service support missions and state emergency missions. Responsible or sustaining mission readiness of materials and MTOE property valued at over $4 million. Responsible for the operation and maintenance of a National Guard armory totaling over 80k square feet of office space and shop space. Responsible for the health, welfare, training and professional development of soldiers assigned to the company. Enforce the highest standards in soldier appearance, morale, discipline and safety.
What Type of Unit Are You In?
My company is a Forward Support Company and is part of a Brigade Support Battalion, but we are attached to the light infantry battalion that we support.
What Are Your Primary Duties and Responsibilities?
My biggest responsibilities include:
- Set vision for the organization
- Responsible for all aspects of collective training
- Develop subordinate leaders for positions of increased responsibility
- Maintain $4 million in Army equipment and property
- Prepare Soldiers for combat missions
What Do You Like Most About Your Job?
What I enjoy most about my current job is the opportunity to lead Soldiers. I am naturally a leader (not a staff officer) and enjoy tough leadership positions. I like that I can use my leadership skills to develop soldiers and get the mission done. I enjoy that I have the ability to make decisions and run my organization the way that I see fit. My job is by no means easy, but it is very rewarding. I really enjoy working closely with my officers and NCOs, too.
What Do You Dislike About Your Job?
As a “part-time” Forward Support Company Company Commander, sometimes it’s just hard to get done everything that you want to. Trying to get everything done in just a couple days a month can be a bit frustrating. Even when you identify your priorities, there’s always something that comes up. This might be an inspection, a VIP Visit, briefing or a mandatory class.
In addition, there is a huge time requirement outside of drill weekend, which we don’t normally get compensated for. I don’t mind the work, but it would be nice to be compensated for it.
What Are Your Biggest Accomplishments Since Taking Your Job?
During my two years in Company Command of the Forward Support Company there were lots of things I was proud of. Here are a few:
- Our unit participated in the 2009 Presidential Inauguration (Traffic Control Point)
- Presented more than 75 achievement awards to Soldiers in my unit
- Promoted more than 30 Soldiers and graduated 60+ Soldiers from military schools
- Created a technically and tactically proficient unit
- Improved morale, retention and discipline in unit
What Are the Best Tips You Can Share for Someone About to Take the Same Job That You Have?
- Be mentally prepared for the job
- Talk to your spouse so they know the time commitment that comes with the job
- Get as much input as you can from the outgoing Forward Support Company Company Commander
- Have a concrete game plan of what you want to accomplish in the job
- Make sure you are mentally and physically fit prior to taking the job
- Read a few books on Company Command before you take the job
Can You Tell Us A Little Bit About Your Military Experience?
I joined the Army in 1995 as a 71L Administrative Specialist. After spending 2.5 years in the Old Guard I decided to pursue the Army’s Green to Gold Program. In 2000, I was commissioned as a 2LT after graduating college at SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson Army ROTC. I spent the next 3+ years at Fort Carson, Colorado with the 64th FSB, part of the 4th Infantry Division. In that assignment I served as Platoon Leader, Material management Officer and Battalion S4. As the S4, I deployed the battalion in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 1.
After resigning from the Active Duty Army in 2003 I joined the Maryland Army National Guard in 2005. I spent six years in the MDARNG and served as Company XO, Shop Officer, G4 Plans Officer, SSA Accountable Officer, Bulk Fuels Accountable Officer, Company Commander, Regimental S4 and Regimental S3. I deployed to Kosovo as part of KFOR8 in 2006-2007.
I resigned from the MDARNG in 2011 and am now a civilian.
Charles Holmes is a former Army Major and is the creator of Part-Time-Commander.com. He spent 15 years in the Army, Army Reserves and National Guard in a variety of positions. He is a graduate of Troy University’s Management Program with a Master’s Degree in Management. In addition, he is the author of 13 books and spends his time as a business coach, blogger and infopreneur. He and his wife Rachel, live in Florida.