Today, I want to share a problem that one of my website visitors sent in about an issue he is having with his AGR Staff (Readiness NCO and Supply Sergeant). He is the Company Commander. This is what he writes:
“I’m writing to you with a question you may be able to help me and a few other officers with. What jurisdiction do Part time Commanders and Officers have to issue orders to AGR staff on non-drill weekends?
An example is sometimes I’ll call to the unit during the week, and ask the Supply Sergeant to get something done before drill and about 50% of the time it does not get done before we get there. He tells me and Top that his Full Time Command had him do something that takes priority over my demands. I have noticed that my Readiness NCO tends to do that at times as well. I can’t find any regulation on anything with this regard.
Me, my Platoon Leaders and 1SG are starting to see a trend of the Full Time not working with us during the week since we are not on orders. When it comes to Drill Weekends, we get the job done. But sometimes we are lacking things and I am a proponent of having things done before we get there.
The AGR personnel seem to be no help – my Battalion Commander tells me I have to work out the relation and should not be ordering AGR during non-IDT days. Please don’t think I want to be barking orders at them. But sometimes we need things done such as calling a caterer for family day or sending me and Top updates what is going on during the week so we don’t get blind-sided by something.
Where can we turn for information with this regard between AGR Command and M-Day? Top shared with me, he feels uncomfortable because he does not know the actual regulations pertaining to this and does not have the time to research it. Honestly, I feel the same way. Thanks for your help.” ~ Concerned Company Commander (name withheld for privacy)
***** Part-Time-Commander.com Response
Here is how I feel about the situation and what I recommend that you do.
The AGR Staff at the unit level works for the Company Commander and 1SG, not the Battalion AGR Staff. Their job is to support the Company Commander, 1SG and Soldiers in the unit. They work WITH the AGR Staff at the Battalion level, but they should report to the 1SG and Company Commander. You are their Commander and 1SG. That relationship should always be the # 1 priority.
The rating scheme should reflect that! The 1SG should rate the Readiness NCO and the Readiness NCO should rate the Supply Sergeant and/or Training NCO in the unit. Another alternative is to have your Company XO rate the Readiness NCO. In either case, the Company Commander should be the Senior Rater. If the rating scheme has the AGR working/reporting to the Battalion AGR it needs to be fixed immediately. Otherwise, you will keep having problems.
Once that is done, the AGR staff needs to be counseled in writing of what the expectations are. This includes a good initial counseling and follow-up (quarterly counseling). Problems and performance should be documented and addressed immediately when issues arise.
When it comes to issuing orders, there should never be a problem. You are the superior officer and Company Commander. You have command authority over the unit and any order you give (assuming it is lawful and ethical) must be obeyed. If they disobey your orders I would pursue UCMJ and have them demoted, fired, or FLAGGED. There is no room in any unit for Soldiers who can’t follow orders (whether AGR or not).
That is what I would do and that is what I would recommend you do. This is actually a common problem in the ARNG and USAR and the COA I recommended is the only way to fix it (that I know of).
What are your thoughts? Maybe some folks who read this post can chime in here and share some of their insights.