What are the responsibilities of an Army Officer? To be extremely specific, that would depend upon the duty position of the Army Officer. In the Army, you have staff officers and commanders. And you also have deployable (line) and non-deployable (TDA) units. These units and duty positions vary significantly. But, at the end of the day the primary responsibility of an Army Officer is to ensure his/her troops are trained and prepared for combat. Additional responsibilities of an Army Officer include:
1. Collective Training: Army Officers are responsible for planning, resources, executing and assessing collective training in their unit. Collective training is training conducted at the squad level and higher. Whereas NCOs typically focus on individual training, Army Officers ensure their units can function as a unit, performing collective tasks cohesively. An example of an individual task is qualifying with your assigned weapon. An example of a collective task is defending your area of operations. A collective task is normally a combination of individual tasks.
2. Mission Planning: Officers conduct the Military Decision Making Process and Troop Leading Procedures in order to conduct mission planning. They draft, write and publish Operation Orders and Warning Orders. They lead staffs through the mission planning process. In essence, they develop the plan that their subordinates must execute.
3. Leader Development: Officers are responsible for training their subordinate Officers and NCOs. They conduct classes, counseling and oversee the Officer Professional Development Program and NCO Professional Development Program. They develop future Army leaders and prepare their people for positions of increased responsibility.
4. Property Accountability: Officers “sign for” and “account for” Army Property. In most cases, they are the primary hand receipt holder. They have the responsibility to maintain and account for their assigned equipment at all times. This means they must conduct inventories, sub-hand receipt the property to subordinates and make sure it is stored properly and cared for.
5. Leadership & Management: Officers are leaders and mangers. They command units and lead staffs. They set the tone for their organization or section. They get things done through others.
6. Unit Readiness: Officers handle unit readiness. This includes equipment and personnel readiness. Officers make sure their unit is trained. They make sure their people and equipment are prepared to deploy anywhere in the world at moment’s notice.
7. Soldier Morale: Officers are ultimately responsible for soldier morale. They track the health, welfare and morale of their unit to make sure their subordinates have proper food, clothing and shelter. They deal with problems as they arise. They monitor the morale in their units by talking with soldiers, walking around, giving Unit Climate Surveys, and seeking input from subordinate leaders. They write and approve awards and establish recognition programs for good performing soldiers.
8. Enforce Army Standards: Officers enforce the Army standards in their unit. They handle the administrative and UCMJ in their units. They conduct/oversee court-martials and Article 15’s. They provide counseling and formal/written reprimands. They are the ones who decide what punishment someone gets for doing something wrong.
These are the primary Army Officer responsibilities I am aware of. Ultimately, the Army Officer is responsible for everything that happens or fails to happen in their unit. They are the folks who lead Army units, enforce Army standards, and ensure their units are prepared to accomplish their wartime mission.
Are there any more I may have missed? Please post your comments and questions below. Thank you.