The Brigade XO is second in command of the brigade. He is the “Second in Command” and “Chief of Staff” of the Brigade, and as such, he is the Brigade’s information manager and must be prepared to assume the duties of the Commander at all times.
The XO performs a variety of functions for the commander that include the roles as senior logistician, staff trainer, and the leader of the staff planning process. He is responsible for assigning tasks to the staff for the efficient, coordinated, prompt response of the staff in support of the Commander.
Here is a basic list (but certainly not exclusive) of the Brigade XO’s Duties and Responsibilities:
- Establishing and enforcing staff procedures
- Ensuring the commander and the staff are informed on matters affecting the command and individual staff responsibilities
- Assembling and supervising the staff during the decision-making process ensuring a coordinated and synchronized plan
- Ensuring information flow between the staff and commander on staff recommendations, commander’s intent, CCIR, and the commander’s decisions
- Establishing and enforcing planning timelines (1/3-2/3)
- Establishing the required liaison
- Supervising the main CP and its operations
- Monitoring the overall battle, supervising planning of follow-on operations and directing compliance with the commander’s intent
- Serving as the material readiness officer and supervising unit readiness
- Representing the commander (when required) and supervising the main CP and its operations
- Displacing the main CP
- Enforcing standing operating procedures
- Supervising deployment of the Brigade
- Ensuring adequacy of the Brigade’s logistic
As you can see the Army Brigade XO has an awesome responsibility. It’ a tough job and it certainly isn’t for everyone.
If you’ve ever worked as a Brigade XO I would love to hear from you. Please share your experience and lessons learned by leaving a comment below. Thanks.