Top 7 Army Regulations for Small Unit Leaders

Today, I want to share the top seven Army Regulations for Small Unit Leaders.  These are regulations that I think everyone serving at the company level and below (both Officers and NCOs) should be very familiar with, and have on hand as a quick reference.

Let’s face it; the small units ARE the Army.  Leaders in these units are responsible for training Soldiers, enforcing the Army’s standards and setting a good example.  As a result, these leaders must know their job, they must know the regulations, and they must ensure their Soldiers are in compliance with these rules and regulations.

As a leader, you need to EDUCATE yourself about the Army’s rules and policies, so you know what right looks like.  I suggest you start out with these seven regulations below and go from there.  Please keep in mind that the Army does change the numbering system on their regulations from time to time, so the numbers of these regulations below might change again in the near future.

# 1 FM 7-22 Physical Fitness

This regulation covers physical fitness, the PT test, and how to conduct PT.  There are lots of good examples with different workouts.  It also covers the APFT standards, how to conduct an APFT and so much more.  Staying in shape and keeping your Soldiers in shape is an important part of your job.  This should be required reading for every leader.

# 2 AR 670-1 Army Uniform Policy

This is one of the most important resources on this list.  You really need to know the Army’s Uniform Policy, especially the NCOs.  You need to know what uniforms are authorized, what can be worn with each uniform, and what right looks like.  This will ensure your uniform is squared away and that your subordinate Soldiers don’t look all jacked up.

# 3 FM 22-5 Drill and Ceremony

Everyone needs to know basic drill and ceremony.  Whether you are an Officer or NCO, you need to know how to do formations, how to march Soldiers around and move them as a group.  This is the regulation you need to study if you want to get good at that.

# 4 AR 350-1 Army Training and Leader Development

This is really an important regulation, especially if you supervise others.  One of the most important aspects of being a military leader is training and developing your subordinates for positions of increased responsibility.  You can do that through job shadowing, counseling and leading by example.  This regulation covers just about every aspect of mentoring, counseling and leader development.

# 5 AR 735-5 Property Accountability Policies

Every Army Leader should have a basic understanding of unit supply, how to issue property, how to do inventories and how to account for and maintain Army property.  This regulation is a great starting point.  Add in AR 710-2 (Supply Policy Below the National Level) and you have a one-two punch.

# 6 AR 750-1 Army Material Maintenance Policy – Every Army leader needs a basic understanding of unit maintenance.  You should understand PMCS and Scheduled Services.  You should also understand maintenance priorities and maintenance flow.  This regulation will give you a very good understanding of how to take care of your personal equipment and unit’s equipment.

# 7 FM 7-8 Infantry File Platoon and Squad – Whether you are an Infantry Soldier, a mechanic, or Finance Clerk, you need to have a basic understanding about how to shoot, move and communicate in combat.  All Officers and NCOs should familiarize themselves with FM 7-8 so they understand basic Army tactics.  This can save your life when you deploy!

Final Thoughts

There you have it folks.  These are my top 7 Army Regulations for Small Unit Leaders in the Army, National Guard and Army Reserves.  I believe you should have a copy of each one of these regulations printed out, and in your leader’s book or leader’s library.  Make sure you read it and have a basic understanding of what the policies are.  You don’t need to memorize everything, but you should know where to reference to find the information you are looking for.

What are your thoughts?  What do you think are the most important regulations for Small Unit Leaders?  Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

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7 thoughts on “Top 7 Army Regulations for Small Unit Leaders”

  1. Those are a great groundwork of manuals to read and become familiar with for small unit leaders. I would say just as important as reading them is understanding them. In all likelihood most of us would need a least some guidance even after a manual or regulation. Having an experienced officer or NCO put the words on paper into action can really bring those manuals to life.

  2. PT is important because their may be a time, regardless of our MOS, that our lives depend on being able to carry out physically demanding tasks. D&C is important because it instills discipline and esprit de corps. As a leader, it also teaches my subordinates to instinctively react to my voice. Formations are also a physical representation of the command and leadership structure within a unit. These are important psychological cues needed in a military unit. And if dressing and acting like a professional bothers people, they don’t need to be in my battery.

  3. I definitely understand being physically fit. And as long as boots on the ground exists maneuvers and formations are important too. I might even highlight communication (written and sign language) as extremely vital especially if you are out in the field. Oh, my point was the strict weight parameters. You don’t want a slob wearing the uniform obviously but if they are passing PT then why is weight such a big deal?

  4. You make really good points here. I wholeheartedly agree with points 4 through 7. Everyone needs to know how to communicate effectively and know how to take orders but also know when initiative is needed; how to effectively use a weapon; the importance of property accountability and maintenance. Physical fitness is definitely important but I remember seeing my father go on starvation diets or he would fail on weight. Not that he was a fat man – but his job was computers and sitting on his butt all day writing programs. As long as he could pass PT I don’t know why strict weight parameters were enforced. (Obviously you’re not going to share a foxhole with a 300-pounder.) I’m on the fence about drill and ceremony – except for parades and graduation. We don’t march into battle and have formations to take a shot at a time like they did in the Revolutionary War. The way of war has vastly changed. But will someone please explain WHY creases and uniforms are so important beyond ceremony and public appearances?

    1. Thanks for the comment.

      Physical fitness is huge, as I see it, especially in combat. You need the strength and endurance to work long hours and fight the enemy.

      Drill and ceremony is important. No we don’t “march” into battle, but we need to know how to maneuver and do basic formations.

      As far as the uniforms, we’ve pretty much done away with the creases and pressed uniforms.

  5. Very good information Chuck. I don’t know how the Army regulation manual is set up or how difficult it is to read, but it would be good if you or someone else may put together an ebook with the most important regulations for an easier reference for leaders. I know that sometimes huge manuals can be difficult to understand and navigate. There are many regulations that are not nearly as important as others. Just a thought of something you or someone else may want to provide.

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