This blog post is the beginning of the multi-part Company Command Series covering key aspects of my command experience that I feel other commanders (current and future) can benefit from. This post introduces the blog series and what I hope to achieve through it.
Company command was the greatest professional honor of my career thus far. That season of my life was the most professionally fun and rewarding, as well as demanding and frustrating. Every ambitious Captain about to assume command is overflowing with enthusiasm, passion, and great ideas for what he or she wants to accomplish after taking the guidon. At the end though, no matter how successful your command was, most generally leave command burnt out and crawling on all fours; after 18 months, I certainly was.
Prior to taking command, I watched to a YouTube vlog by COL Ross Coffman where he challenged commanders to daily reflect on the question: “did I happen to command today, or did command happen to me?” With every conceivable responsibility in the military seemingly identified as a commander’s program, it can often feel like forcing 50 pounds of “stuff” into a 10-pound capacity bag. If you’re not deliberate in taking charge of your command, it will quickly overpower you.
There is plenty of available content written to help Captains make their command effective and efficient. No single source is THE answer, especially this blog series. Prior to my command, I scoured every source and media platform for content on how to maximize my success and improve my company during command. If you’re like me then, you can use this blog series as another resource for inspiration in improving your command.
This 12-part blog series will not regurgitate regulation or doctrine; it is not the AR 600-20 SparkNotes. I am not outlining how the Army expects companies to holistically execute Unit Training Management (UTM), and I am not discussing property or maintenance practices. Rather, this series introduces methods and systems that worked well for me that I think other future and current commanders can benefit from. These are just ideas and options; personal opinions that do not necessarily reflect the opinions or directives of any formal organization (to include the DoD or Army).
Over the next 11 blog posts, I cover the below listed topics. I encourage readers with any questions or comments about the content to reply to the posts to share their insight; this blog is not about or for me. For more direct issues, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Preparing for command
- Limited components of company-level UTM
- Additional duties
- Policy memos
- Closeout formations and safety briefs
- Company Troop Leading Procedures
- Deployment Readiness Exercises (DREs)
- Unit pride and a recognition program
- My personal post-command regrets
In the next blog post, I kick off the Company Command series by discussing effective methods to prepare for command to ensure your assumption of command is deliberate, not reactionary.