This blog post is a continuation 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 discusses managing additional duties within your company and how to verify they are meeting Department of the Army requirements.
It may seem there are as many required additional duties for your company as you have Soldiers. Without a sufficient system to manage these duties and provide necessary oversight, you may quickly find yourself in trouble with multiple higher headquarters.
At a minimum, your company needs to create and maintain three items for additional duties: duty appointment orders signed by you (the commander), copies of certificates for your appointed Soldiers’ training, and a system to easily track the status of all required duties. I assigned this additional duties management system to my company Training NCO (my gunner). He maintained one binder for the company’s duties and all necessary documentation for each one. Once a month, I personally met with him, First Sergeant, and all platoon sergeants to review additional duties. We forecasted Soldier losses (to PCS, ETS, etc.) and I worked with the platoon sergeants to assign new Soldiers to those duties. My Training NCO left each meeting with a to-do list of new duty-specific training courses to schedule, appointment orders to update, and training certificate copies he needed to obtain.
Once the duties are assigned and you’ve established a management system, how do you ensure your programs are quality ones meeting Army, installation, and unit requirements? Inspired by From the Green Notebook’s post, I created a company-internal commodity shop and additional duty inspection program. I delegated oversight of this program to my XO. We scheduled two inspections a month or as the training calendar allowed during P-2, P-3, or P-4 weeks. We created an inspection schedule product (which I include in my Commander Binder), as well as placed the events on the company training calendar. For each selected program, we scheduled the battalion or brigade program representative, or an external agency (e.g., COMET for my supply section), to inspect. The XO received results of the inspections and informed me as needed. Based on the results, we scheduled a re-inspection a month later to allow that duty or program NCOIC to make necessary corrections. All results stayed within the company and were not published beyond that.
The XO and I created an additional duty inspection calendar. We monitored respective duties and programs up to four months ahead of when they were planned to be inspected. Two months out, the XO scheduled inspection dates with the selected inspector. Below is an example scheduling product that my company (primarily my XO) used to track inspections.
This inspection system not only ensured my programs were meeting regulation requirements and bringing maximum value to my company, but also served as another source of assessment for my NCOs’ evaluation reports by recognizing those top performers who put in the necessary effort to ensure their programs succeeded. Finally, I was required to brief key additional duties during my battalion training meetings, so this management and inspection system kept me personally informed in order to brief accurate statuses on numerous critical duties.
What other methods led to success of your unit’s additional duties? How did you ensure they were top-notch programs that both met regulation requirements, but also maximized value to your unit?
The next post, part VII of the Company Commander series, addresses several ideas for your company policy memorandums.