Posted on Jun 17, 2014
SSG Founder
26K
23
13
1
1
0
What would you do if a Soldier is given the runaround by their company commander to resolve a personal issue and not allowing the Soldier to make an appointment to see the next higher level commander using the Open Door Policy?
Avatar_feed
Responses: 7
COL Jason Smallfield, PMP, CFM, CM
5
5
0
A few comments about a commander's open door policy in general and your question in particular:
- All commanders are required to have an open door policy IAW AR 600-20 Army Command Policy, Para 2-2. The timing, conduct, and specific procedures of the open door policy are determined by the commander.
- An open door policy is not just a memorandum, it is an action. Therefore a subordinate commander who denies a Soldier the opportunity to use a higher commander's open door policy is violating the spirit, if not the letter, of the higher commander's policy.
- Soldier issues should always be resolved at the lowest level possible.
- Most commands I have been in, it was a requirement for a Soldier to see the senior NCO (1SG, CSM) before seeing the commander. This requirement resulted in either the senior NCO being able to resolve the problem on behalf of the commander or for the senior NCO to be informed and thus better able to advise the commander when the Soldier saw the commander.
- Long story short, I do not think a subordinate commander has the authority to deny a Soldier the opportunity to see the next higher commander. Therefore, if I were the Soldier, I would go ahead and make an appointment with the next higher commander. I would be prepared, however, to deal with any potential fallout from taking this action. A Soldier who escalates an issue in the hope of getting to a level of command who will provide the Soldier the answer that he/she wants is not properly conducting EOF. This is a version of a kid going to Mom or Dad if one already provided an answer that the kid does not like.
(5)
Comment
(0)
CPL(P) Cyber Threat Intelligence Consultant
CPL(P) (Join to see)
7 y
Thank you for the details Sir. Since there is no guidance for soldiers for a suspense period as they move up the NCO support channel, what would be a considered a reasonable period for moving from the lowest to the next higher. So, in this specific scenario described, how long should the aggrieved wait on the CDR before considering to go to the next step.
(0)
Reply
(0)
COL Jason Smallfield, PMP, CFM, CM
COL Jason Smallfield, PMP, CFM, CM
7 y
Short answer is METT-TC (it depends) since there is no AR defintion of reasonable in terms of hours/days/weeks but I would say a day to a week is reasonable. Some variables to take into account when defining what reasonable is: severity of Soldier's issue, complexity of Soldier's issue, urgency of Soldier's issue, and response of subordinate commander among others. For example, a Soldier should allow more time on a complex problem that a subordinate commander is actively engaging on to resolve while less time should be allowed for an urgent problem that a subordinate commander is not engaging on for whatever reason.
(0)
Reply
(0)
Avatar_small
SFC Physical Security Program Manager
2
2
0
I am going to somewhat deviate, I am going to assume that the soldier has walked it up the Chain and now is in the predicament of the original question. If at this point the Commander is ducking the issue or not making the appropriate time for the Soldier. I know sometimes mission or other issues may preclude the Commander from dropping everything and seeing the soldier immediately. But the Commander should be able to set up an appointment to speak to the Soldier.

If that isn't being done, the Soldier should approach the next higher Commander's office assistant explain the situation, request an appointment with that Commander, 9 times out of 10 the senior Commander will make that appointment and will make inquiries as to why the subordinate Commander hasn't seen the Soldier.
(2)
Comment
(0)
CPL(P) Cyber Threat Intelligence Consultant
CPL(P) (Join to see)
7 y
Pls see my response to @ COL Jason Smallfields post. What would you suggest ?
(0)
Reply
(0)
SFC Physical Security Program Manager
SFC (Join to see)
7 y
SPC P K. If this is a SHARP or EO related incident? I wouldn't wait! Your UVA or SHARP rep should be spearheading this type of issue. Does the complainant feel that there life, limb or eyesight in danger? Then I wouldn't wait.

Having said that, if it doesn't fall into those categories, I would try to make the appoint on a Monday and if you haven't seen the CDR by Thursday, Friday morning I would be moving up the line. But that's just me, and I would ensure my Team, SQD and PLT Chain of Command knew. Always cover your bases.
(0)
Reply
(0)
Avatar_small
CPT Dave Shephard
2
2
0
Edited 7 y ago
Get the 1SG involved. Have the Soldier's PSG discuss it with the 1SG without creating a divisive environment. One of two things should result. 1) The 1SG will be able to discuss it with the Company CDR and compel him (in various ways - depends on the CDR / 1SG relationship) to schedule an open door meeting with the next higher level. Or 2) the 1SG will be able to discuss it with the CSM who can offer "mentorship" to the Company CDR either by himself or through the Battalion CDR.

Overall, I would discourage walking into the next higher Commander's office unless you get stonewalled by both the PSG, 1SG, and CDR. You can also ask your PSG to talk to the CSM if both the 1SG and CDR aren't cooperative. In my experience, CSMs have incredible influence (both direct and indirect)
(2)
Comment
(0)
CPL(P) Cyber Threat Intelligence Consultant
CPL(P) (Join to see)
7 y
This post assumes that those steps have been exhausted.
(0)
Reply
(0)
Avatar_small

Join nearly 2 million former and current members of the US military, just like you.

close