Posted on Mar 7, 2016
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I will take battalion command this summer and wanted to get an "outside the unit" perspective of what others would want to know about a new BC if they were in the unit.
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I would say people in general want to know where the BC will fall on things that are typically mutually exclusive. The following is a short list. We all like to say we want both, but knowing where a person naturally leans is helpful:

- Does he prefer extreme details in paperwork or to reduce administrative burdens and accept some risk?
- Does he prefer more direct communications with leaders or stricter use of the chain of command?
- Does he prefer to "don't fix what's not broken" or does he heavily promote innovation/experimentation?
- Does he expect zero defect or does he encourage people to push themselves more, knowing that some people will fail at some things outside of their comfort zone?
- Does he lean toward "inspect what you expect" or more of inherently trusting leaders to make the right decisions? Or "trust by verify"?

Other questions:

- Does he have any pet peeves?
- What principles drive his decisions? (i.e. what is the universal Commander's Intent?)
- What will be the unit's priorities?
- How will the FRG be utilized?
- What in his past does he think helped him get him to where he is now, and how would that influence the development of his subordinates? (i.e. perspective on what is success)

Just a few things off the top of my head.
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SGT Ronald Audas
SGT Ronald Audas
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The fact that you would seek input from outside of your command,speaks volumns of your ability to command a Battalion.You will do just fine,Sir;
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SSG Don Maggart
SSG Don Maggart
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@ Sir we already have the Power for Good or Ill what we lack at any given moment is True Commander Intent... MilitantCrip
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SGT Ronald Audas - Thank you for the vote of confidence. I'm looking forward to this next adventure with my Soldiers more and more each day!
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CPL Joseph Elinger
CPL Joseph Elinger
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Thank you Sir.
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SFC James J. Palmer IV aka "JP4"
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This is a good question. From an NCO perspective we may not always say it or voice it all the time unless it is the correct or appropriate forum, but one thing that every NCO swoons over is support from their leadership. One of the things that I gave seen thus far is that no two situations are ever quite the same. I have seen some very bizarre situations. Some handled very badly, some were handled extraordinary where the NCO support Channel and the Chain of Command hit the turbo button, came together and fixed a problem within the best interest of the troop. I guess what I would want to know if how would you sir prefer to do business or interact with your NCO's? How should that function?

V/R,
JP4
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SSG Palmer, you have a great point. I firmly believe in empowering our NCOs to do what they need to do in leading and training our Soldiers, and executing the mission within my intent. I believe they should feel free to exercise disciplined initiative within my intent, and it's my responsibility, along with my CSM, to set the environment and command climate that makes it clear to them that they can do so. I am blessed that my CSM-select and I have served together before and we've already cemented a rock solid relationship as a command TEAM, sharing thoughts, discussions, and input on how we want to lead the battalion together. We will both empower our NCOs and hold them accountable for their responsibilities, ensuring we give them the resources and command backing they need to do their jobs.

Thanks for your feedback ... I really appreciate it. Please feel free to drop by with more input if you think of anything else.
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SSG Don Maggart
SSG Don Maggart
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I agree JP-4 but the Ice must be broken and it is not done by some Dictate from on high, it is True Leadership from the Front....
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SSG Don Maggart
SSG Don Maggart
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The minute an Officer especially a Command Officer thinks that He sits on high and Acts on Behalf of his Troops the Prism has turned it is in Fact the reverse that is True... and the sooner a young Commander realizes this the better. I've seen Butter bars come and go but the best First LT I ever had the pleasure of Serving came from a Rifle Platoon to a Heavy Mortar Platoon then was going to go to an Artillery Battery before taking on a Company Command he wanted a Boots in the Mud nuts and Bolts who shot John perspective of how things worked and he managed to Un F a Company....MilitantCrip Pleasure to have Served Teached him Swear Jar and Chapel and all...We learned from him he learned from us... even Steven...
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SSG Maggart, I definitely concur that "Leadership through presence" (getting out with Soldiers where they work and not trying to lead from behind a desk) is a critical component to effective command. My CSM-select and I have had numerous discussions on that already and I plan to make it part of my daily battle rhythm to leave the office and go talk to Soldiers, hear what's important to them, observe training (sometimes participate where appropriate), etc. I am truly looking forward to this awesome time in my career ... the best times for an officer are when given the honor of being allowed to lead Soldiers in command!
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MSG Mark Million
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The primary thing I would want to know is does the new commander focus on mission with the welfare of the troops in mind, or does this commander focus only on mission irregardless of how the troops are affected. There is nothing wrong in my opinion with a commander willing to do what needs done as long as that commander takes care to mitigate impacts on troops. Troops want a commander who will fight to ensure their troops are used appropriately, rather than say taking an assignment where a medical company is guarding detainees. Providing support for those guarding the detainees would be fine, but taking on missions that are a poor fit for the troops available just to check the box related to the commanders own career tends to disengearten troops. Most commanders do a good job of fighting against inappropriate missions, but the few that put their career as the focus without regard to what their decisions will do to their troops, reduce morale and effectiveness. Therefore what I would want to know is, if the commander will fight to ensure that their troops are used appropriately.
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SFC Dan Whipple - I love the sound of the BC you had who was a prior enlisted Marine. He sounds like he did things the way my CSM-select and I plan to do some things when I take command. Getting out with Soldiers (sometimes telling the CO CDR we're coming, sometimes not) is a key component of how we plan to operate.

Thanks for your input ... I appreciate it!
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TSgt Andrew Harper
TSgt Andrew Harper
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First and foremost, know you troops, from top to bottom, their capabilities, and where to position them parallel with mission objectives.
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TSgt Andrew Harper - Very good advice, and I concur wholeheartedly. My CSM and I will always work together, along with our other senior subordinate leaders, to make sure this happens. Thanks for your input!
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TSgt Andrew Harper
TSgt Andrew Harper
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Your welcome Sir and continued success in your career.
Take care,
Andy
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