Posted on Jul 12, 2020
CPT Executive Officer
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All,

I'm about to move to a new position as a BN XO in our sister Battalion. For context, I'm an ARNG AGR Officer. The other half of my job will be as the BN administrative officer. The only staff position I've held previous to this is my current one (AS3/TO), so my experience is heavily operations based. I'm also starting with a completely new staff. Every staff primary, plus the CSM and CDR are coming in new. Several of my key NCOs are also new or retiring soon. While this will definitely be a challenge, it's also an opportunity to build something. We have a JRTC rotation scheduled next year, so I have a fairly short window to get the staff ready. Does anyone have any advice, TTPs, products, etc. they're willing to share from their time as a BN XO?
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Responses: 5
LTC Mark Ensign
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Just a few thoughts:
1. Seek guidance from your Commander. At the same time, come to your Commander with a clear vision of your own as to how a Bn staff should work.
2. Ensure you and the S3 are in Synch. In most Bn’s, the S3 is your only peer within the unit. While you don’t have to be buddies ( although that helps), a solid professional working relationship is a must.
3. The staff works for you. The Company Commanders do not. The staff’s job is to support them, not be an impediment to them. You work for the Bn Cdr, but having the support of the Company Commanders will pay great dividends.
4. Establish a positive relationship with the CSM. Both of you are there to support the Commander’s intent. It is best to synch a mutual understanding of that intent.
Best of luck!
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LTC Erik Spike Thiesmeyer, Sr.
LTC Erik Spike Thiesmeyer, Sr.
4 mo
Okay, Colonel Ensign said everything I was gonna say. Very good advice Mark!!!
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MAJ(P) Eugene Chu
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“The Iron Major Survival Guide” is a book describing expectations as a field grade staff officer. Consider buying for generalized broad advice https://www.amazon.com/dp/ [login to see] /ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_Uz1cFbYMG5KB8
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CPT Executive Officer
CPT (Join to see)
4 mo
Its actually on my bookshelf already. I read it during my last deployment. It's been a few years though, I may have to make time for a 2nd time through.
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MAJ S3/5/7 Cuops
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I spent most of my time in operations and the became the S3. This was an easy transition because I had spent a lot of time with planning and orders. When I took over as the XO it was a real eye opener. Managing the rest of the staff and running interference for the commander was vital. As others have said you need to know your commander, what he/she wants and the trust should be built as I had to speak my commander's intent in his stead, and then knowing all the staff functions and staying ahead of their issues. Best of luck.
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