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Can an officer order you to make coffee or go get his food?

Can an officer order you to make coffee or go get his food?

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Neither is appropriate if it is solely for personal reasons.  If there is a staff meeting, training, or some other official military function, then yes, a Soldier can be ordered to make coffee, go get lunch, etc. to support the function.   They key is that is has to be an “Official” function.

No superior can order another Soldier to make coffee, go get their lunch, etc., even if they are on CQ or driver.  This is an abuse of power and position.  There is nothing wrong if a Soldier is asked and they do not object to performing the request.  For example: A leader can ask their Soldiers to run to the shopette for them if the office is  busy, but must make it very clear that they do not have to make the trip.  In addition the leader should also add something like “it is okay to refuse..I will not be upset if you chose not to go.  Then it would also be appropriate to ensure enough money is provided.  You might even want to tell them to get themselves a soda or something from your funds.

posted on 12/15/2014 under Q&A
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Mark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training.

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