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Finalizing Your Command or Leadership Philosophy

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Developing Your Command/Leadership Philosophy

You should begin building or developing your Command Philosophy before you ever arrive at the unit.  In fact it would be a good idea to begin developing it before you are selected for command. This allows you to develop a well thought out philosophy and not rush to complete one.  This guidance is also applicable to all leaders including NCO’s.  While they will not have a Command Philosophy they will have a Leadership Philosophy.

Below are some items you might want to consider as you develop or fine tune your Command Philosophy or Leadership Philosophy.  This document will be the guiding  document for your time as a Commander or subordinate leader.  Everything you say or fail to say in this document will be taken literally by your subordinates.  Ensure you put the appropriate amount of time, energy, and focus on this philosophy it is more important than you may realize.

Finalize Your Command/Leadership Philosophy

Private sector organizations have mission statements to spell out their highest goals; your command philosophy should do the same for your organization by describing your vision and explaining your priorities. Once you’ve heard from various interested parties, finish writing yours. It can be a simple one that spells out your top three priorities, or one that’s far more in depth.

If you want to draw up something comprehensive, you can treat it like an initial counseling for the company. Some of the areas you might like to address are:

  • The unit’s purpose
  • Goals for collective training
  • Expectations of on and off duty conduct
  • Regular reporting requirements (if you want to do a “Play of the Week” award)
  • Unit standards for training, maintenance, physical fitness, and safety
  • Expectations for monthly counseling statements
  • How to treat soldiers’ educational opportunities
  • Standards for reenlistment and awards
  • Role of the Family Readiness Group
  • Your critical information requirements (when you need to get a phone call)
  • How to handle VIP visits

When finalizing your command philosophy, you should consider your audience, and remember to leave room for individuals’ initial counseling statements.

While you might address: Equal opportunity, hazing, bullying, and sexual harassment/sexual assault keep in mind these require separate policy letters.

For More Information on this subject see the following resource(s):

Mechanics of Company Command”

Company Command the Bottom Line


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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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