Q&a | AskTOP.net - Leader Development for Army Professionals
Army Counseling Software - Include over 250 Army Counseling Examples

Can my chain of command stop me from attending appointment with my son who has significant medical issues?

Can my COC stop me from attending my EFMP child's appointments? I am starting to catch a lot of flak about taking them appointments. The child suffers from Autism, ADHD, Fetal Alcohol Effects, ODD, and epilepsy.What can I do to ensure my child gets the help the need and get my Chain of Command to support me?

Wear it Right! Army Uniform Tool

Short Answer

“Yes” the command can limit your time away from work.  If the appointments are interfering or causing a problem, unit leadership can order you to take action to reduce your time away from work.

 99% of Military Leaders Care and are Reasonable

Most military leaders have experienced some type of family hardship during their time in service.  Therefore they are usually willing to provide some latitude to Soldiers trying to resolve personal issues.


What if I encounter an unreasonable Leader?

If you have an unreasonable leader in the Chain of Command at the Squad or Platoon level you could seek resolution at the company level via the open door policy with the 1SG/CDR.  It is always best to try and solve the issue at the lowest possible level!


What can I do to get my Chain of Command to support me?

  • Develop your discussion before speaking to the Chain of Command
  • Think through how you will approach the Chain of Command.
  • What is the personality of the individual(s) you will be talking to?
  • Do they have children?
  • Are there other examples of individuals in the unit that have been given latitude in the past to resolve personal issues (be careful how you use this.  Do not use it as an excuse: For example If you say something like “You let them do it so you have to let me do it- odds are you will not get a positive result)?
  • Develop the discussion so that the leader to view the issue by standing in your shoes. The best way to do this is to develop your argument by standing in the Chain of Command’s shoes.  This allows you to see the issue from the other side and usually results in the development of a solution set that works for the command, you and your family.
  • MOST IMPORTNATLY-Keep your discussion factual, calm, professional, reasonable and unemotional.  If you construct your argument in this fashion and are able to get the leader to view the issue from your perspective most leaders will sincerely listen.  If you exaggerate or are emotional you tend to lose the leaders as they may see you as unreasonable and too emotional. If this happens you will most likely lose your advantage.

Offer Solutions

Usually leaders will be respectfully of family issues just because they are human too (believe it or not), however if you can provide a realistic plan of action or solution set you provide them the opportunity to help.  Here are some items to consider as possible might include solutions:

Follow us and never miss a post!

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.

You might be interested in…

Army Counseling Software - Include over 250 Army Counseling Examples

Disclaimer: Though all content posted on AskTOP.net is reviewed by our qualified subject matter experts, you should not make decisions based solely on the information contained in this post. Use information from multiple sources when making important professional decisions. This is not an official government website.

    Leave a Comment

    We will never publish or sell your email address, nor will we ever send you information you have not requested.