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Gabriel Montenegro
Gabriel Montenegro

The Skills and Qualifications of an Effective Army Commander


Army Commander: Roles, Skills, Challenges, and Examples




An army commander is an officer in charge of a military unit or operation. Army commanders have ultimate authority and responsibility over their units, and they are expected to lead them effectively in accomplishing their missions. Army commanders can range from company commanders who lead about 100 soldiers to theater commanders who oversee thousands of troops across a region. In this article, we will explore the roles and responsibilities, skills and qualities, challenges and opportunities, and examples and stories of army commanders.


Roles and Responsibilities




The roles and responsibilities of an army commander vary depending on the level, type, and context of their command. However, some common duties and tasks include:




army commander




  • Commanding, establishing policy, and managing Army resources



  • Integrating collective, leader, and soldier training to accomplish mission



  • Dealing primarily with units and unit operations



  • Concentrating on unit effectiveness and readiness



  • Preparing unit for combat, maintaining a high level of unit readiness, and providing battle focused training



  • Planning, supervising and assessing all unit training



  • Developing policies and procedures within unit



  • Responsible for recruiting and retention within unit



  • Ensuring the safety and efficiency of everyone under their command



  • Departing from orders when necessary to adapt to changing situations



  • Managing the finances of the unit



  • Providing moral leadership and setting an example for the subordinates



Some examples of different types of army commanders are:



TypeFunction


Company CommanderLed by a captain or a major, a company commander commands a company-sized element (about 100 soldiers) that is usually part of a battalion. A company commander is responsible for the training, discipline, administration, readiness, morale, welfare, health, safety, deployment, redeployment, operations orders (OPORDs), tactical standard operating procedures (TACSOPs), maintenance management system (MMS), supply management system (SMS), property accountability system (PAS), personnel management system (PMS), awards program (AP), physical fitness program (PFP), risk management program (RMP), equal opportunity program (EOP), sexual harassment/assault response prevention program (SHARP), suicide prevention program (SPP), family readiness group (FRG), sponsorship program (SP), counseling program (CP), professional development program (PDP), leader development program (LDP), soldier development program (SDP), retention program (RP), reenlistment program (REP), casualty assistance program (CAP), casualty notification officer (CNO), casualty assistance officer (CAO), rear detachment operations center (RDOC), rear detachment commander (RDC) etc.


Battalion CommanderLed by a lieutenant colonel or a colonel, a battalion commander commands a battalion-sized element (about 500 soldiers) that is usually part of a brigade. A battalion commander is responsible for all aspects of mission command for their battalion. They provide purpose, direction, motivation, resources, and guidance to their subordinate company commanders. They also coordinate with higher headquarters,


TypeFunction


Company CommanderLed by a captain or a major, a company commander commands a company-sized element (about 100 soldiers) that is usually part of a battalion. A company commander is responsible for the training, discipline, administration, readiness, morale, welfare, health, safety, deployment, redeployment, operations orders (OPORDs), tactical standard operating procedures (TACSOPs), maintenance management system (MMS), supply management system (SMS), property accountability system (PAS), personnel management system (PMS), awards program (AP), physical fitness program (PFP), risk management program (RMP), equal opportunity program (EOP), sexual harassment/assault response prevention program (SHARP), suicide prevention program (SPP), family readiness group (FRG), sponsorship program (SP), counseling program (CP), professional development program (PDP), leader development program (LDP), soldier development program (SDP), retention program (RP), reenlistment program (REP), casualty assistance program (CAP), casualty notification officer (CNO), casualty assistance officer (CAO), rear detachment operations center (RDOC), rear detachment commander (RDC) etc.


Battalion CommanderLed by a lieutenant colonel or a colonel, a battalion commander commands a battalion-sized element (about 500 soldiers) that is usually part of a brigade. A battalion commander is responsible for all aspects of mission command for their battalion. They provide purpose, direction, motivation, resources, and guidance to their subordinate company commanders. They also coordinate with higher headquarters, sister battalions, and adjacent units. They oversee the planning, preparation, execution, and assessment of all battalion operations. They ensure the readiness, discipline, welfare, and safety of their soldiers and families. They foster a climate of trust, respect, and professionalism within their command. They develop and mentor their subordinate leaders and soldiers. They represent their battalion to the public and the media.


Brigade CommanderLed by a colonel or a brigadier general, a brigade commander commands a brigade-sized element (about 3000 soldiers) that is usually part of a division. A brigade commander is responsible for synchronizing the operations of their subordinate battalions and enabling units. They provide vision, intent, priorities, guidance, resources, and support to their subordinate battalion commanders. They also coordinate with higher headquarters, sister brigades, and adjacent units. They oversee the planning, preparation, execution, and assessment of all brigade operations. They ensure the readiness, discipline, welfare, and safety of their soldiers and families. They foster a climate of trust, respect, and professionalism within their command. They develop and mentor their subordinate leaders and soldiers. They represent their brigade to the public and the media.


Division CommanderLed by a major general or a lieutenant general, a division commander commands a division-sized element (about 15000 soldiers) that is usually part of a corps. A division commander is responsible for synchronizing the operations of their subordinate brigades and enabling units. They provide vision, intent, priorities, guidance, resources, and support to their subordinate brigade commanders. They also coordinate with higher headquarters, sister divisions, and adjacent units. They oversee the planning, preparation, execution, and assessment of all division operations. They ensure the readiness, discipline, welfare, and safety of their soldiers and families. They foster a climate of trust, respect, and professionalism within their command. They develop and mentor their subordinate leaders and soldiers. They represent their division to the public and the media.


Theater CommanderLed by a general or a four-star general, a theater commander commands a theater-sized element (about 50000 soldiers) that is usually part of a combatant command. A theater commander is responsible for synchronizing the operations of their subordinate divisions and enabling units. They provide vision, intent, priorities, guidance, resources, and support to their subordinate division commanders. They also coordinate with higher headquarters, sister theaters, and adjacent units. They oversee the planning, preparation, execution, and assessment of all theater operations. They ensure the readiness, discipline, welfare, and safety of their soldiers and families. They foster a climate of trust, respect, and professionalism within their command. They develop and mentor their subordinate leaders and soldiers. They represent their theater to the public and the media.


Skills and Qualities




An army commander needs to have certain skills and qualities to perform their roles and responsibilities effectively. Some of these skills and qualities are:


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