More Than Just ‘Don’t Be A Dick’ By Dave Crosbie In my last week of Sub-Unit Command, I was having a coffee with a friend. We were discussing the crux of good leadership at any level and mused that it probably boiled down to ‘don’t be a dick’. Whilst this thoughtful, lucid observation does have…Details
Sub-Unit Command Series
Sub-Unit Command is an exciting privilege – unprecedented freedom and autonomy. But there’s more to it than just using the experience you’ve gained in the run-up to the job.
It is the first time you have a staff beneath you. It’s also the peak of team leadership – the last time you can know the names and faces of all those beneath you. Below are the articles from The Army Leader’s Sub-Unit Command Series. They will set you up for success as you enter command.
As well as these, you’ll want to read the Field Officer series of articles here, which give you an idea about the wider skills you’ll need to master in command and beyond.
(Re)Serve to Lead: Advice on Leading a Reserve Subunit By Chris, Mike and Chris Much ink has been spilled around Regular subunit command in this journal, but none about Reserve subunit command. Reserve subunit commanders (henceforth referred to Officers Commanding – OCs) who are about to take over subunits deserve some advice written specifically for…Details
The Pleasure of Command: Reflecting on the Sub-Unit Command Series By Matt Paterson The introduction to The Army Leader Sub-Unit Command Series makes several things clear. It is a privilege with unprecedented freedom and autonomy; it is the culmination of your experience to-date; and it is the peak of team leadership. However, it can also…Details
The Good OC By Jon Healy I finished company command some time ago. I often reflect on what I could have done better, and what useful advice I could offer others approaching sub-unit command based on my experiences. There are a few twitter threads and good submissions on this already in The Army Leader’s Sub-unit…Details
The Acceptable Face of Wargaming: Risk-free, Cost-free Combat Leadership? By Dom Wiejak Wargaming gets a bad rep. Like reading doctrine, or wearing yesterday’s underpants, it is not something you necessarily want to admit to in public. We are coloured by our predjudices; wargaming is either the horror step of Course of Action development or something…Details
The Strength of the Clan is in The Clansman: Reflections on Company Command By Al Phillips The rotation of Sub-Unit Commanders across the British Army is well and truly under way with many new Officers Commanding (OC) now in appointment, and the next batch churning over the coming weeks. I was asked by a friend…Details
Why Should I Trust the New Lt? What Platoon Commanders Need to Do to Be Trusted by Their Chain of Command
Why Should I Trust the New Lt? What Platoon Commanders Need to Do to Be Trusted by Their Chain of Command By Will Meddings There are plenty of stereotypes about new platoon and troop commanders. Whatever rank you are, you’ve come across them. Platoon commanders with poor administration. Troop commanders who get lost. Platoon commanders…Details
Team of Teams: A Leadership Model for a Complex World By Dan Snelson The 21st century is a time unlike any other. Modern technology allows instant global communication for everyone, making the world no longer just highly complicated, but increasingly complex. It is this complexity, argues General Stanley McChrystal in his 2015 book Team of…Details
Know Your Role and don’t be a NOBA! In the Sub-Unit Command Series we’ve had advice from different ranks, branches and jobs in the British Army. I wanted to finish with some advice on sub-unit command of my own. My interest in leadership began shortly before I took command of my sub-unit. You would have…Details
Model Exercises and Mission Command By Des Fitzgerald In 2016 I was employed as a contractor on the British Army’s STRIKE concept experiment. The final element of the experiment was a three-week Virtual Environment exercise in the Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (CATT) for a STRIKE Company Group. There were a whole range of approved tactical…Details
When I’m in charge, I will do things differently By H Halawi Over the years I have been in various positions of responsibility and authority, as well as being on the receiving end of some good, as well as some not-so-good, leaders and managers. I remember always thinking to myself ‘if I was in charge…Details
What Got You Here Won’t Get You Further: On Success, Culture and Communication By Maj Will Meddings. If you are soon to take over your sub-unit, I expect you are feeling pretty good about yourself. I know I was. Over the 12 or so years leading up to company command I’d thought a great deal…Details
Don’t Begrudge The Toughest 20% – Advice on Company Command By Major Dave Godfrey The sum of your experiences, deployments and courses throughout your career go some way to prepare you for Company Command. However, the full spectrum of the task at hand is rarely apparent until a good proportion of the 2 years has…Details
My ‘Lessons Learnt’ – Four and a Half Thoughts on Sub-Unit Command by Maj Gen (Retd) Patrick Marriott I’ve recently written my first book, a book on leadership. It’s not that long; I wrote it for my children and it is privately published so that I could pass on some of the lessons I learned…Details