So tomorrow the fun begins again. I start inventories for my 2nd command, a challenge I am really looking forward to. I’m taking charge of a Headquarters and Headquarters Company, which means: I’m in charge of the company that runs the staff.
I’ve done a lot of growing up in the year and half that has passed since I took the guidon the first time. I learned a lot, way more than I thought I’d ever learn. I guess I should stop being surprised by how much I learn and start looking at the lessons I think I’ll learn vs the lessons I actually learned. The delta might be very interesting.
So as I move into my 2nd command what are some of the challenges I think I’ll face? Command is a unique job that I don’t believe has any comparison in any profession outside the military. I’m responsible for training, for readiness, for budgeting, the purchasing, for soldiers and their families. The gamut of things commanders are responsible for is legion and yet, it’s the best job the Army has to offer.
It’s not without it’s headaches, certainly. There’s the constant stress of making sure you accounted for all of your property. Of herding the cats that are the staff officers and senior NCOs who don’t want to play Army any more. Of making sure that all the check the block training as well as all the really important training is completed. Of getting people to the range and actually qualified. That’s the easy stuff.
More difficult is balancing the needs of the HHC (translate staff) with the needs of the other companies. I still maintain that staff exists to support the commanders, not the other way around. So now, I get the chance to see it from another perspective: my company *is* the staff. How will I balance that? This, I think will be my biggest challenge.
Lessons I learned in my last unit will definitely come into play here. The ability to build a consensus before you brief any plan in public is going to be key. I highly doubt my new battalion commander will have much patience with me if I get into a screaming match about CARC paint in the motorpool, so I’m going to have to really work on my temper. Also, I need to spend less time arguing with what I think is important and just doing what my boss thinks is important. They’re the battalion commander for a reason and the world according to Jess, while a good world, is not the only world (that was sarcasm, ICYMI).
One thing I know is going to be a challenge is property. I spend the last two days working on a Bento database that will *hopefully* keep me organized. Anyone who wants to try the Bento database is welcome email me and I’ll send it out. I’ve also shared it in the Bento Template Exchange under business category (Change of Command Inventory). It’s an ugly first cut but it’s a start for getting things organized.
The toughest thing for me is going to be slowing down and once more recognizing that I’m not the commander yet. I also don’t have the same people I had before. My crew was amazing and while I won’t have the same people, I hope I still end up with the same caliber of folks I had last time. I’m going to have to avoid comparing the two though, just like with your kids. No one wants to hear how they stack up to the last guy and I owe it to my new folks to not make that comparison.