What is a Chain of Command?
A chain of command is any management structure that allows for a liner path of instruction and feedback. Many people hear the words “Chain of Command” and immediately think, “Military”. This is a misnomer as many companies and corporate structures have a well-established chain of command. When there is an owner, managers, and supervisors, there is a chain of command.
Why is a Chain of Command Important?
Imagine for a moment you are the owner of a 200 employee company. You tell everyone to perform a task, and suddenly they all start working on the same task. Naturally you would tell people to work on diffrent parts of a task. But how long would it take you to tell each employee to work on each segment of a task? That’s 200 employees!
But now imagine for a moment that you had to give each employee a pay cut of $0.50 per hour. All of the sudden you now have 200 employees standing in line at your door.
The head of 3UPNC, Mr Michael White, is that owner. If we all were to burden him with every gripe and complaint we had, even half of us, he would have no time to do anything else but hear our grievances. Also, without a chain of command, if he decided to activate us for what ever reason, it would be a nightmare to coordinate the entire state.
A Chain of Command ensures a stream-lined method of dissiminating instructions and gathering feedback.
During an emergency situation where orders have to be given fast, and people must follow those orders to the letter, a chain of command is the only system in which has withstood the test of time.
How does a Chain of Command benefit me?
Mr Michael White simply doesn’t have time to address every concern in the entire state. Without a chain of command, your concerns could and would likely go largely unnoticed. With a chain of command, you can report issues to your direct superior and they can then be given the oppritunity to work on that issue without bothering those with larger responsibilities.
This also allows you to keep local issues, local and allows you to clean up your own messes without disrupting the entire organization.
There is another bennifit. When “the shit hits the fan”, there is no question who should be giving you orders. This will be very clear and very defined. So there will never be any confusion to who you should follow and/or who you should be listening to.
How do I use a Chain of Command?
Using a chain of command means keeping your conversations and concerns between yourself and those of your local unit. That means if you’re in 2nd Battalion in Wayne County in 3rd Platoon and you just joined and notice an issue, you would approach your squad leader or platoon leader to resolve it. If you can’t resolove the issue on that level, you would contact your company executive officer or commander. If your company commander fails to resolve it, you would contact your battalion executive officer or commander and so on.
This allows for each section to fix the issues keeping both the problem in house and preventing an unnecessary workload on those with many responsibilities.
Is 'respect' for the chain of command the same as following it?
No. Respect for the Chain of Command means that you both follow it and aknowledge those who do with a sort of reverence. This “respect” goes both ways.
Captain John Doe: “Hey Jimbob! How are you today?”
Corporal Jimbob: “Hey John!”
Captain John Doe: “That’s CAPTAIN Doe to you!”
This is a no-go in a chain of command as well as a douchebag move by Captain Doe. Respect goes BOTH ways. A captain can’t expect his subordinates to address him by rank if he doesn’t also address his subordinates by rank.
What if Major Joe tells me to do something differently than my CO?
You would always follow your CO’s orders unless your CO has been relieved of command. That’s how a chain of command works. You don’t jump up the chain with your problems and those higher in the chain don’t jump down with orders.
But that doesn’t mean that Major Joe can’t give you an order, outright. There are circumstances in which this is appropiate such as in the absence of both your commanding officer and exeuctive officer.
How is this better than having leads and directors?
It’s not, there is virutally no diffrence other than there are more possitions to have and with more ranks, that allows those once directors and leads to designate more people into management roles to better delegate their powers and authority.
There is another added bennifit that a system like this allows a “leadership-heavy” approach which means we will have many more chiefs than indians which will be perfect during a crisis situation where there are hundreds, if not thousands of people volunteering to help and looking for someone to follow.