From there, the messages or orders are passed down from me to my employees, or Sergeants and they handle the Soldiers in our ranks. If you look above the “inner circle” of a Battalion, then you start looking at “Big Army” or the Department of the Army and then eventually Department of the Defense and those decisions are ones that we have no control over (Walcott, C. E. , Warshaw, S. A. , & Wayne, S. J. 2001). We simply get the order, and execute, the movement of the order is a horizontal and vertical move of the order to ranks.
This is the natural order of things and the problems occurs when a subordinate bypasses someone in the Chain of Command and goes directly to a member in the Chain of Command directly, and this can be either way horizontally, because then you start losing track of what that member of the team is doing, or what their level of knowledge of the plan is. (Tanguay, 2006) In a Tank Company, the first level of management that you will actually experience is the gunner. The lowest rank that he can be is a Corporal and is actually promotable waiting to be promoted to Sergeant.
From there you have the Sergeant, and these are the Non-Commissioned Officers where the “metal meets the meat. ” They have daily interactions with the employees, the Soldiers and they are responsible for the everyday well-being of these guys. The next level of management that you have is the Staff Sergeant and he is the Section Sergeant and runs two Gunners and four Soldiers. His job is to monitor the counseling, and ultimate progression of these personnel. Then you have the Platoon Sergeant who is a Sergeant First Class who is in charge of two Staff Sergeants, four Sergeants, eight junior enlisted soldiers and he monitors the platoon.
Finally inside of the platoon you have the Platoon who is a 2nd or 1st Lieutenant who is the youngest officer in the military and is there to honestly learn from us and prepare for his further endeavors. Every Tank Company has three line platoons, with the same make up as listed above. The only addition to those personnel is that the company has a Headquarters Platoon which is made up of a Headquarters Platoon Sergeant who can be a Sergeant First Class or Staff Sergeant and the number of personnel inside of the HQ Platoon vary per company.
However, inside this platoon, there are two additional tanks, and they are for the Company Commander and the Executive Officer and their crews. The First Sergeant runs the company from the enlisted side of the house and is in charge of all of the enlisted personnel and makes all of the decisions on that side. He is the highest ranking person in the company. The Company Commander is a Captain and all officers in the company answer to him. The final person is the executive officer who is a 1st Lieutenant who is waiting to go to Captains Career Course and get his own company.
Decisions, simply flow down through the chain of command and arrive at whichever level you are at. The problem that is noted with the Chain of Command method is that the ability to make any meaningful decisions is diminished (Heathfield, 2013). The mission of the military is simple, to do whatever we are called upon to do by our country whenever and wherever we are sent to do it. Tankers are combat arms and our mission is to close with and destroy the enemy. However, in times such as now when there is no rapid deployment actively going on, it falls upon us to constantly train to be ready.
While we may simply want to go forth and find the “bad guy” and destroy him that is not always what we are doing. In the Pacific, we are also a contingency force that is used for humanitarian missions and we have to constantly train for this mission. This means that we can go from training to go to Afghanistan one day and fight Taliban, to the next day going to the Philippines to help with a Tsunami disaster relief. It just depends on the mission that we receive and we are constantly on a two hour recall and we have to be prepared for it. The military is such a different job and it is not a job that is for everyone.
Honestly it is more of a lifestyle than a job and it is something that you have to embrace or you will not be successful for any period of time. In this area of operations, adaptability is paramount because we cannot guarantee where we will go at any time, we recently deployed some units to Afghanistan, while we are preparing to be ready to respond to anywhere in the Asia area of responsibility. To actually try and break it down into another type of organizational structure honestly would not work from a strategic or tactical point of view.