What makes a good Commanding Officer

#1
I was reading some articles on what makes a good CO and I always hear people compain about theirs, so what actually makes a good CO in the mind of ARRSE'ers?
 
#3
As an OC back in 94 - 95 (sound of the lamp swinging gently) I had a truly outstanding CO. Before and after that I've had total cnuts who I'd gladly curl one upon in their dieing moments as they begged for the sacrament of Christ to absolve them from their sins. I've also heard too many stories of other nasty ******* in position of absolute power.
Perhaps it's easier to ask: what makes a bad CO; this could go viral.
 
#4
What makes a good Commanding Officer? A good RSM!
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#5
I prefer the type of commander who looks at his (or her) team encourages them to make the most of their strengths and overcome their weakness in order to complete the mission.

That doesn't necessarily mean being best mates with everyone but A good commander isn't one that climbs to the top on a pile of broken subordinates.

Only a fool would ignore their own career but it should never be thier main focus.




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#7
Knowing his own mind and sticking to it for more than a few minutes at a time. Knowing his trade and his men. Trusting his subordinates as much as they deserve. Hammering anyone who steps out of line or doesn't live up to the required standard but indulging the odd bit of 'creativity' so long as they get the job done. Not obsessing over trivia.
 
#8
What makes a good Commanding Officer? A good RSM!
Not so sure of that DN, a good RSM is also a relative question - an infantry RSM will be different from a support arm RSM and in turn they will both be different sorts of officers. Some RSMs (and we all knew the ones) saw getting the post as a natural progression to officerdom and IMHO lost their effectiveness. Back on track, I had an excellent CO back in 2002/2003 who is now a 2*. Nice to know that someone else thought he was pretty sharp too!
 
#9
Knowing his own mind and sticking to it for more than a few minutes at a time. Knowing his trade and his men. Trusting his subordinates as much as they deserve. Hammering anyone who steps out of line or doesn't live up to the required standard but indulging the odd bit of 'creativity' so long as they get the job done. Not obsessing over trivia.
Being obsessed with trivia is an absolute indicator of a terrible boss
 
#11
In my crowy eyes:

Excellent situational awareness both up and at least 2 down.
Knowing enough about things so that people don't even bother trying to bluff their case.
Listening to what subordinates have to say and knowing when to go hard over and when to flex.
Ensuring all CORGIs are put past the team before being unleashed.
Showing an interest in all areas of regimental life and not just focusing on one area.
Having the ability to add value in any area whilst maintaining the humility to remain approachable.
 

mercurydancer

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
#13
Standing with the blokes on PT, allowing the RSM to do the discipline and enforcing standards within the Bn/Regt....always worked for me.
 
#14
One who several years later recognises you as you browse around Lillywhites and takes you for a coffee. Over which he enquires genuinely how 'civvy street' is treating you before revealing he is still serving and working for the MOD........

Edited to add; Still trying to work out what rank he would have been then
 
#15
One who several years later recognises you as you browse around Lillywhites and takes you for a coffee. Over which he enquires genuinely how 'civvy street' is treating you before revealing he is still serving and working for the MOD........

Edited to add; Still trying to work out what rank he would have been then
Sounds like an absolute gem of a CO.
 

mercurydancer

LE
Book Reviewer
#16
There is always going to be a bit of history involved. When I was a subaltern I had an encyclopedic knowledge of Hamburg, nothing sordid but best not asked why. Knowing where the Reeperbahn was, and guiding a load of field officers round some really dodgy places was a kind of duty. One of the majors later became my CO. I never resorted to blackmail as that is beneath me. He was a great CO to me. To this day we dispute whether or not it was a Shih Tzu or a Bichon Frisee.
 
#17
I had a couple of good COs, a couple of truly, exceptionally awful ones and a whole bunch of perfectly normal, competent ones. The best of the lot trusted the ones he knew he could trust, hammered the ones who needed hammering and left his Regiment a better place, by just about any measure you might choose, than he found it. He retired as a 2* and could perfectly well have functioned higher and forged a brilliant second career. I'm honoured still to be in touch with him.
 
#19
#20
RN wise: A good skipper will not put his personal career development above the training requirements and morale of the ship's company. A few skippers I had were of the opinion that "stitching up" the ship for every gash task and volunteering for everything was the way ahead for them. One notable occasion resulted in our being ordered out of area in the Northern Gulf by Redcrown as we were "getting in the way". The task group had promulgated standoff periods and upper deck sports / recreation planned. The yank Admiral was due to flypast one afternoon and the skipper had the off watch ship's company change into sports rig and pretend to "do sports" during the flypast. Straight after we were back into defence watches. Prior to the deployment the ship had been beasted with BOST and an extended workup period, despite FOST praising the ship's company. The skipper then decided a month of bullshit anti-submarine training (simulated) off Scotland was just what was needed prior to a gulf deployment. Even when we went alongside most of the time was dedicated to him hosting cocktail parties and tying up the ship's company with the associated extra duties. It was actually a relief when we were operational as at least we were doing something useful, as opposed to thankless tasks aimed at bolstering the ego of the chinless wonder in command.
 

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