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Leading at the company, troop, and battery level is an awesome undertaking. It is the echelon of command where the proverbial “rubber meets the road” within the Army, and the foundational echelon that builds readiness. Battalion and higher formations plan operations and activities that eventually are executed at the company level. The company is also the only echelon of command that does not have a staff.

This handbook serves as a primer for those personnel who will lead a company as either a commander, first sergeant, or executive officer. It focuses on those first 100 days in position and aims to assist these leaders in thinking through their approach to their new leadership positions. At first blush, company leadership may seem overly daunting as there is always too much to do and not enough time or resources to do it. This handbook seeks to allay some of that trepidation by providing a reasoned and structured approach to company leadership.

Successful company leaders take a system of systems approach to leading and running their formation. The company level is the confluence of four systems that build readiness: personnel, training, maintenance, and supply. Successful company leaders understand what comprises each of those systems, how they function, and how they build readiness. They assign responsibility, plan the operations and activities necessary to keep each system functioning, and then verify that execution is to standard. Successful companies do the routine things routinely. Successful company leaders also build those critical relationships with peers and higher headquarters that enable these systems to function effectively and build readiness at echelon.

Leading and commanding a company can be very challenging, but also extremely rewarding. This handbook is a tool to guide future company leaders, and those relatively new to their company leadership position, in thinking through their approach to their new role. Effective company leaders are essential to building readiness across the Army and creating the lethality and grit within their formations that leads to success in combat.

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