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The Battalion Commander Effect

daftandbarmy

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You know who you are ;)

The Battalion Commander Effect

ABSTRACT: Statistical evidence suggests that Army battalion commanders are significant determinants of the retention of their lieutenants—especially high-potential lieutenants. Further, this so-called Battalion Commander Effect should be included in brigadier general promotion board assessments and used to inform officer professional military education curricula.

An empirical analysis of 1,745 former US Army battalion commanders and the 36,032 lieutenants who served under their command provides statistical evidence for what many researchers have believed, anecdotally, for years: battalion commanders significantly influence their lieutenants’ decision to stay in or leave the Army. Moreover, the analysis shows this effect is even stronger on high-potential lieutenants. Accordingly, battalion commanders should consider the effects of their leadership on the junior officers in their formations, and the Army should calculate and consider the battalion commander effect (BCE) when making appropriate talent management decisions for senior officers. Ultimately, measuring the BCE will enhance the Army’s overall assessment of leader effectiveness, especially when used in conjunction with other newly emerging measures guiding Army talent management.

[My battalion commander] cared about his lieutenants. He asked us, “What are your career goals, what do you want to do next, what can we do to keep you in?” —Former lieutenant

[My battalion commander] was degrading. The best lieutenants in the battalion got out. They could not stand his oppressive and demeaning behavior. By and large, most lieutenants got out. —Former lieutenant

 
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You know who you are ;)

The Battalion Commander Effect

ABSTRACT: Statistical evidence suggests that Army battalion commanders are significant determinants of the retention of their lieutenants—especially high-potential lieutenants. Further, this so-called Battalion Commander Effect should be included in brigadier general promotion board assessments and used to inform officer professional military education curricula.

An empirical analysis of 1,745 former US Army battalion commanders and the 36,032 lieutenants who served under their command provides statistical evidence for what many researchers have believed, anecdotally, for years: battalion commanders significantly influence their lieutenants’ decision to stay in or leave the Army. Moreover, the analysis shows this effect is even stronger on high-potential lieutenants. Accordingly, battalion commanders should consider the effects of their leadership on the junior officers in their formations, and the Army should calculate and consider the battalion commander effect (BCE) when making appropriate talent management decisions for senior officers. Ultimately, measuring the BCE will enhance the Army’s overall assessment of leader effectiveness, especially when used in conjunction with other newly emerging measures guiding Army talent management.

Wow, who would have known? Horrible bosses cause attrition 🤓

Revolutionary work from the War College 🤣
 
Being promoted over Richard aka Dick is a great sensation.
 
I think we're at the point where the institution is such a mess that even good bosses/teams are only slowing attrition. A bad boss is more of a catalyst than a root cause for the CAF.

You can deal with a lot more bs when you at least have a good team, but we're past that for a lot of people.
 
Similar things happen in the NCM ranks. Dickhead NCOs and WOs can drive future leaders out.

Or worse...drive us to Commission 😉.

Seriously though, I pride myself on being someone folks like running into once I'm no longer their "boss." I work with people, people don't work for me.

When I become Mr. Wannabe after this is all said and done, I would hope folks would say "he was a great dude to work for. I have all the time in the world for him" vice the "good riddance, the lousy prick" comments I have heard about others.
 
Defining the "range" of the boss's effects is interesting, though, given there's a few layers potentially attenuating a battalion commander's impact on lieutenants.

It works it's way down into every level, even on the NCM side. If the Bn CO is a prick, mostly every decision above Corporal will either:

a) be passed down as "yep...we know. Do it anyway"

b) be amplified as "we need this done so that the CO doesn't lose it for XYZ reason."

or

c) will be ignored or "deflected" by someone in the chain that cannot or will not be phased by the impending wrath of said Bn CO.
 
It works it's way down into every level, even on the NCM side. If the Bn CO is a prick, mostly every decision above Corporal will either:

a) be passed down as "yep...we know. Do it anyway"

b) be amplified as "we need this done so that the CO doesn't lose it for XYZ reason."

or

c) will be ignored or "deflected" by someone in the chain that cannot or will not be phased by the impending wrath of said Bn CO.
On one hand, that's kind of weak as a leader, but completely understandable (and I've been there).

The odd questionable decision is one thing, but when it's consistently just stupid it's almost invevitable at some point it gets really hard not to pass on an order with out a,b, or c (or d; it's not even required, because everyone is already assuming all of the above).
 
On one hand, that's kind of weak as a leader, but completely understandable (and I've been there).

The odd questionable decision is one thing, but when it's consistently just stupid it's almost invevitable at some point it gets really hard not to pass on an order with out a,b, or c (or d; it's not even required, because everyone is already assuming all of the above).

Unfortunately, it's hard to notice from higher when the end justifies the means. If the Bn is meeting its objectives; the Bde Comd is happy, Bn CO gets the Rockstar PER needed to make Col, and the wheel turns yet again....

Except for when MCpl/Capt Bloggins finally has had it and leaves the CAF because they hit the bottom of their GAF cookie jar.

I honestly am happy with the new AURA and URI process being a CO responsibility. I would love to have release metrics come up any time a CO is crying for more people in the unit. "Sorry, you had those positions full and then created an environment that forced these folks out the door."

A lot of COs then might have their Taylor Swift moment and declare "It's me, I'm the the problem. It's me." More willingly
 
Unfortunately, it's hard to notice from higher when the end justifies the means. If the Bn is meeting its objectives; the Bde Comd is happy, Bn CO gets the Rockstar PER needed to make Col, and the wheel turns yet again....

Except for when MCpl/Capt Bloggins finally has had it and leaves the CAF because they hit the bottom of their GAF cookie jar.

I honestly am happy with the new AURA and URI process being a CO responsibility. I would love to have release metrics come up any time a CO is crying for more people in the unit. "Sorry, you had those positions full and then created an environment that forced these folks out the door."

A lot of COs then might have their Taylor Swift moment and declare "It's me, I'm the the problem. It's me." More willingly
Sincerely doubt it. By this level most have visions of stars in their minds.
 
Unfortunately, it's hard to notice from higher when the end justifies the means. If the Bn is meeting its objectives; the Bde Comd is happy, Bn CO gets the Rockstar PER needed to make Col, and the wheel turns yet again....

Except for when MCpl/Capt Bloggins finally has had it and leaves the CAF because they hit the bottom of their GAF cookie jar.

I honestly am happy with the new AURA and URI process being a CO responsibility. I would love to have release metrics come up any time a CO is crying for more people in the unit. "Sorry, you had those positions full and then created an environment that forced these folks out the door."

A lot of COs then might have their Taylor Swift moment and declare "It's me, I'm the the problem. It's me." More willingly

I think that's the first time T Swizzle has been worked into these forums... Huzzah!

I Love You GIF by Taylor Swift
 
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