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The Major’s Guide to Hurting Soldiers


This is the first post in the Field Grade Week Series (#FGWEEK). The intent is to provide company grade officers and new majors advice on making the successful transition from captain to major. This particular article by BG Ross Coffman was one of the most important pieces I read in preparation for S3/XO time. This originally appeared on his blog, ProDev2Go

By Brigadier General Ross Coffman

Hey Major, If you want to hurt Soldiers – Plan Poorly

Late information crushes Soldiers, Leaders, and organizations.  As a Major you are responsible for the dissemination of timely and accurate information.  Why is this so hard?  How do we fix this common problem?

Use these simple time lines and the attached Plan to Plan and you will no longer hurt our most precious asset- Soldiers.  Many preach 1/3 : 2/3 but that is really for short notice planning efforts.  At ProDev2Go we suggest using the 9:6:4:13  rule within a Division.  Division must publish it’s orders nine (9) months prior to execution, Brigade six, Battalion four, and the Company at 13 Weeks.  This allows each level to properly resource training and follow the eight step training model.  Make no mistake this is difficult and if every level isn’t on board the Company and our troopers suffer greatly.   Some are hesitant to publish without complete information along these timeliness.  The unit below you would rather have what you know now than wait for perfect information late.

To assist you in this effort use the Plan to Plan found Below.

plan to plan

Stick to this timeline and FRAGO the plan as additional clarity is gained. Take a draconian approach to adhere to these planning windows and you will not only become more effective, but will take care of our Soldiers.

Brigadier General Ross Coffman is the Deputy Command General (Maneuver) of 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas. He is also the creator and author of ProDev2Go, a military leadership blog. 


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