CSM Expectations by 4pjk200


									                           Responsibilities of the Battalion Plans Officer


As the Plans Officer, you, the CSM, the XO, the Ops Officer and Ops SGM and I are the battalion’s
Command Group. I view this team as the “heart” of this unit, upon which all the other battalion teams are
built. Together, we represent more than 75 years of institutional knowledge. I will give you – and the rest
of the command group – my unconditional trust in all things. I will always back you, and expect the same
in return.

I will always listen and your input will weigh heavily in my decision making process. I always welcome and
want your input, but ask you to recognize that I may not always agree with it. Disagreement does not
mean disrespect – and that goes both ways. Regardless, once the decision is made, we execute - 110%.
There will be disagreements (hopefully, not many), but we must always speak with one voice.

Lastly, regarding your relationship with the S3 and XO: they are the senior among equals. While you
don’t work for either, the XO is my Chief of Staff and 2IC, and I expect you to work hard to keep them
informed and up-to-date. I have charged the XO with running this battalion – the S3 is his primary ranger-
buddy in accomplishing this task and you complete the trilogy in moving the battalion forward in terms of
operational capabilities. You will fill the S3’s role in his absence, as he will yours.

Roles and Responsibilities.

The primary role of a Plans Officer at any level is to convert the commander’s intent / guidance, as
informed by higher HQs and Army requirements, into operational reality. For this reason, it is essential
that you and I be totally synchronized in our thinking. You must get to know how I think and anticipate
what we, as a team, need in planning, operating, and training. Several areas I want you to focus on:


- You, and your shop, to serve as my operational eyes and ears IOT keep me, and the rest of the staff,
informed of operational developments and issues. Do not assume I am aware of an operational
development as there are over a dozen “sensors” in the S3 / S5 shop that receive data. While battle
rhythm events are useful in keeping the staff up to date, I expect frequent face to face communication on
a frequent basis, especially if an item is urgent or a CCIR item. Email is not an acceptable substitute.

- You are the leader of the S5 shop and must maintain a broad view of the overall enterprise of
operations, training, and plans. Never do yourself what can be delegated and avoid becoming decisively
engaged unless absolutely necessary (i.e. very rarely) as there are opportunity costs for every moment
you are decisively engages unnecessarily.

- Decision making: While I am responsible for all decisions, I expect you to provide me with
recommendations that are backstopped with official documentation. I will entrust you with enormous
responsibility and need you to ensure that command level decisions come to me in a timely manner.

- Ensure you cultivate and maintain a positive working relationship with the BN/BDE S3, the SOCPAC
SOJ38, and the SOCPAC SOJ35. You must ensure your officers and NCOs do the same.

- Published orders must be coordinated with the entire staff and disseminated with the daily FRAGO.
Consider the XO, the chief of staff, is the “clearing house”.

- The CSM and Operations SGM are the senior noncommissioned officers in the Bn and as such is a
valuable source of operational and training wisdom. Consult with them often and keep them in the loop.

- To ensure I am situationally aware and am able to accurately represent the Bn, both you and the XO
need to ensure I have visibility on all significant items, to include reporting, that leave the HQ in a lateral
or upward direction.
- Keep me abreast of PACOM/SOCPAC battle rhythm events, publication or revision of planning
documents. Provide EXSUM's of relevant planning documents and changes


- You are the designer and builder of Bn CAP-T training events, to include the MOBEX and rapid
response deployments. Continue to build on the success of our other events and continually refine our

- Build systems that outlast individual personalities. “Routinize” operations and training functions.

- Your (personal) mentorship focus – assistant staff officers in understanding the operational and
strategic levels of war.

- Educate the battalion writ large on planning and targeting processes, both Army and Joint.

- Manage the AAR system, provide appropriate recommendations to me based on them.


- The operational focus of the CAP-T needs to be on integrating with the SOCPAC planning process and
in developing the expeditionary capabilities of the Bn.

- We must make deliberate decisions in a timely and calculated manner. On major events that effect the
entire Bn, my preferred method is a decision brief allows all relevant parties to provide formal input.

- We must not allow ourselves to be surprised with short notice decisions, always be looking around the
corner to anticipate what decisions are coming up.

- Seek guidance early and often. Staff effort is a precious resource and has to be spent on the most
important items. We must continually assess priorities in terms of azimuth and power settings. When in
doubt about re-prioritization, see me.

- Manage MTOE changes and recommendations.

Current Priorities:

    -   Obtain formal SOCPAC Mission Guidance Letters
    -   Update both DEPORDs
    -   Build the Bn’s expeditionary capabilities - short-notice deployable Crisis Response Capability
    -   Establish and Maintain a Commander’s Plans Book.
    -   Prepare C/D Co Mission Letters
    -   Prepare a Plan to educate and inform the force on CA
    -   Gain and maintain understanding on Bn requirements for the Korean AOR

POC is the undersigned.

                                                           B. Sam Damon
                                                           LTC, CA


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