Organizational Considerations II
I mentioned in the first Organizational Considerations that I intended to use the U.S. Army Infantry model for organization. With perhaps some minor modifications early on, that will hold true from here out. Also, this will not be a Ft. Leavenworth Command and General Staff course. Just another overview but with some added specific detail to guide your developmental process.
Essentially, the unit of Infantry that most people are familiar with is the Squad. Doctrinally this is composed of a Staff Sergeant and 8 – 12 soldiers. The Squad however, is actually composed of Fire Teams. These are 4 man elements with a Sergeant as the leader. We will start this organizational build at this level. Now, if right out of the gate you have more than 4 members of your group, GREAT! Build a second or third Fire Team. If you have less, recruiting to the magic number of 4 will be helpful.
As previously stated, 1 of these 4 is the leader, the rest followers. You may choose to follow the Infantry rank structure or use other titles. I don’t recommend Comrade but to each their own. The other benefit of having 4 or more individuals it that our real focus is to build a cadre/staff to support the growth of the unit. With 4 individuals you have the Leader, an S1/4, an S2/3 and another, who at this point, I would include with the S2/3 as there is going to be a lot going on in that arena.
If you do not have much in the way of doctrinal resources it would be good to procure them at this point. These will take the shape of Field Manuals, Technical Manuals and the like that focus on the main issues of the cadre/staff. While most of these can be found in a .pdf format on line, having a printed copy or copies is a much better solution. Maybe you have someone with access to a printer and can simply print out the .pdf and put it in a binder. That is a satisfactory solution. Much easier to flip from page to page and tab the hard copy than try to sort through screens on the computer. Don’t forget about that whole electricity/dropping the computer thing.
What manuals should you have? I would consider the following list to be a start and definitely not complete or all inclusive. Also, don’t be too concerned about when the manual was published. Anything from the early 1980s forward is going to fine for your purposes. FM 6-0, Commander and Staff Organization and Operations; FM 34-3, Intelligence Analysis; FM 34-130, Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB); FM 101-5-1, Operational Terms and Graphics; FM 101-5, Staff Organization and Operations (can be used in lieu of FM 6-0); ADRP 5-0, The Operations Process (not high priority but useful); from here you will be able to determine what addition manuals you would like in you library. There are some non-military manuals that are a compilation of several military manuals and are quite good. The cost in the neighborhood of $30.00 each. The 3 I would recommend are: The Battle Staff, The Army Operations and Doctrine, The Small Unit Tactics; all are authored by Norman M. Wade and published by Lightning Press.
Regardless of what references you choose, they will allow you to develop a unit and staff/cadre without reinventing the wheel so to speak. Do not get overwhelmed by the volume of information. I will be stepping through it from this end and you can follow that lead or go your own way. The choice is yours.
What do these folks that compose the staff/cadre do? What is their function? In a large organization the Leader will have a Primary Staff or Coordinating Staff, a Special Staff and perhaps a Personal Staff. While most explanations of staff functions are quite lengthy, this will be a synopsis. I will only be dealing here with the Leader and Primary Staff. For the full blown explanation of each area refer to one of the manuals I cited above.
I’ll start with the Leader. His function is very straight forward. He is the seat of Command and Control. By whatever virtue he became the Leader, he gained the Authority to command. Of course with that comes the Responsibility and Accountability for his actions and the welfare of his people. The Authority he can delegate to a member(s) of the staff if he is so inclined. The Responsibility and Accountability remain always with the Leader. The saying was: A Leader is responsible for everything his people do and fail to do. That is paraphrasing of course. The Leader should provide leadership and guidance to the staff, cadre or unit. As the unit expand there may be the addition of an Executive Officer or XO. That position is just a number 2 leadership position in most units and is available to take the primary leadership role in the absence of the Leader. Most usually this individual fills the role of Chief of Staff in a staff and coordinates all staff functions for the Leader.
The S1 (Personnel) could also be referred to as the Director of Personnel. This position is responsible for all matters concerning human resources to include personnel readiness, personnel services and headquarters management. Some specific examples would include recruitment, retention and replacement of unit personnel and advising the Leader on all matters concerning personnel.
The S2 (Intelligence) is the principal staff position for all matters concerning intelligence, counterintelligence, security operations, and intelligence training. These will include but are not limited to: collecting, processing, producing, and disseminating intelligence and supervising the personnel security program.
The S3 (Operations) could be titled as the Director of Plans, Operations and Training. From the title you get a pretty good idea of what the duties of this position entail and just how critical it is to the success of the unit.
The S4 (Logistics) is responsible for coordinating the logistics integration of supply, maintenance, transportation, and services for the unit. This includes advising the Leader on the quantity of each class of supply required to sustain the unit for a specified period of time, the maintenance necessary to sustain unit equipment in operable condition and the transportation requirements necessary to move the unit.
The importance of beginning the organization with a basic functioning staff cannot be over emphasized. The staff will allow the unit to function and grow in a planned and orderly manner. Even a Special Forces Detachment overlays the basic staff functions on members of the team. It allows for easier planning and coordination with higher staff sections.
Now that we have looked at the very basics needed for the staff/cadre we must revisit these same individuals as the first unit or if the numbers hold, the first fire team. Here the staff takes on a different role. Previously they were the planners and now they have put on their other hats and have to be prepared to execute the plans they developed. This is where you will see if the Intelligence prepared by the S2, the Plans, Operations and Training the S3 developed and the Supply and Maintenance structure the S4 came up with actually works. Let’s hope the work was put into the planning that was needed.
This is where we are going to determine if the various levels established across the supply classes is enough, not enough, or too much. I imagine the first action is to identify the Classes of Supply.
Class I – Food, rations, and water
Class II – Clothing
Class III – Petroleum, oils, and lubricants
Class IV – Fortification and barrier materials
Class V – Ammunition
Class VI – Personal Items
Class VII – Major End Items
Class VIII – Medical supplies, minimal amounts
Class IX – Repair Parts
Class X – Miscellaneous supplies
All of these may not be initially required but most all of them will be eventually required. At what levels these will be stocked for the unit is a decision only the unit can make. For example, everyone’s favorite Class V – Ammunition. What is the unit’s requirement for ammunition? Depending on what the unit is preparing for it may be a few dozen rounds of “guard” ammo or it may be several hundred per individual. This same rationale applies to all the classes of supply. Quantity will be incumbent on mission requirements/plans.
This has been a simplification of the Staff/Cadre necessary to successfully begin a unit. In addition to all the “things” a unit needs the most important one is probably knowledge. Get the resources I sited to begin with, get intimately familiar with them and then start building. I am available off line for questions.
Until then be safe.
William David “Bill” Roberts II