Who Has the Authority to Change a Commander’s Policy Letter?
A Commander’s policy letter is written by a Company commander, a Captain or a 0-3, and it can be changed by anyone with a higher ranking than 03, which includes a battalion commander, the Congress, Federal laws, and the U.S President. The policy letter focuses on the welfare of soldiers so that they follow the rules and regulations stipulated in the policy while serving in the army. Since the policy can change at a lower level of command, and is meant to guide soldiers, they can be modified from time-to-time to accommodate new clauses. Some of the policy matters included in the commander’s letter include the code of ethics and conduct of army personnel, the army’s equal opportunity programs, the prevention of sexual harassment policies, and the army’s sexual assault prevention and response program.
The commander’s policy letter is for soldier’s welfare, and it includes policies that stress on how much alcohol a soldier can have in the barracks; what time a visitor can pay a visit; when could an inspection take place; and whether soldiers can keep pets with them in the barracks, to name a few. The army believes in discipline, and in order to ensure that discipline is maintained in the camp, commanders of the rank of captains or company commanders draw policies to dissuade soldiers from doing something that could jeopardize their or their colleague’s life in the camp.
As a company moves from one place to another, commanders consider various issues before they draft a new set of policies that are appropriate to the new place. For example, if a company is transferred to a location where hostility is evident, the commander’s policy letter will be far more sensitive to issues like visitors, and visiting hours. Similarly, there will be restriction on the consumption of alcohol as there could be a call to duty at any given point of time. While welfare schemes are meant for the benefit of soldiers, they cannot be compromised at the cost of personal or company security, and so, there could be changes made to the policy involving socializing and keeping pets.
A soldier’s living condition determines his or her mindset. This is a universal rule, as people are normally found to be happy, when they live or work in a healthy environment. Therefore, the policy does address the living conditions of soldiers. In peace, soldiers are allowed to socialize, allowed to have visitors, and even have pets with them, as long as they don’t bother others. These conditions change when they move to forward lines. Therefore, it is quite obvious that a commander’s policy letter will change with the change or movement of the company and, changes can be made by Brigadier’s and other senior officers.
In keeping with company policy changes, senior officers make it a point to discuss matters that concern soldiers before they recommend any changes. They interview soldiers to understand their problems and try and correct them, so that soldiers enjoy the best of facilities and policies that keep them happy. While commanders acquaint the soldiers with changes in policy matters from time-to-time, sometimes it becomes necessary to include soldiers in discussions while revamping or amending certain policies that exist in the letter. Change can also be mandated by senior officers who use the open door policy within their commands. As a policy, it is the duty of soldiers to ensure that their commander is informed of problems that affect discipline, morale and the effectiveness of a mission from time-to-time so that they can evaluate the success or failure of a particular policy and recommend changes. The idea of having an open-door policy is to allow soldiers to present facts, concerns, and problems that they, as soldiers, have been unable to resolve. Such issues are very important and should be addressed immediately so that soldiers aren’t in any way inconvenienced or troubled by discerning distractions.
A commander’s policy letter assists officers achieve their primary objective of accomplishing their unit’s assigned mission while at the same time; they address the necessity to take care of the personnel and property under their charge. The commander is responsible for his soldier’s welfare and has to take the responsibility for his actions. Similarly, commanders often give soldiers some responsibilities, and it is the duty of the soldiers to take the responsibility for their actions. Giving soldiers’ such responsibilities make them accountable and responsible.
In the end, it can be said that the commander’s policy letter is changeable and that it undergo several changes periodically. Changes can be affected by a senior officer above the rank of a captain and are done through consultations. Changes that do happen are introduced after consultations between officers and soldiers reach a common consensus. The changes after all are for the welfare of the soldiers and to ensure that the soldiers have a better living space within the company.