Chain of Command - Field Leadership - United Task Force (UNITAF) Arma 3


Chain of Command

UNITAF / Arma 3 / Field Leadership Procedures



Version 3 / 11min read / Updated Wed 26 Aug 2020 / 656 views


Introduction

The Organisational Chain of Command (ORGCOC) is made up of Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO), Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCO) and Officers. This SOP will enable you to learn more about them in UNITAF, or perhaps you are thinking of applying to be one? You will find all relevant information here.

 

What is a Chain of Command?

UNITAF is a hierarchical organization, meaning that every entity in the organization, except one, is subordinate to a single other entity. This arrangement is a form of a hierarchy. Members chiefly communicate in a official capacity with their immediate superior and with their immediate subordinates. Structuring organizations in this way is useful partly because it can reduce the communication overhead by limiting information flow.

In UNITAF no matter how many active members there are, they are divided up into smaller groups, where NCOs and SNCOs are given the responsibility to support and administrate them, NCOs in turn report to SNCOs and SNCOs to Officers. These leaders manage any conflict, disputes, entry and exit of members of the organisation, but only for those members who specifically fall under them in the chain. This avoids centralising these tasks and helps to spread the workload.

Ranks scale with the size of the total force, so for leaders to maintain rank, they must have more than the minimum number of required subordinates under them. This not only promotes recruitment and retention at the mid-level, but creates a unform system of authority.  

 

How to communicate in the Chain of Command

When communicating up or down the Chain of Command (COC), irrespective of whether you are a member of the ORGCOC or not, it's important to understand why it exists. All "official" communication must follow the COC at all times. "Official" communication depends on the situation, but as a general rule, if your asking someone something in private or via a direct message, then it falls within the scope of COC. If you have a general question, best practice is to ask it publically on Discord, since this avoids overloading your COC with information.

When a request is in-scope, such as personal questions about progression, personal information and so on, it should follow the ORGCOC, that means contacting the person you report to first (typically a Assistant Section Commander or Section Commander), you should only contact your Troop Commander if you can't get a hold of your ASC or SC, or if your issue is urgent, in which case contact your Troop Commander, or Commanding Officer in exceptional circumstances. It's also worth noting that your ASC and SC will know the most about you and your progression in UNITAF, and your Troop Commander and Commanding Officer won't and therefore might not be able to help with some queries without going back to your SC or ASC anyway.

When a request is related to a specific Operation, you'll need to follow Operational Chain of Command (OPCOC) first, this is typical of 1UP requests or role changes, no-shows or issues with your attendance of a specific operation. OPCOC is simply following the seniority of the ORBAT of the operation.

 

What is an NCO, SNCO or Officer?

All those who reach the rank of Corporal and above are part of the ORGCOC, volunteers who have stepped up and made a choice to dedicate more time to the unit, what they do helps our members to enjoy themselves and improve UNITAF. More is expected of NCOs, SNCOs and Officers than Regulars or Reserves, they have higher activity requirements and are expected to contribute substantially to the running of UNITAF, as well as dealing with personnel administration and leadership.

  • Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) in UNITAF are Corporals, they typically are expected to lead fireteams where required and contribute as Assistant Section Commanders administratively.
     
  • Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCO) in UNITAF are Sergeants, from E-5 to E-9 they are expected to serve as Squad and occasionally Platoon Leaders and contribute as Section Commanders administratively, meaning they have a number of NCOs who support them.
     
  • Commissioned Officers in UNITAF range from 2nd Lieutenants all the way to Colonel, Officers are expected to serve as Platoon and Company Commanders, and contribute as Troop, Company and Battalion Commanders administratively.

 

What the ORGCOC does 

The ORGCOC is ultimately responsible for enforcing policy and conduct standards across UNITAF, but specifically they handle all matters pertaining to those under their command. They won't interfere with Operational Chain of Command (OPCOC), they do however take actions to correct breaches of our code of conduct and our SOPs both in and out of Operations. Their dedication of extra time helps to share the load of all the administrative tasks of running UNITAF.

 

Chain of Command

Collectively NCOs, SNCOs and Officers form part of the Organisational Chain of Command (ORGCOC), which is a structure that ultimately allows UNITAF to function. This structure is one of three distinct structures that exist within UNITAF:

  • UNISTAFF - Abbreviation for UNITAF Staff, in short the strategic staff headquarters which is a extension of the post held by the Commanding Officer. UNISTAFF comprises of a small number of Senior Enlisted Advisors of the ORGCOC - chosen personally by the Commanding Officer to support and advise him or her in the execution of their duties. UNISTAFF serve at the pleasure of the Commanding Officer and therefore there are no official requirements or term-limits, although UNISTAFF are usually picked from higher echelons of the ORGCOC. UNISTAFF advise on strategic goals, policy, procedures, priorities and aims of UNITAF as a organisation not on COC or personnel matters. UNISTAFF focus predominantly on long-term strategy, typically 12 months ahead.
     
  • Organisational Chain of Command (ORGCOC) - Comprises all NCOs, SNCOs and Officers, who together execute the strategic direction of UNITAF by enforcing and promoting the policies, procedures and directions as set by the Commanding Officer. They administer the entire membership as represented by the personnel chart, they also represent their chain of command when advising the leadership, as well as handling all personnel matters within their echelon.
     
  • Operational Chain of Command (OPCOC) - A temporary command structure that operates on a per-operation/deployment basis. It’s understood that on operations from STARTEX to ENDEX, role precedes rank. As dictated by the Order of Battle (ORBAT) and in accordance with standard operating procedures.

 


Seniority in the chain of command

As you might expect, the chain of command is hierarchical and rank is directly related to how far up the chain of command you are, and by extension, how many people are ‘below’ you in that structure. All promotions in the chain of command are in effect a direct result of that person taking on greater responsibility, and by virtue of this affords them greater authority as required by that new role. There are no guarantees that one would be promoted up the chain, and equally it's possible for one to be promoted my more than one grade.

As you’ll learn from this guide, and other places - the roles of NCOs, SNCOs and Officers are similar, but are wildly different and require different attitudes and skill sets.

 

ORGCOC Responsibilities & Privileges

Responsibilities:

  1. A minimum of 2 deployments per month (double the regular)
  2. A majority of Operational Hours must be logged in-grade 
    1. this means that;
      1. NCOs must spend the majority of their time in Team or Squad Leading Roles
      2. SNCOs must spend the majority of their time in Squad or Platoon Leading Roles
      3. Officers must spend the majority of their time in Platoon or Company Command Roles
    2. Except where;
      1. ORBAT position availability procludes a majority of time in-grade
      2. Any special exceptions have been authorised by the Task Force Commanding Officer
         
  3. Maintain attendance to appropriate practices for their level of ORGCOC
  4. Effectively maintain and support their echelon in the ORGCOC at all times
  5. Has the benefit of all members and especially those under their command in mind.
     
  6. Enforce UNITAFs code of conduct and policies in and out of operations.
  7. Have their eye on getting UNITAFs strategic goals done in and out of operations.
  8. Help those under their command and work with others in the chain if they require it.
     
  9. Observe the overall performance and activity of those under their command and take appropriate action.
  10. Communicates consistently up and down their chain of command.
  11. Use the reporting systems to submit reports about members as and when required, for both good conduct and bad.
     
  12. Recommend members under their chain of command up the chain for promotion opportunities as and when required, and aim to help develop those who wish to gain further promotion.
    1. for recruits this means recommending them up the chain when you’re satisfied they have met the set standard and
    2. for all other ranks means responding from guidance from the upper chain about the development of your members as and when opportunities arise.
       
  13. Commit additional time for meetings and their added responsibilities as required by the leadership.

 

Privileges:

  1. Can organize or supervise Practices (FTXs) and Operations
  2. Can refuse or reject anyone in their chain of command, passing that person back to their upper chain.
  3. In some circumstances there are less ORBAT restrictions applied to ORGCOC than non-ORGCOC. 
     
  4. In some circumstances ORGCOC are afforded priority access to ORBATs, before regular release
  5. Access to ORGCOC only operations and practices
  6. Have access to an ORGCOC arsenal in operations and FTXs, including public servers - are trusted with additional equipment that can be handed out as required but maintain role specialisms.
     
  7. The ability to help shape the future and development of UNITAF by their actions and feedback to the leadership. The leadership often consults with all levels of ORGCOC on strategic decisions.
  8. Can count on other ORGCOC members to help them develop their skills, such as communication, leadership, teamwork.

 


In the event a member cannot meet requirements of the ORGCOC

It's common for members of the ORGCOC to take breaks or periods away from either the ORGCOC or the unit itself. In the case that a member of the ORGCOC cannot meet the duties of the ORGCOC, they should immediately inform their upper chain of command, stepping down, vacating a position for someone to take is the most common action in the case of long term situations. All members of the ORGCOC must act in the best interests of UNITAF at all times.

For short term situations, members of the ORGCOC can be put on finite leave, or Retired out of service in their current rank, affording them the option of re-activating in-rank so long as the ORGCOC allows at the time of re-activation. Ultimately the method of Discharge or Leave, is decided by the upper chain of command, or at least - the closest Officer in the ORGCOC to the person in question.

 

How we enforce or promote proper conduct

We expect a good level of common sense from our ORGCOC. Sometimes one needs to deal with an issue instantly. Sometimes it can wait until after an operation. The exact same goes for praise. The way ORGCOC deals with this comes from two factors: their leadership style and their experience.
 

In certain situation we expect a ORGCOC to deal with a situation immediately:

  1. Willful killing of BLUFOR or civilians.
  2. Obvious actions of disrespect against any member.
  3. Blatantly ignoring a superior’s orders.

 

During operations, in most cases, the first step will be to tell the offending person(s) to stop that behaviour. If the behaviour is not stopped or is of very severe nature, ORGCOC can contact the server admin privately and have them removed from the server. The issue will then be dealt with using the COC after the mission ends.

 

What we expect from a ORGCOC candidate

  1. You are willing to commit time to UNITAF and its members.
  2. You are a team player.
  3. You can help push UNITAF in the direction decided on, even if you might have done it differently.
  4. You have a good understanding of our unit policies and SOPs
  5. You like to help other people and are not shy to talk about negative aspects of a member's behaviour.


UNITAF Standard Operating Proceedure (SOP) is adapted from two primary source materials - in addition to our own experience and past learnings:
US Army Techniques Publication, Infantry Platoon and Squad (ATP 3-21.8) ->view online
Dyslexi's Tactics, Techniques, & Procedures for Arma 3 (TTP3) -> view online



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