The highly structured and complex U.S. military chain of command is a critical component of the military. It contains many levels and arms to which and from which reporting and responsibility flow. Without the chain of command, missions would fail and chaos would ensue.
As a helping professional, you must understand why the chain of command exists, how it is structured, and how military personnel navigate it. You must also understand the impact that the chain of command may have on the lives of military personnel and their families. This understanding equips you to help military personnel and their families adjust to living within the chain of command.
As with any organization or workplace, there are typical protocols and procedures that military personnel follow. For example, in the typical workplace, reporting procedures, time-off requests, and specific instructions for work duties parallel military personnel procedures to a degree. The extent to which the chain of command touches or influences the lives of military personnel, however, is a significant contrast to the typical workplace.
Unlike the typical employee, military personnel cannot leave their jobs when they find other preferred job opportunities. From boot camp training—which demands recruits to follow specific training orders—to daily life on or off a military installation, the chain of command is ever present.
For example, when a military service member receives a collection notice, oftentimes collection agencies contact that individual’s chain of command who may in turn demand that the individual pay the outstanding debt. In cases of domestic violence, the chain of command will get involved and can impose punitive action, demand counseling, or even remove items, such as weapons, from a home, if the command believes they may be used to harm family members. When a military service member faces legal charges, the chain of command will impose punitive action that may include withholding pay or leave time or even discharging the individual from the service.
Review the Chain of Command Flow Chart media piece and the “Chain of Command Scenarios” document (accessed in this week’s resources) for this Discussion. Select one of the scenarios to address in the Discussion.
Post an explanation of how relinquishing certain rights to a chain of command might present challenges for military personnel. Justify your response.
Then, as a helping professional, explain one way you might support military personnel or military families to adjust to following a chain of command in the chain of command scenario you selected. Use the current literature and resources to support your response.
Be sure to support your post with specific references to the resources. If you are using additional articles, be sure to provide full APA-formatted citations for your references.
Blaisure, K. R., Saathoff-Wells, T., Pereira, A., MacDermid Wadsworth, S., & Dombro, A. L. (2016). Serving military families (2nd ed.). New York: NY: Routledge.
Chapter 1, “An Introduction to Military Culture and Military Families”Review: “Chain of Command” (pp. 11-14)
Chapter 2, “An Overview of Military Personnel and Their Families” (pp. 23-47)