The Importance of Keeping Your Chain of Command Informed

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By: Corporal Corey Martin Birdow
February Third Two-Thousand

It is important to keep your chain of command informed at all times, especially if you are in charge of the well being of soldiers. On the twenty sixth of January I failed as a Non Commissioned Officer to fulfill this duty. I was informed that one of my soldiers might be going to the hospital. I asked that person to keep me informed of my soldier’s status. Instead I should have checked on the soldier personally because her health was already in a fragile state and the problem she was having was of a very serious nature. I let my soldier down and endangered her by trying to keep the situation at the lowest level. I knew it was important to her that at the time her situation remained discreet. Although my soldier’s personal life is their business, their health and well being is mine and that should have taken precedence.

My actions not only affected my soldier and myself but by keeping my chain of command in the dark I potentially could have affected their reputation negatively in the sense that, should that soldiers condition been more severe they would have been blindsided and their chain have command would have question why they did not act sooner. I took the situation too lightly and that was not my place to brush it off and assume that everything would get better. I know now that as an NCO it is my job to take care of my soldiers but it takes more than one NCO to do so. By keeping my squad leader and platoon sergeant out of the equation I limit my resources for help on evaluating and fixing the problem.

What I should have done the second that this information was passed down to me was to contact the soldier themselves to affirm the information and get details and then immediately get a hold of my chain of command and let them know what is going on. My chain of command has been in the ARMY much longer then I and would know better...
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