Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Commander's Authority

From NAVPERS 15890
The Protection of Moral Standards and Character Education Program
The commander's authority over and responsibility for his personnel extend around the clock. He cannot limit his interest and concern to their working hours. He must include all activities affecting the fitness and readiness of personnel to perform military duties.

The commander's responsibility is a continuing and all embracing one. It concerns the subordinates' individual and group skills, including the maintenance and operation of equipment. The discipline and practice that develop automatic but understanding obedience are involved. The physical, mental, and spiritual health of personnel must be protected and developed. Everything, in short, that could mean the difference between success and failure in combat or between a man's living and dying falls within the commander's authority and responsibility.

To be charged with the lives of other men is a burden few leaders outside the military are required to bear. Every commander assumes this responsibility as part of his normal duties. This is a basic distinction between military command and other forms of leadership.

The Navy leader shares with his subordinates the high calling to a public profession. All Navy and Marine Corps personnel are sworn by oath to fight for the preservation of human values and human decencies, as defined and implied by the Constitution of the United States. Rightfully then, it is expected that their official and personal conduct will reflect an understanding and acceptance of these values and decencies.

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