Congratulations on being successfully screened and selected by senior members of your community for command –– it has the potential to be the best assignment you will ever have in the Navy during your long career. To help you get off on the right foot, some of your predecessors would offer some suggestions to help with your preparation.
To start with, you'll need a personal command philosophy and initial focus. Three reasons: (1) you have to have a well-formulated plan if you're going to take your command to new levels of performance excellence, (2) for much of what you actually accomplish in your command tour, you must first establish a focus in your initial 1-2 months, and (3) your first few weeks in command will haunt you over your entire tour if you aren’t prepared to hit the deck running.
Those Sailors entrusted to your charge want and need to be led from day one of your command tour.
Get to know, network, and collaborate with your fellow commanding officers––irrespective of your career field or warfare specialty. If you are exceptionally successful, you will all become senior officers together before you know it. You will need one another. If you regard each other as competitors, you will hurt yourselves, your chain of command, and potentially - the Navy. Don’t get lost in the “glory of being the boss.” You’ll find the command experience produces many challenges along with equal measures of reward and disappointment.
Now is a good time to send a short thank you to family members and any mentors that helped you during your career. An e-mail won't suffice for this important task. As you've certainly already been taught –– the personal touch of a hand-written note show good breeding and professionalism.