Sample Army Company Command Philosophy

SUBJECT: Command Philosophy

1. The purpose of this command philosophy is to identify the attitudes and ideals that I want to establish in this company, as well as the practices I intend to use to promote those ideals. A company can achieve the mission, follow all regulations, and still be a rotten unit. We want a great unit, and to achieve that, I think we should pursue three things:

2. Happy Soldiers. We need people who work hard because they like what they do. To achieve this, we must work to eliminate unnecessary frustrations from the environment. Interruptions and delays come from the enemy, not from leadership. Unscheduled late hours will be considered a leadership failure. Additionally, we should work to recognize extraordinary efforts by our Soldiers in ways that are public and personally meaningful to them.

3. Ethical Soldiers. We need people who do what is right because they believe it is right. To achieve this, we must encourage conversations about ethical reasoning and right and wrong. Formal training events, such as SHARP and suicide prevention training are urgent, but they are not sufficient. Moral values are formed in a network of daily decisions, and I am convinced that keeping an eye out for little things mitigates against bigger ethical failures. Additionally, we need to lead by example. We guide and correct our subordinates across a spectrum of ethical decisions, but in doing so, we must be ready to accept respectful criticism from them as well.

4. Professional Soldiers. We need people who are committed to the long-term improvement of the unit and the Army as a whole. To achieve this, we must train Soldiers to think beyond their current scope of work. Thinkers find ways to improve everything. As the mission permits, we will actively promote professional development opportunities that increase the scope of Soldiers’ understanding, and we will make room for individual specialized training. Additionally, we will encourage and actively consider Soldiers’ recommendations for improving our methods within the unit.

5. A command philosophy is only as good as the team that builds on it. I expect each of you to take ownership of this unit, find what’s broken, and take the initiative fix it. Communicate with each other, communicate with me, and let’s all be humble enough to accept criticism and move forward. It’s an honor to serve with each of you.

Kyle B. French


This is not the poem
That I was supposed to write
With little nymphly parallels and
Bold colorful allusions

This is simply to apologize
For the poem I could not write
I could not compress it into
Any kind of form but
Wild, ungainly prose

It’s sitting on my desk now
Wishing it were elegant
Wishing I were elegant
Wishing it were anything but prose

This is how rebellions foment:
A tentative discontent
With the order of the world
A first realization that perhaps
Our gods are not quite big enough
To make us what we want

I do not wish to go about
Putting limiters on God
But perhaps He also finds himself
As frail as I am

Before my work of art
Not so much unable but unwilling
To make the kinds of cuts and dissolutions
That would please another artist
Or even the unnamed longings of the work itself

What can my poem do
To work revenge on me
For never quite creating it
So little power has a piece of art
Over its creator

What can a poem do
But resist my gentle molding
Denying there has ever been
Such a thing as poetry?

Living Fires

I read somewhere
that a flame
is identical to respiration:
The chemical combination
of oxygen with any other thing
both requires and releases heat.

Iron, carbon, nitrogen,
anything combines
when the time is hot enough.
And the turbulent re-creation
is limited only by a lack
of fresh new things to burn.

Like the legend of the man
who fought and fell, and as he died,
instead of growing cold and hard
his body burst to flames.
Intensity alone
makes a flame to glow,

forces us to breathe,
and draws a little line
to separate the living
from what’s only ash and smoke.

Man Made Shores

Today I sat on man made shores
and watched a little river flowing
In the course that we had cut for it

I lay down and felt the current
and listened to the water laughing
as it fed the marsh-plants
In the clefts of man made rocks

I glanced left where cat tails stood
four feet high
waving at the wind
gripping the remains
of some prior earthquake

and wondered who gave them leave
to rest there, and who
had bound me in

The Fire Inside Me

What am I supposed to do
With the fire I find inside of me,
That lifts the leaves of my awareness
And yet is not my own?

How could I subdue the flame
That burns beyond my regulation
The living light that is inside me
And cannot be my own?

I am enthralled by mystery
The fire that I cannot control
That burns within and is outside of me
And yet is not my own.

Hot off the presses! Yeah. I just wrote this poem about five minutes ago, as I was trying to explain to myself why it is that I will write poetry, even though I know it’s not exactly a profitable market. Do you ever have that happen to you? I know you do. This little imaginary guy shows up and tells you why you’re wrong and suddenly you’re on the defensive against a figment. Those figments are evil, because they know you really can’t get revenge on them. Right? You know you’ve been there, right? C’mon now… don’t leave me hanging…. Oh fine. Be that way. I’m the only one who ever actually argues with his figments. Anyway, I was trying to argue with my figment and I said (out loud, I think), “Well, what am I supposed to do with the fire I find inside of me?” And that shut him up pretty well. And the rest is… well the rest is in that there poem right cher.

The Light!

The Light! He draws the song
Etched deep within my soul
To carve in me a statue
The scars clave deep my wooden soul

The pain of beauty comes whistling down me
Removing flesh, the husk of life, like bark,
Dividing spirit from the soul.
Wood shavings pile around the work of art

A master knows the difference
In the tree sees Wooden-Head
The love, the life, the light to bring
A living child from marionette!

Watching and Waiting

I would like to rest here for a while
If I could only keep my heart from rising up
But I can see the mountaintops
And eagles on the breeze
And I can hardly keep myself
From yearning…
Oh me! Oh my rising heart! But down!

Sometimes it is difficult
To constantly have to remind myself
That now is not the time
I want to stretch my wounded wings
And fly.

This poem perhaps requires some explanation. I’m trying to think of the best way to go about it, and it seems to me that the best way is the long way around.

I wrote this poem while visiting one of my favorite churches. It appears that right now, once again, I am looking for a new church. It’s difficult and time consuming to explain exactly why I’m leaving one church and looking for another, but: I’m looking for a new church, and I have fond memories of this church. I went to ministry school here. Ministry school was probably the most unpleasant experience of my whole life. I can’t really explain why things were unpleasant, except that “things fall apart/ the center cannot hold.” Sometimes everything just works out badly. Suffice it to say that three or so years ago I realized that I was working in the children’s church every service, not because I like children (which I do), but because I didn’t want to go to the main service. It actually hurt to go. It was painful to watch people doing the very things that I knew I was good at, but that I also knew that if I put my hand to them, they would fall apart. Everything that I did that might be recognized was a flop. Everything that I did in private was an amazing success. It was as if the hand of God was against me. Imagine trying out for the school basketball team and being a complete klutz. You can’t run; you travel; you can’t shoot, and when they throw the ball at you, you instinctively duck. Then when you’ve completely failed your chance for the team, you stand in the court after everyone has left, and make three-point shot after three-point shot. Three kids from another school show up and challenge you to a scrimmage, you against all three. You play them and you totally walk. They can’t even hold a candle to you. So you show up for tryouts the next day and you forget how to tie your shoes. You get on the court and you fumble; you trip; you travel. You don’t make a single shot. You run off the court in complete embarrassment before the tryouts are even over. And the next day you come back, when nobody’s there. You pile up the balls beside you, and just stand there in the evening heat, sweating, making three-point shot after three-point shot. That’s about what it felt like.

So now I’m visiting this church again, thinking, “gee, wouldn’t it be nice if I could end up here.” It really is an amazing church. There’s a certain kind of raw edged freedom there. Their stated goal (and they’re slowly achieving it) is to get every member to find their niche in active ministry. Creativity seems to just come flooding into you during the services. It was while I was going to school there that I got into my mind a solid plan for what I want to do with my life. I have this idea, see. I want to own a Christian bookstore. But not some cute little boutique. I want a religious version of something like Border’s, only better. I am firmly convinced that, if the Christian God is real, then Christians should be the most creative people on earth. In my mind, the only things that could be getting in the way are religious structures that don’t encourage creativity, and economics. I can’t really do much about the religious structures, but I can work with economics. So I want to create a business that searches out Christian art, literature, and music and gives financial backing to it. (This is the part where I go off the deep end and get really excited about it, and foam at the mouth and stuff.) But I’ve got everything on this long-term plan. I’m going to college for an English degree. Then I’m going to work in the business world for a while, both to pay off debts and to get some hands-on experience in planning and running a relatively large business. Somewhere in there, I plan to get married and have kids. (The I’m dating right now plans to become a doctor—this could take a while.) So sometime in the next 30 years or so, I plan to achieve this dream.

I have a point for that last little bit about my goals for my life. There’s a I knew at this ministry school I went to. She herself doesn’t draw, but she started an art in worship workshop as part of a ministry project her second year there. Similar my second year project was a poetry workshop. It was a flop. I had one person attend from another church, who never came back. Her project didn’t flop. It was a smashing success. This year she’s expanded to poetry and dance. I was there when she told the workshop people her goals. She wants to have these huge conferences for Christian artists and poets and musicians and stuff. They are planning on incorporating aspects of her little workshop into everything that the church does. I could feel the bile rising up in the back of my throat. She’s doing now what I hope to start (at the earliest) maybe in ten years.

Every time I go to that church, it’s so wonderful. I really love it there. I feel so much at home. But it always comes back to mind that other people are there doing the very things that I plan to do, only their doing it bigger, faster, better and they’re doing it now. It’s probably good for my pride, and maybe I’ll eventually get on that basketball team, but it’s still so hard to consider whether I want to go back there, because I’ll constantly have to remind myself that now is not the time.

Scientists and Poets

There is so little guise between
The poets, prophets and scientific men,
That instruments have rarely been
Available to measure there
When mortal souls met man to man
With gods.

Those great creatures, higher-ups,
Never seem to have any truck
With men who want to analyse
And take their measurements,
And quiz them on their sentiment
Of things that sometimes seem

The spiritualists and poets can’t be blamed;
They can’t control these sorts of things.
A man can only testify of what he knows:
That only moments or hours ago
There were astounding creatures
Flying everywhere.

“Yes, I know they’re not here now.
No, I can’t explain it. It’s just amazing how
Some things can always find a way to leave.
My cousin also came by today,
Or maybe it was just a plague
Upon my mind. I have been breathing
Lightly lately.”

Those pernicious gods are always
Making fools of mortal men.
And how they should be pitied, those
Who are gifted with the second sense
Of ear as well as eye:

Always hearing echoes in another realm,
The sounds of mocking laughter
Flowing steadily up and down.
Unless their hearing was acute,
There could be some misdirection.

Who is mocking whom?

It Was Oft

It was oft, when I was young
That I bit the hand that fed me
They gave me discipline with my pleasure
And fed me greens with my gravy

I thought, “The hand that feeds may also grasp
And hold me to an iron task.
They are fools who stick to their rails
And live by what is taught them.”

So I favored experience
To any kind of dissertation
I leapt on high when I should creep
And laughed at those who’d stop me

I am a little different now, I think,
A little battered for the wear
A little mud’s stuck in the ironworks
From all the times I left the rail

I’ll grant I’ve made some new roads
Where before was only trees
But what a way to forge them
And at what great cost to me!

So I find myself now lecturing
To anyone who’ll come my way
That discipline was made for pleasure:
“Listen to experience, and stick to your rails.”

Light In the Darkness

I saw a man proclaiming, proclaiming in the street
And the light was flowing from his mouth
Like a river on the darkness
The light was like a flood of waters
And the darkness could not build a wall against it

The light was like a flood of waters
Though the breaking rocks would bar his way
And darkness could not overwhelm it
Many men would strike him down
But the darkness could not overwhelm it

Like the melting ice of mountains
Feeds the river’s thousand miles
The light was not his own
And the darkness could not overwhelm it

The light was like the light of life
And all who saw it lived again
For the darkness could not overwhelm it