Brewfan inspires a thought…

Brewfan actually read my post on small unit organization. We’ll get around to the higher levels eventually, but he comments on the difference between an accountable chain of command and some business orgs.

Interesting post. As an organizational structure this has passed the test of time. While my time in the Army was brief (3yrs RA, 3years (active) ER) I struggle with all of the experimenting with organizational structure that goes on in the corporate world. My last non-consulting job was with a company that bragged it had a ‘matrix’ organizational structure. To me all that meant was the manager(s) claimed all the successes and the matrix absorbed all the blame for failed endeavors.

This got me thinking about the changes in the services staffs at the Pentagon level. Prior to the creation of the Department of Defense in 1947, the staffs were organized much like a battalion staff on steriods. Since then we’ve seen a gradual shift to a more business-like model, with a blur between the DOD and each of the services. We’ve also seen procurement* become a nightmare that is almost impossible to understand, much less make work. I wonder if there is any relationship there.

* Army FCS, Navy LCS & DDG-1000, AirForce KC-X, you name it.

3 thoughts on “Brewfan inspires a thought…”

  1. The other aspect of the Army’s organizational structure I like is the responsibility that is given officer’s and enlisted for the ‘little things’ an organization has to do to be successful but don’t merit a billet in and of themselves. A classic example is the ‘morale’ officer (or NCO). For some reason the business world (with maybe a few exceptions) just doesn’t get this.

  2. Brew, my favorite “collateral duty” was when I was Unit Alcohol and Drug Coordinator. I was the guy who ran the piss tests. It was actually a great job. The course was fascinating. When we ran tests, I had to run the labels, so some other schmuck got stuck watching the dicks. Best of all? I had to make an appointment with the lab to take my own urinalysis. Average wait time? Three months…

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