on December 29, 2002
There are three phases to command- Pre Command, Command and Post Command. Several years ago BG John Meyer Jr. gave us a guidebook for command. Now, Nate Allen and Tony Burgess have given us a comprehensive instruction manual preparing the new commander for command.
Taking the Guidon is a superb manuscript that should be required reading at every Captain's Career Course. This book is the natural extension of the enormously successful CompanyCommand.com website that serves to facilitate success in all three phases of command. Taking the Guidon provides great advice and solid guidelines enabling the soon to be commander to posture himself/herself AND their unit for success. The gold nuggets filling the pages of this book provide sound applicable strategies that when applied, will result in a more combat effective unit.
My copy is filled with notes in the margins, passages highlighted and pages dog-eared. My wife bought me a copy the week it was released; I bought my 1SG a copy before I took command. You want to be a successful commander- this book is a MUST READ!
Taking the Guidon offers strategies to develop your command philosophy, prepare for your change of command inventories, plan a vision and apply that vision to your training calendar and most importantly, this book offers tactics on how to get the most out of your unit. Ever wonder how to juggle all those glass balls- the secret is found in this book.
Some may find some of the content to be focused too much on the "touchy feely" stuff, I submit that you will have a tough time in command if you don't master that aspect of human relations. Today's soldiers require a different approach; the tools that Nate and Tony provide in this book can be applied universally to the air defender, infantryman, mechanic or cook. Sound approaches for a solid commander; approaches drawn from great leaders both military and civilian.
Get this book for yourself, get a copy for your 1SG as his initial counseling and get a copy for your XO as you send him/her off to CCC. Then after you complete command, go to the website and offer up your successful tips to other commanders and soon to be commanders. Your post command time can have even more impact than your time in command.
on March 1, 2015
I purchased this book halfway through my first company command. The authors have pulled together their experiences as commanders and numerous books on leadership to give incoming company commanders a thorough, yet concise action plan for developing their own vision of how they will lead. In both the Army and the Marines, we can rely on PME to ensure that we are tactically and technically proficient. The true nuts and bolts of success at the company level, however, seem to be left to on the job training or modeling yourself after previous company commanders.
Taking the Guidon provides checklists and guidance for developing training plans, executing training, managing maintenance, designing effective PT plans, and the minutiae of taking care of your soldiers and Marines. The authors provide example command philosophies, meeting agendas and plans for integrating your newly arrived soldiers/Marines. I will definitely be bringing extra copies to use to develop my 1stSgt/XO/CoGySgt. If you are getting ready for command or already in the trenches, buy this book, develop your plans and go out there and lead.
on December 5, 2004
This book is right on target. I wish someone had shared this book with me. I have had 2 company commands and am currently in my 3rd. I commanded a line MP company, an MP DET (Confinement and PMO) and am now commanding a BDE HHC.
There is so much in this book I have had to learn or discover the hard way. While there may be a few "technical" details that have evolved since the writing of this book, it is 98% or more applicable to eveything I have seen and done.
I say ditto to everything in the first review. Get this book. For yourself, your PLs and your 1SG.
CPT Gary "John" Spivey