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Staff Positions

Staff Positions

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Published by: Kinley on Mar 16, 2010
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STAFF POSITIONS
A
military
s
taff 
is a group of officers and enlisted personnel that provides a bi-directional flow of information between a commanding officer and subordinate military units.Officers oversee staff sections, Senior Enlisted Personnel task personnel in the maintenance of tacticalequipment and vehicles. Senior Analysts are tasked with the finalizing of reports, and enlisted personnelparticipate in the acquisition of information from subordinate staffs and units.The purpose of a military staff is mainly that of providing accurate, timely information which by categoryrepresents information on which command decisions are based. The key application is that of decisionsthat effectively manage unit resources. While information flow toward the commander is a priority,information that is useful or contingent in nature is communicated to lower staffs and units.S1-4 in the US Army deal with specific duties; these are:
S-1
, Personnel: processes awards, solves problems with pay, requests new troops for assignment, andaddresses issues under UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice).S-1: Personnel. Deals with processing awards, handles pay problems, requesting new people, some stuff with UCMJ actions. The officer in charge is known as the adjutant and may function like a commander'saide. Or may not. Depends on the commander.
S-2
, Intelligence: collects data on enemy movement, strengths, and battlefield deployments, and makesrecommendations for command. The S-2 office also handles security clearances, maintains thebattalion/brigade's Signal Operating Instructions and radio codes, and usually maintain's the battalion'smap collection.S-2: Intelligence. Monitors what the bad guys are doing and makes forecasts for the commanderregarding what they will do in the future.
S-3
, Training and Operations: S3 has different missions in war and peace times. During peacetime, S3schedules and monitors training within the unit and for subordinate units. For tactical operations, S3plans all movements and deployments. S-3 is also responsible for ammunition supply.S-3: Training/Operations. In peace/garrison environments, monitors training in lower level units andplans unit level stuff. In tactical settings will plan all actions including tactical movements. This is usuallydone through operations orders.
 
S-4
, Supply: As implied by the name, Supply is the clearing house for all military materials. They handlerequests for new supplies and replacement equipment, keep unit property books, and plan logisticalmovement of equipment. S-4 has no responsibility for ammunition supply.S-4: Supply. Is a conduit for supply requests. Maintains property books and manages equipmentaccountability. Plans logistical unit movements.Most NATO countries have adopted the
con
ti
nen
tal
s
taff 
s
y
s
t
e
m
(also known as the
g
ene
ral
s
taff 
 s
y
s
t
e
m
) in structuring their militaries' staff functions. In this system, which is based on one originallyemployed in by the French Army in the 19th Century, each staff position in a headquarters or unit isassigned a letter-prefix corresponding to the formation's element and one or more numbers specifying arole.The element prefixes are:
y
 
J
, for Joint (multiple services) headquarters
y
 
C
, for combined headquarters (multiple nations) headquarters
y
 
G
, for Army or Marines headquarters division level and above ("General")
[1]
 
y
 
N
, for Navy headquarters
y
 
A
, for Air Force headquarters
y
 
S
, for staff roles within headquarters of organizations commanded by a colonel or below (e.g.,divisional brigades, regiments, groups, battalions, and squadrons; not used by all countries)On some occasions the letter
E
can also be observed, though it is not an official term. In that case it's for
element 
and it will be used to identify a small independent element, that is a part of a non-staff organization, i.e. an E3 is a operational element on a logistics site or a E4 is a logistics element on aforward medical support site.The staff numbers are assigned according to custom, traceable back to French practice;
1
is not "higher"than
2
:
y
 
1
, for personnel and administration
y
 
2
, for intelligence and security
y
 
3
, for operations
y
 
4
, for logistics
y
 
5
, for Plans
y
 
6
, for signal (i.e., communications or IT) [FM 101-5, page 4-16]
y
 
7
, for Training.
y
 
8
, for Finance and contracts. Also known as "Resource Management".
y
 
9
, for CIMIC or Civil Affairs.
 
Thus, the personnel officer of a naval headquarters would be referred to as
N1
. In reality, in largeorganizations each of these staff functions will require the support of its own large staff, so
N1
refersboth to the office and the officer in charge of it. The continental staff system can be carried down to thenext level:
J
13
is thus the operations officer of the personnel office of a joint headquarters, but the exactdefinition of the roles at this level may vary. Below this, numbers can be attached following a hyphen,but these are usually only positional numbers assigned arbitrarily to identify individuals (
G
23-2
could bethe budget officer in the operations section of the intelligence department;
A11-1-1
might simply be areceptionist).
Pe
r
sonne
l
o
r
 
admi
n
i
s
trati
on (1)
The personnel and administration officer supervises personnel and administration systems. Thisdepartment functions as the essential administrative liaison between the subordinate units and theheadquarters, handling personnel actions coming from the bottom up (such as a request for an awardbe given to a particular soldier) or from the top down (such as orders being received from the army leveldirecting a particular soldier be reassigned to a new unit outside the command). In army units, thisperson is often called the Adjutant.
In
t
e
llig
ence / secu
rity
/
i
n
o
rmati
on ope
rati
ons (2)
The intelligence section is responsible for collecting and analyzing intelligence information about theenemy to determine what the enemy is doing, or might do, to prevent the accomplishment of the unit'smission. This office may also control maps and geographical information systems and data. At the unitlevel, the S2 is the unit's security officer, and the S2 section manages all security clearance issues for theunit's personnel.
Ope
rati
ons (3)
The operations office, which may include plans and training. The operations office plans and coordinatesoperations, and all things necessary to enable the formation to operate and accomplish its mission. Inmost units, the operations office is the largest of the staff sections and considered the most important.All aspects of sustaining the unit's operations, planning future operations, and additionally planning andexecuting all unit training, fall under the responsibility of operations. The operations office is also taskedwith keeping track of the weekly training schedules.
Lo
gi
s
ti
cs (4)
The logistics office, is responsible for managing logistical support and providing all manner of suppliesand services such as ammunition, fuel, food, water, maintenance, materials, engineering, andtransportation.In U.S. military staff structure, all medical equipment, consumables, support equipment and vehicles,i.e., tents, ambulances, etc., are included in the Logistics office. All medical personnel are members of the Logistics team. The senior medical officer and/or senior medical enlisted member also reportdirectly to the commanding officer. In other words, the medical support required by a unit is consideredto be a logistics "function" and all that it takes to perform that functions are considered logistics"assets."

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