The perceptions of the role of the Company Officer at the United States Naval Academy from the perspective of Senior Officers, Battalion Officers, Company Officers and Senior Enlisted Leaders
Cesari, Jill R.
Thomas, Gail Fann
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This thesis provides data on the perceptions of the role of the Company Officer at the United States Naval Academy (USNA) according to the perspectives of Senior Officers, Battalion Officers, Company Officers and Senior Enlisted Leaders. The author interviewed and surveyed 59 members of the chain-of-command using four interview questions and a trait questionnaire to address several research questions: the purpose of the role of the Company Officer; critical traits needed to perform the job; examples of effective Company Officer behavior; and skills learned by Company Officers. By comparing the interview and questionnaire responses the author determined that significant congruency exists throughout the chain-ofcommand. Study participants believe Company Officers are essential in developing midshipmen. Company Officers need to be honest, role models, mentors, approachable, loyal, respected and consistent to be effective. By being involved in company activities and spending time with midshipmen Company Officers are best able to be effective. While fulfilling the role Company Officers learn leadership, personnel management and self-awareness. There are two divergent perspectives in the chain-of-command: 1) a minority of Senior Enlisted Leaders believe there are some low-quality officers serving as Company Officers, and 2) a minority of Company Officers feel they are not being professionally developed by their Battalion Officers. Each of the findings are discussed in detail, and quotations from interviews are provided to give the reader deeper insight. The author's conclusion is that there is significant congruency throughout the chain-of-command but there are small changes that need to be made to create a more effective and efficient leadership team.
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