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                  Signs and Indicators of Positive and Negative Command Climates
 Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines climate – concerning organizations – as “the prevailing influence or
environmental conditions characterizing a group or period.” Within the Army’s Command Policy Regulation, command climate is defined as the “Health and functioning effectiveness of an organization.” Although the Army has not precisely defined the term “Command climate,” Soldiers, officers, and leaders know when they are working in a good one. Perhaps more acutely, military members know when they are operating within a bad command climate. While the definition of the term “Command climate” may be imprecise, the factors that describe the type of climate (good or bad) within an organization are often apparent. Leaders who understand the positive and negative factors that affect their command climate can improve their organizations’ overall health and effectiveness.
LTC Anthony L. Forshier
Why is Command Climate Important?
First, why do military leaders need a healthy command climate? From Army Regulation 600-20, Army Command Policy: “Establishing a positive leadership climate within the unit and developing disciplined and cohesive units contributes to combat readiness and sets the tone for social and duty relationships and responsibilities within
the command.” If leaders cannot foster a positive command climate for their people, the organization will fail. A unit with an adverse command climate may stumble when asked to complete simple, routine missions. Conversely, a positive command climate can allow an organization to persevere through remarkable adversity and ultimately succeed in defying the odds. History is replete
with examples of equally matched opponents who faced each other on the battlefield; consistently, the victors maintained strong unit cohesion, devotion to the mission, and absolute trust in their leaders.
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