Command and Staff
interest. Collectively, through the COS/XO, coordinating staff
officers are accountable to their commander for all their
responsibilities. The staff is not accountable for fields of interest the
commander decides to control personally.
Commanders may designate coordinating staff officers as assistant
chiefs of staff, deputy chiefs of staff, directors, or regular staff
officers. These positions generally reflect the degree of authority the
commander delegates to them and the scope and complexity of
operations the command conducts. However, commanders establish a
staff officer's actual authority, if it is not inherent in the position's
Coordinating staff officers' authority is limited to advising, planning,
and coordinating actions within their individual fields of interest.
They also exercise planning and supervisory authority over
designated special staff officers. Commanders may also delegate to
coordinating staff officers additional authority to act on specific
matters within the staff officer's field of interest.
Directors have staff and line authority. For example, directors of
logistic operations might be responsible for operating support
activities in addition to their normal responsibilities. Typically,
commanders delegate to directors significant responsibility for
specific functions and the authority necessary to accomplish them.
Normally, coordinating staff officers have a direct interest in other
staff officers' fields of interest. Clearly defined staff responsibilities
are necessary to facilitate coordination and eliminate conflict. Unit
SOPs or organization and functions manuals contain procedures that
specify primary responsibilities and coordination requirements.
10 May 2005