The chain of command is one of the most important concepts of the military, and of any business for that matter. The chain of command is something that I would consider to be the very backbone of the military. Proper use of the chain of command simplifies daily life. It provides both unit and mission structure and delineates responsibilities and tasks down to an actionable level. Simply put, it brings order to chaos.

I’m going to break down how the chain of command not only proves useful within a military unit or branch but also in any company that wishes to be productive and efficient.

A Way to Order Things

Perhaps the most obvious need for a chain of command is that someone has to be the one giving orders. If in battle everyone stands in a circle and yells differing commands at one another, then nothing will be accomplished and the battle will be lost. However, when there is a battlefield general giving orders to his staff and then his staff giving orders to the company commanders and platoon sergeants, then the troops’ only responsibility is to hear the orders and obey them. This greatly alleviates the stress that would otherwise be inappropriately placed on lower-ranking troops.

Consider a 19-year-old working as a barista at Starbucks. However, there is no chain of command not just at his store but at any Starbucks. Who would make hiring decisions, create new official drink flavorings, or ensure payroll was met? What about the bills? How much extra stress would that 19-year-old incur simply from a lack of a proper chain of command or “system?” The answer is, far too much.