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Since there is no Commander in Battlefield 3, much to the demise of some, DICE has instead respecced down many of the Commander features to the regular soldier, starting with the UAV station in Bad Company 2. However, in Battlefield 3 there will be an unlockable UAV for the Engineer class.
Also according to DICE’s Karl-Magnus Troedsson at the Eurogamer Expo, the squad leader will have the ability to call in artillery strikes. This is in addition to the unlockable mortar strike, which is available to everyone playing the Engineer class. If there is any cooldown for usage of artillery strikes between the different squad leaders, is unknown.
While there was some disappointment with the lack of a Commander in Battlefield 3, DICE seems to be giving away many of its functions to the regular players. Is this good? Is this bad? Time will tell.
Personally (my opinion) I think it is better to have the Commander's abilities scattered throughout all the team because that way more people will be using the team abilities in the same match.