hmm it's been like that since the trait was added to the commander tree (patch 0.80 or something?)
the downside of this spell is the 1 turn cast time, so you basically sacrifice the commanders turn to speed up the next turn for everyone else. it's pretty strong, especially with a sov like Carrodus who starts with Tactician I and can immediately go for Tactician 2, 3 and then Battlecry at level 5.
also, i think it doesn't work like "command" - command basically gives you an extra turn. if the "commanded" unit would have been next in line, it gets two turns in a row. battle cry seems to act more like a large one time boost to initiative (similar to the old "impulsive trait -> +50 init on turn 1), so the units act earlier then they normally would, but they don't actually get additional turns.