There are several basic principles when organizing and controlling an army to be followed. Considering them is necessary for the Army to be appropriately structured, motivated, disciplined, and most importantly, successful. Mission command must be lived and trained on a daily basis in order to develop leaders, troops, and units that can function in this manner in battle. The goal of mission command training is to empower and inculcate disciplined initiative in each team member. The idea that there is no assurance once opposing forces engage in bloody military conflict gave rise to mission command. As a result, the Army’s command and control strategy makes use of the commander’s intent to encourage and promote subordinate initiative and decision-making that is suitable for the circumstance. Soldiers and units should train and hone their mission command skills for months, if not years, before a conflict breaks out. Leaders take advantage of every chance to empower subordinate decision-making, foster innovation and decentralized execution, and live mission orders and the commander’s purpose every day. Under mission command, every level of subordinate leaders’ initiative is not only allowed but also needed.
One of the primary necessities is to develop the soldiers’ skills to fulfill commands and given tasks that can occur during a conflict. Setting clear and quantifiable criteria is the first step in mission command training. To establish troop proficiency in critical wartime duties that support a culture of command and disciplined initiative, standards are the fundamental building blocks. Soldiers who train to become proficient in their wartime duties may be counted on to do their duties in combat. Decision-making proficiency among subordinates must be developed by repeated exposure to a range of military and tactical circumstances. Through the command chain, tactical decision exercises are a powerful tool for developing leader competency, decision-making skills, and mutual trust. Leaders discover what succeeds and what does not under various settings via several repeats.
It is necessary for soldiers to understand the principles of serving under the command orders. There are no policy letters or memoranda of instruction that direct commanders’ decisions on the battlefield. Instead, the creation of five-paragraph battlefield orders is guided by troop leadership procedures and the tactical decision-making process. Orders frequently need to be communicated orally over the radio or in one written copy by a runner (Townsend et al., 2019). These mission directives are devoid of the little details that rarely withstand the test of time or come into touch with the enemy. Committing to instructions is based on a structured approach to verbal or written directions, which calls for capable subordinates and a shared understanding of their ability to make decisions and take the initiative. Mission orders are clear instructions that inform junior leaders what to do. Confirmation briefs are necessary for mission instructions to ensure that they are clear and those subordinate leaders comprehend them.
Another crucial aspect is the commitment of soldiers to the goals and purposes set by their leaders. A precise, short, and basic description of the operation’s overall purpose or desired result is known as the commander’s intent. It takes practice to develop a commander’s purpose, and it shouldn’t mirror an operation’s idea. The commander’s intent issues a call to action, gives an organization a shared understanding of what has to be done, and unifies the group behind a common goal. In all situations, including those where obedience to certain rules is necessary for the structured organization to thrive, a clear commander’s objective creates an opportunity for subordinates’ initiative. Prescriptive policy letters are reduced or eliminated by leaders who are totally committed to mission command in favor of motivating the proper behavior throughout the organization, regardless of the situation. This fosters an environment and culture whereby cooperation, unity, and trust may develop.
The soldiers must be disciplined for the Army to succeed, and it is one of the principles that have been crucial over centuries for all armies. Nevertheless, the initiative of subordinate leaders was often considered insufficiently, which always led to issues on a battlefield where discipline fell short in an organization in unpredicted scenarios. Plans in a conflict are forced to shift by friction, fog, and chance. These modifications typically move the decision-making process down to the executives who are closest to the issue. The finest leaders purposefully incorporate these ambiguous situations into their preparation to be efficient in warfare. In order to help our most junior leaders develop the sound tactical judgment necessary in the sense of mutual trust between leaders and subordinates, we must concentrate training repetitions on them.
In conclusion, there are several potential discipline and organization-related issues that can occur on the battlefield. The main way to solve them is to train soldiers to adapt to such scenarios before getting involved in a conflict. Soldiers must be trained to commit to orders, be capable of adapting to unpredicted situations, and stay disciplined, and subordinate leaders must have skills to reorganize others when the previous plan falls short. Such implementations in training allow the Army to be efficient and properly utilize its power, skills, and units.
Townsend, S. J., Crissman, D. C., Slider, J. C., Nightingale, K. (2019). Reinvigorating the Army’s approach to command and control.