Mission command

The exercise targeted critical thinking and tactical skills. It is trust in subordinates who can plan, coordinate, and execute flexible yet disciplined decision making throughout increasingly complex operational environments that gives commanders the confidence to conduct decisive action boldly.

Mission command

The process was the foundation of an environment that encouraged trust as well as independent initiative based on tactical competence that enabled effective employment of Auftragstaktik mission-type tactics, commonly considered the forerunner of the modern concept of mission Mission command during the first stages of World War II.

The chief of staff of the German invasion forces, Oberst Col. Kurt Zeitzler, issued orders to the subordinate commanders of Panzergruppe Kleist.

What does mission command mean?

Officer Education in the U. The former, represented by Zeitzler, is the philosophy of Auftragstaktik, Mission command by decentralized leadership, maneuver warfare, and the empowerment of subordinates to make decisions and seize the initiative whenever possible.

Additionally, the Army has refined the concept after numerous combat operations across the globe. However, the reality is that the Army has failed to fully integrate the concept of mission command because it has failed to properly define the philosophy and to set the conditions for its successful implementation.

The Army could achieve the culture change it needs by using a more precise definition of mission command and by aligning professional military education with it.

A German Panzer armor column advances into France in May The flexibility of mission-type orders and the freedom given German commanders to exploit opportunities that they found without waiting for orders gave the German army a great advantage over the French defenders, who were much more restricted in their freedom to act independently.

Germany saw maneuver warfare as the solution to the dilemma it regularly found itself facing due to its geographic location within Europe: A number of influential reformers, to include Gen.

Mission command

Gerhard von Scharnhorst and Gen. August Neidhardt von Gneisenau, began to reform the Prussian approach to command even before Jena-Auerstedt.

The success of Auftragstaktik in these conflicts cemented its place within the German army. The Germans continued to refine their command philosophy prior to World War I, and after that war, determined that Auftragstaktik should extend all the way down to the noncommissioned officer level.

After the Vietnam War, American senior leaders were looking for an innovative upgrade to the existing attrition-based doctrine to offset disadvantages in facing the numerically superior Soviet army.

Their adoption signified a dramatic shift in the American approach to war and the birth of the U. The Change from Management to Mission Command Making a radical change in thinking and practice within such a large and tradition-bound organization as the U. Army presents a complex, if not impossible, challenge.

Mission command

Consequently, the impact of the adopted concept on the organization and its effectiveness may be different than expected or intended. Figure 1 shows the logic map found in ADP Although a visual comparison of the two figures indicates some variations in complexity, a deeper examination of the two clarifies some significant differences.

In the German approach, the command philosophy of Auftragstaktik was the driving force behind the operating concept maneuver warfare. Auftragstaktik, by implication, was meant to provide the overarching basis for leadership and command, regardless of the situation.

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Second, as figure 1 captures, U.Aug 21,  · The Mission Command Center of Excellence (MCCoE) develops, integrates and synchronizes Leader Development, Army Profession, and Mission Command requirements and solutions to prepare leaders and units to successfully exercise Mission Command during the execution of Unified Land Operations.

Command and control should be viewed as the supporting process that stipulates the authority, systems, and procedures used to execute mission command—in other words, the tools a leader uses to synchronize the actions of an organization with adjacent units and within the leader’s chain of command.


establishes mission command as the C2 concept for the Army. It focuses on the premise that commanders exercise C2 over forces to accomplish missions. It emphasizes fundamentals and concepts rather than specific equipment or sys-tems, although it discusses the role of equipment and systems in supporting C2.

The way a joint task force approached its mission to retrograde materiel in Afghanistan is an example of the practical application of mission command principles. Mission command is the exercise of authority and direction by the commander using mission orders to enable disciplined initiative within the commander’s intent to empower agile and adaptive leaders in the conduct of unified land operations.

Mission command is much more about finding the right fulcrum point and keeping both ends of the seesaw in the air than it is about simply letting go and empowering.

The Philosophy of Mission Command and the NCO Corps