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General Gates at the Battle of Saratoga Essay

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Commanders at all levels face increasingly challenging scenarios as the operational environment changes. Some instinctively motivate and empower their subordinates to think and act independently, thereby influencing actions during combat. However, those who understand the commanders' activities of mission command will influence not only subordinates, but the outcome of the battle as well. 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.1 Commanders who understood the importance of mission command was Major General Horatio Gates. General Gates at the Battle of Saratoga successfully…show more content…
General Gates also displayed leadership by issuing orders requisitioning new supplies. He ordered better food, clothing and equipment as well as requiring inspections of Soldier support facilities such as hospitals and encampments.7 General Gates desired a ready and able force. He knew that if he took care of the men's needs, he would get their full effort. Resupplies began arriving and the morale was lifted. Soldiers stated that Gates' arrival raised them as if by magic and they began to hope and then to act.8 General gates saw the immediate need to boost the morale of his men. By leading the show of support for their well being and readiness, General Gates was empowering them to affect the outcome of the battle. General Gates further showed leadership by providing purpose and direction to subordinate commanders. To reestablish good order and discipline, General Gates ordered that commanders conduct daily drills designed to instill confidence in the men and themselves.9 With this renewed confidence, General Gates' subordinate commanders had not the least doubt of beating or compelling the British to retreat.10 Leadership, is a commanders activity. In mission command, leadership influences all of the commander's activities.11 It is how commanders show concern for their Soldiers and provide direction to their subordinate commanders. General Gates exhibition of leadership from preparation to execution enabled his Soldiers and subordinate commanders
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