Mission Command And The Battle Of The Little Bighorn

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Mission Command and the Battle of the Little Bighorn
Army Doctrine Publication (ADP) 6-0 defines mission command as “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” (U.S Army, Training and Doctrine Command, Combined Arms Center, Center for the Army Profession and Ethic, 2015, p. 1). The six principles of mission command direct leaders to build cohesive teams through mutual trust, create shared understanding, provide a clear commander’s intent, exercise disciplined initiative, use mission orders, and accept prudent risk. These principles enable subordinates that
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The Lakota and Northern Cheyenne Indians along with a few other defiant tribes, joined forces under the Lakota holy man, Sitting Bull, in an active resistance to U.S. expansion (Gregory, 2016). In 1876, federal troops were dispatched to force the noncompliant Indians onto their reservations and to pacify the Great Plains (Powers, 2010).
The Commander George Armstrong Custer was a United States cavalry officer who served with distinction in the American Civil War and was the youngest ever brevet brigadier general at age twenty-three (History.com Staff, 2009). Custer had various disciplinary issues throughout his career ranging from abandoning his post for romantic reasons to leaving the field without searching for a slain reconnaissance unit (History.com Staff, 2009). His expedition in 1874 that led to the discovery of gold, was in violation of the treaty of 1868 wherein the Black Hills were recognized to belong to the Sioux Nation. Custer was known to have a reckless temperament and was often at odds with superior officers. Nevertheless, as a Lieutenant Colonel assigned to the Seventh Cavalry Regiment out of Fort Riley, Kansas, Custer was tasked to lead the force against Sitting Bull’s alliance (History.com Staff, 2009).
The Battle On June 22, 1876, Brigadier General Alfred H. Terry ordered Lieutenant Colonel Custer and the Seventh Cavalry Regiment to pursue Sitting Bull on a trail that led into the

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