Operational Leaders Down At The Platoon And Squad Level

1733 Words Aug 17th, 2015 7 Pages
Operational leaders down to the platoon and squad level have recently faced increasingly complex missions in uncertain operational environments. Accordingly, Army doctrine has shifted to officially recognize mission command, which enables leaders at the lowest level feasiblt to “exercise disciplined initiative” in the accomplishment of a larger mission (ADP 6-), 2012, p. 2). Mission command is broken down into six tenants: undertand, visualize, describe, direct, lead, and assess (Mission Command 2011, 3-5). During the battle of Fallujah, LtGen Natonski understood the intent two levels up, visualizing courses of actions for both allies and the enemy and leading his organization into combat while directing his officers and soldiers to meet his intent. He visualized that Marines alone could not accomplish the mission. He understood that without the support of Iraqi police and a task force from the Army with specialized vehicles would have called for higher casualty rates. LtGen Natonski’s situational understanding of the mission, led combat forces on the ground, and instituted security. LtGen Natonski assessed the situation constantly by communicating openly with his ground commanders, receive feedback on a proposed course of action and make decisions on the spot. Open communication was crucial for decision making and the ongoing assessment during operations as it provided clear intent that empowered commanders to exercise initiative. The mission was successfully accomplished…
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