Military Review English Edition September-October 2014 - Page 8

Spc. Austin Berner, 982nd Combat Camera Company (Airborne) An Afghan National Army command sergeant major records a message about the Afghanistan most-wanted high-value insurgents for transmission on the radio, Forward Operating Base Shank, Logar Province, Afghanistan, 18 January 2012. The sergeant major is informing the people of Afghanistan about the crimes and atrocities the individuals have committed and is asking for information about them. but a new publications hierarchy has led to the transfer of certain doctrinal subjects from field manuals to new publications categories known as Army doctrine publications (ADPs) and Army doctrine reference publications (ADRPs). Army mission command doctrine has moved to two new doctrinal publications that rightfully have garnered much attention since their release in 2012: ADP 6-0 and ADRP 6-0, both named Mission Command.2 Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond Odierno has, on many occasions, emphasized the importance of integrating the ideas in mission command doctrine into how the Army conducts operations at all levels of leadership. This level of visibility has caused some to question their role within mission command because if, according to doctrine, only commanders exercise or apply mission command, how is mission command doctrine relevant to everyone else? One group in particular seems to be struggling: the noncommissioned officer (NCO) corps. How is the Army’s idea of mission command relevant to NCOs? What is the NCO’s role? 6 All NCOs acknowledge that commanders command, and NCOs support them in the accomplishment of the mission. Given that thought process, many NCOs have difficulty envisioning their role in mission command. As I travel to camps, posts, and stations around the country, I continue to hear similar rumblings from our NCOs: “Mission command, that’s an officer thing,” or “That’s officer business.” This way of thinking can be no further from the truth. My response is always the same, “No, mission command is leader business.” As NCOs, and senior NCOs in particular, we must change the way we think about mission command. To accomplish this, we need to understand the basics of mission command and gain an appreciation for our role as NCOs within it. Then we can show our subordinates their part helping commanders apply its principles. Mission Command Defined The Army’s approach to mission command incorporates three main concepts commanders apply to overcome the complex challenges of military operations. September-October 2014  MILITARY REVIEW