Military Review English Edition September-October 2014 - Page 9

INSIGHT • • • • • • MILITARY REVIEW  September-October 2014 general doctrinal idea of a mission command system, the emphasis is that commanders systematically organize subordinate functions, starting with the people who perform them, so they can command and control forces effectively. The next sections offer a practical interpretation of how NCOs function in support of mission command. To understand the role of NCOs in mission command, it is helpful to look at its principles as they apply at the levels of senior leaders, mid-grade leaders, and first-line leaders. Noncommissioned Officers and the Philosophy of Mission Command First, NCOs need to understand the practical application of the six principles of mission command. Those principles can help NCOs at all levels determine how to support commanders. Doctrine describes how the principles of mission command assist commanders Sgt. Amanda Hils, 319th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment NCOs have a direct role in supporting commanders’ application of these concepts, described in ADP 6-0 and ADRP 6-0 as the exercise of mission command, the mission command philosophy, and the mission command warfighting function. The exercise of mission command refers to an overarching idea that unifies the philosophy of command and the warfighting function. The philosophy of command has six guiding principles, and the warfighting function is divided into tasks and systems. The philosophy of mission command. Mission command (the philosophy) 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.”3 The principles of mission command are— Build cohesive teams through trust Create shared understanding Provide a clear commander’s intent Exercise disciplined initiative Use mission orders Accept prudent risk4 The mission command warfighting function. The mission command warfighting function is “the related tasks and systems that develop and integrate those activities enabling a commander to balance the art of command and the science of control in order to integrate the other warfighting functions.”5 A function is an ongoing group of actions that belong together because of their purpose; this means the mission command warfighting function is a structured way commanders arrange numerous processes and activities under a common purpose so the force can accomplish missions and training objectives. The mission command system. Finally, a mission command system is “the arrangement of personnel, networks, information systems, processes and procedures, facilities, and equipment that enable commanders to conduct operations.”6 This means each mission command system is different because although its components are similar, each commander arranges them to support decision making and facilitate communication for a given mission. Mission command systems are not synonymous with information systems; an information system is only one part of a mission command system. It is important to note that one of the components of a mission command system is personnel. Within the Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas R. Capel, International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces - Afghanistan, speaks with a group of first sergeants, sergeants major, and command sergeants major of the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade on Kandahar Airfield, 17 January 2012. Capel met with soldiers and senior enlisted service members to gain a better appreciation for their challenges and successes in the region. 7