By Lt. Col. Jeff AllenJune 19, 2013
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (June 19, 2013) -- Senior leaders announced the new Army Mission Command Strategy during the Association of the U.S. Army Mission Command Symposium held here, June 18.
Brig. Gen. James E. Rainey, director, Mission Command Center of Excellence, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., made the announcement as part of his presentation in a panel on implementing Mission Command across the Army. He said the strategy was approved the week prior to the symposium by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno, and this was the first time the Army has had an approved Mission Command strategy.
"What this strategy does is describe where we, as an Army, are trying to go," Rainey said.
Rainey said the strategy seeks to ensure all leaders understand and practice Mission Command philosophy, commanders and staffs execute the Mission Command warfighting function, and ensure commanders have Mission Command systems that enable commanders and units to execute the warfighting function.
As an Army-level strategy, he laid out several implementing actions that are described in the strategy. These actions include:
• Determining learning outcomes within the institutional Army.
• Determine core curriculum and programs of instruction for Mission Command.
• Analyze, design, and implement training development, training support, and functional training solutions.
• Build training support products for the Army Training Network.
• Prioritize Mission Command requirements and capabilities.
• Define operational and institutional roles and responsibilities.
Lt. Gen. David G. Perkins, commander, Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., was also a panel member, and said this strategy will close the gap between the operational and institutional force.
"Through the strategy (Rainey) just described, we can align the various domains, the institution and the operational domain, as well as the self-development domain, and get a common situation awareness of what is going on in each one of those," Perkins said.
Audience members were able to ask questions of the panel. One of the questions asked was if units were relying too much on technology in order to execute Mission Command.
Rainey said units have to plan on the possibility that the enemy will have the capability of temporarily neutralizing our technological systems. He said, "Mission Command sets us up for success when we temporarily lose those systems."
Maj. Gen. Jeffrey L. Bailey, deputy chief of staff, G-3, Forces Command, also a panel participant, added by saying that they were now requiring units to operate in degraded technological environments to ensure units are not becoming overly reliant on technology. This promotes Mission Command in order to achieve the outcomes they want in units. He said units were beginning to see this type of training while at their home installations.
Perkins supported this idea.
"The basis for Mission Command starts at home station," he said. "This is where you build trust."
He also described how using Mission Command will result in more training events. These events will ensure commanders have a common understanding and will build trust in their subordinates to execute their missions. Then in combat, commanders will have the confidence to "empower subordinates and underwrite risk."