By Sgt. Melissa LessardMarch 11, 2019
By Sgt. Melissa N. Lessard, 504th Military Intelligence Brigade Public Affairs
(FORT HOOD, Texas, March 6, 2019)-163rd Military Intelligence Battalion and company leadership gathered on Feb. 27th during the first day of mission command course. They listened intently to Command Sgt. Maj. Allen Brooks, 163rd BN CSM, as he explained how critical thinking and shared understanding are vital factors in the mission command process.
Mission command is based on mutual trust, shared understanding, and purpose, according to ADRP 6-0. It demands that every Soldier be prepared to assume responsibility and maintain unity of effort, take prudent actions, and act resourcefully within the commander's intent.
The nature of military operations are complex, human endeavors characterized by the continuous, mutual adaptation to give and take, moves, and counter moves, among all participants, according to ADRP 6-0.
Commanders and subordinates must learn from experience, anticipate change, and develop adaptability so they can conduct operations more effectively than their opponents. (ADRP 6-0)
The mission command certification process for 163rd MI BN is designed to teach platoon leaders and company commanders how to complete the mission, and is experienced based, said Lt. Col. Bowers, 163rd MI BN commander. Anyone can be tasked with mission command. They will be taught the different aspects of intelligence capabilities and how to plan, prepare, execute, and assess.
Bowers addressed the rooms full of intelligence professionals. There are four things that commanders care about, he said. Risk to mission and risk to force, authorities, resources, and command relationships.
"All day every day, that's what I think about," said Bowers.
"Risk to mission means what is going to happen that will keep me from completing my mission," Bowers said. "Risk to force means what is going to happen to the Soldiers. These are the hard decisions to make."
Authorities is what the unit is authorized to do, and not to do, he said. As commanders, they have to understand resources such as food, security, and logistics. Finally, how are they supporting the other units?
Brooks said that the higher in rank a person is, the more mission command applies.
The room was filled with ranks ranging from E-5 through O-5.
"Just because you are an E-5 or E-6, does not mean this does not apply," said Brooks. "NCO's need to be able to step in."
In the past, young NCO's have had to take mission command in the deployed area. Both Bowers and Brooks said that it takes decisive action and disciplined initiative.
Disciplined initiative is action in the absence of orders, when existing orders no longer fit the situations, or when unforeseen opportunities or threats arise.
Soldiers who attended also learned about the two aspects of mission command which are the art of command and the science of control. Bowers and Brooks explained this process as leaders leveraging their experience, developing their teams, informing and influencing the formation, and knowledge management.
Soldiers also learned about how to understand the problem, visualize a solution, and describe it to their troops.
Brooks said that when the Army went from command and control to mission command, there was a change of concept and attitude. Mission command requires collaborative solutions.
Information ins the article was used from ADRP 6-0