The military decision-making process (MDMP) is not a boogey man to be feared, but a process to be embraced and mastered by all staffs charged with developing operations plans and orders. It is a systematic process that enables commanders and their staffs to apply critical and creative thinking and doctrine to solve problems and establish the framework and conditions for commanders to make effective decisions. And, like everything else in the Army, it requires time and training for staffs to become experts in the process. Observations emanating from the combat training centers (CTCs) and Mission Command Training Program (MCTP) consistently bear out that commanders and staffs are more successful when they have done the hard work of training the MDMP in the run-up to their rotation.
This handbook seeks to reverse the negative MDMP trends observed in CTC and MCTP exercises. It is not a replacement for Field Manual (FM) 5-0, Planning and Orders Production (16 May 2022), but compliments the doctrine by providing commanders and staffs with best practices for training and executing the MDMP.
The MDMP is a proven process, but it requires commander involvement and staff mastery to make it effective. It is the vehicle by which staffs operationalize the commander’s vision, but like a crew-served weapon system, it requires time and training to master it. The dedicated staff member also never loses sight of the fact that the MDMP is not merely a “check the box staff exercise,” but ultimately impacts the ability of that U.S. Army Soldier at the tip of the spear to successfully complete their mission. Now get planning.
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23-07 (594)_Military Decision-Making Process
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