Effective Use of Mission Command as a Philosophy

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In late November 2001 Task Force 58 launched from ships off the coast of Pakistan to conduct the longest ranged amphibious assault in history with 403 Marines and Sailors, 4 fast-attack vehicles, and a variety of supporting equipment,. General James N. Mattis successfully accomplished this in large part to the effective execution of mission command. Commanders can utilize mission command as a philosophy or a warfighting function. Mission command as a philosophy is the use of commander's intent and mission orders to empower agile and adaptive leaders. It enables commanders to counter the uncertainty of operations by reducing the amount of certainty required to act in a given situation. Commanders build cohesive teams, provide a clear commander's intent and guidance, encourage the use of disciplined initiative, and use mission orders through the operations process to effectively use mission command as a philosophy. Commanders drive this operations process using mission command through six steps. First, they must understand the operational environment and the problem. Second, a commander must visualize his desired end state and operational approach. Third, he must describe that visualization to subordinates using time, space, purpose, and resources. Fourth, commanders must direct forces throughout preparation and execution. Finally, through each of the first four steps, commanders need to lead through purpose and motivation and assess through continuous monitoring and evaluation. General Mattis successfully utilized mission command as a philosophy by understanding, visualizing, leading, describing, and assessing through the operations process as the commander of Naval Task Force 58. In the days immediately following t... ... middle of paper ... ...ps Times, May 13, 2010. Cone, Robert W, and Jon D Mohundro. "Capstone: Strategic Landpower for the Company Commander." The Cavalry & Armor Journal, January-March 2014. Kopser, Joseph, and Allen Trujillo. "People will Be What They Can See: a Case Study in Leadership." The Cavalry & Armor Journal, January-March 2014. Lowrey, Colonel Nathan S. From The Sea. Washington, D.C.: History Division USMC, 2011. Reflections as a Combatant Commander in a Turbulent World. Performed by General (Retired) James Mattis. 2013. Mohundro, General Robert W. Cone and Captain Jon D. "Capstone: Strategic Landpower for the Company Commander." The Cavalry & Armor Journal, 2014. Pedersen, Richard N. "Mission Command: Realizing Unified Action." Small Wars Journal, May 2011. Tzu, Sun. The Art of War. New York: Simon & Brown, 2014. Warren, James A. American Spartans. New York: Pocket Books, 2005.

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