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Critically evaluate the elements of mission command

I, uh, I want you to collect magazines from everybody. God dammit, I ordered to hold fire. The use of these technologies threatens the Mission Command Philosophy by giving Soldiers the perception of constant observation.

These technologies, and the accompanying perception of persistent observation, lead to degraded trust between Soldiers and their higher headquarters, and cause the conceptual space required for the Philosophy to function to shrink. The development of this perception, or panoptic effect, is likely to result in a climate of degraded mutual trust and shrink the conceptual space required for the Philosophy to function as desired.

Leaders should not overlook the importance of both mutual trust and the conceptual space required for the Mission Command Philosophy to function. Mutual trust is a required bedrock of the Mission Command Philosophy. The degradation of either mutual trust or this conceptual space must be taken seriously. The purpose of this essay is to start a professional dialog. In the remainder of this paper, and drawing examples from police-body-camera studies and other works, we will explain key terms and concepts, the negative impact of constant observation on behavior and trust, and the conceptual space required by the Mission Command Philosophy.

Next, we describe the dependent relationship between trust, the Mission Command Philosophy, and Unified Land Operations.

  • Assumptions are not incontrovertible fact although they shape viewpoints;
  • The structure and dynamics of networks.

In conclusion, we will suggest options to mitigate the consequences of the panoptic effect, ask questions to further the conversation, and offer suggestions for continued study. Additionally, it is important to distinguish that we are working with the philosophy of Mission Command, not the Warfighting Function. These technologies are relevant because they contribute to the formation of a panoptic effect, an idea that stems from the concept of the Panopticon.

Otherwise, they risk a run-in with law enforcement or being the lead in an embarrassing YouTube clip. We are concerned that the Mission Command Philosophy is at risk due to the inadvertent development of a panoptic effect resulting from the proliferation of information collection technologies. The concept of Mission Command sets the foundation for how Army leaders should approach problems and operations. The Mission Command philosophy requires Soldiers to deviate from their orders when they no longer fit the situation.

One way in which constant observation can negatively affect such organizations is by hindering personal communication between subordinate and superior organizations.

Yet, this same word could lose value in the future due to the expectation of video footage corresponding critically evaluate the elements of mission command police action. This result implies that police officers in the future may be less inclined to take the initiative towards preventing a crime. They may be less inclined to act if they do not have the capability to record footage, or if they are unsure if the context of the moment will translate clearly onto video.

In this situation, the impression or expectation of constant observation by a higher echelon, e. It may cause police officers to become less willing to take the initiative towards preventing a crime despite their own inclinations.

This influence on behavior is how the impression of constant observation, the panoptic effect, can affect people and organizations that rely on trust to achieve results. The evaluation of footage resulting from constant observation may also stymie trust and initiative.

The evaluation or analysis of footage from constant observation can negatively affect behavior in trust-and-initiative driven organizations by causing subordinates, such as Soldiers or Police officers, to curtail their actions in fear of retribution.

The logic in critically evaluate the elements of mission command situation is clear. A Soldier who is required to make a decision on the battlefield based on their understanding of the situation may fail to take the initiative if they believe someone is recording them.

Critically evaluate the elements of mission command

Put simply, the Soldier may fail to take the initiative or execute an audacious action because they fear the judgement or punishment of their higher headquarters if the resulting video footage does not support their decision. This fear of retribution for action is not without precedence. These concerns could have critically evaluate the elements of mission command drastic impact on the Army. This effect will lead to constrained conceptual space for the Mission Command Philosophy.

The conceptual space required to execute the Mission Command Philosophy could shrink in this case because people act differently when they know they are being observed. Army doctrine is intended as a guide, but it can also be understood as rules for the way the Army operates.

In other words, rather than develop a unique solution to a problem, Soldiers may try to make the situation fit the doctrine. If a panoptic effect is forming, and Soldiers feel obliged to act in strict accordance with doctrine as a result, the human element, operational art, and the application of creative imagination are becoming less relevant and leading to the failure of the Mission Command Philosophy.

However, we have witnessed one recent example that speaks to our concerns. During a recent constructive training exercise involving primarily Army officers acting as a staff, several group members asserted that in reality the information collection technologies available would be well beyond what the exercise provided.

Their point was that they would have more information in reality than they did during the exercise. It seems plausible that the staff members were relying on the panoptic effect they are accustomed to in real situations rather than developing a unique solution. Rather than collect the required information with the assets available, staff members assumed the presence of and preferred to rely on persistent observation technology.

The logic of this example is straightforward. Although not scientific, this example highlights the threat to the Mission Command Philosophy due to the proliferation of information collection technologies. Critically evaluate the elements of mission command of these concepts depend on the former, beginning with trust, in order to be effective.

The idea of initiative is a common factor between the previously mentioned concepts. For instance, trust enables initiative, and the Mission Command Philosophy requires disciplined initiative to function. Without the ability to seize the initiative, Unified Land Operations fail. Leaders must foster the proper environment to capitalize on the relationship between these concepts and initiative.

Leaders must establish an environment of trust if they expect subordinates to exercise the disciplined initiative described in Army doctrine. If a subordinate does not believe that their higher headquarters trusts their judgement, it is logical to believe that they will not act on opportunities to seize the initiative.

On the other hand, if the higher headquarters does not trust its subordinate, it will likely take overt measures to control them, preventing them from seizing the initiative when the opportunity presents itself. The Unified Land Operations concept requires the Mission Command Philosophy, which in turn requires trust between higher echelons and subordinate units to remain effective.

Information collection technologies create the perception of constant observation in the current operational environment. This perception degrades trust and reduces the conceptual space needed to actualize the Mission Command Philosophy. Conclusion The proliferation of information collection technologies threatens the Mission Command Philosophy.

  • Without the ability to seize the initiative, Unified Land Operations fail;
  • The five planning facets of conditions, assumptions, understanding the environment, understanding the problem, and developing an operational approach aid the commander in developing effective mission command;
  • Causal assumptions regard how different parts of the world work and under what specific conditions;
  • There are three broad categories of assumptions;
  • The art and practice of the learning organization, New York;
  • The bold full arrows show top down lines of command, the bold broken arrows bottom up flows of organization initiatives decentralization and democratization.

These technologies degrade trust and shrink the required conceptual space. We do not purport to know the answer to this threat. Instead, we hope to encourage a professional dialog with our suggestions and questions.

Initially, we would like to suggest the following ideas to mitigate the panoptic effect that we described. First, we propose that senior leaders acknowledge the potential for a panoptic effect.

Further, we suggest command emphasis to ensure that information collection technologies not be used to monitor or observe friendly forces. Next, to preserve the conceptual space required for the Mission Command Philosophy, senior leaders must prevent the Army from adopting individual monitoring technologies such as body cameras.

Instead of using monitoring to control Soldier behavior, leaders must establish the boundaries for acceptable behavior in advance.

Once on the battlefield it is too late to correct tactical, operational, or strategic lapses in judgement. Perhaps an exercise could be developed where some units are observed while others are not. Once complete, researchers could compare results to determine if units perform differently under observation.

  1. Typically there are a limited number of tactical activities capable of accomplishing the strategy. Oxford University Press, 2005 , 82-84.
  2. The environment is in a constant state of flux, unpredictable, and interconnected within which feedback triggers internal and external changes to system dynamics Morgan, 2006.
  3. Inquiring systems and problem structure.
  4. This influence on behavior is how the impression of constant observation, the panoptic effect, can affect people and organizations that rely on trust to achieve results. A decision-making problem encompasses many problem types that encompass diagnosis-solution problems to strategic performance problems to policy-analysis problems to dilemmas.
  5. Each problem is extremely complex, but military operations are typically composed of an aggregate of these problems.

In addition to our suggestions, we would like to offer the following questions: What happens if the panoptic effect we described continues for an extended period? Will it limit our collective ability to construct unique solutions in the future? Does this mean that Army leadership will be less capable on future battlefields? What about critically evaluate the elements of mission command where the US military does not dominate the space and cyber domains?

These technologies, and their accompanying perception of constant observation, degrade the Philosophy through the destruction of required trust and conceptual space. The Army should take the steps necessary to prevent this.

Soldiers should always be afforded the ability to think and develop unique solutions in response to the context they are facing. Bibliography Aliens Special Edition. Directed by James Cameron. Ariel, Barak, William A. Farrar, and Alex Sutherland. A Randomized Controlled Trial. Department of the Army. Government Printing Office, February 2015. Government Printing Office, November 2016.

Government Printing Office, March 2014. Government Printing Office, August 2012. The birth of the prison 2nd ed. A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2005. The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. Peoples, Columba, and Nick Vaughan-Williams. United States Army War College. Strategic Cyberspace Operations Guide 1 June 2016. National Security Space Strategy: Unclassified Summary January 2011. Government Printing Office, March 20142-1-2-2, 2-6.

Government Printing Office, November 20164-1. Government Printing Office, February 20151-44. Oxford University Press, 200582-84.

A Very Short Introduction, 80-81.