Supporting the Commander’s Mission and Intent
SGT Brandon Pack
Non-commissioned Officers Academy
Advanced Leaders Course
Class 191-18 Phase 1
Construct, build, and manage teams through trust, knowledge, experience, give a clear and concise message on commander’s intent for the mission , have initiative, use orders, and accept risk are the fundamentals that are used to direct mission command and commander’s intent. These fundamentals are used all the time by leaders. Being an effective and successful Non-Commissioned Officer that can lead, train, and motivate soldiers is exactly how I can and will assist in the Commander’s mission and meet his or her intent for his unit.
Supporting the Commander’s Mission and Intent
Throughout my career in the United States Army, I have had the chance to serve under different types of commanders and leaders. Some of them have been great and took care of their subordinates and some who did not care about Soldiers and had no involvement in the personal or professional growth of those Soldiers. As a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO), my job in supporting the commander’s mission is to lead and train the Soldiers who are placed under my direct supervision and guidance. I made a promise to myself after becoming a NCO; I will do what is right by my Soldiers and will always take care of them both professionally and personally. Not just look out for my own personal gain, agenda, or career. My career is based off their success. Grasping on to the BE-KNOW-DO CITATION ADP12 l 1033 (ADP 6-22, Army Leadership, 2012) as a NCO contributes to my success in completing missions and training my Soldiers for success. Striving to remain professional and competent while motivating them to accomplish their missions and tasks.
The Army has numerous doctrines and regulations that give Soldiers all the basic guidance they need to be successful. As a Soldier myself, it is important that I know and understand the guidance set forth and know how to find that information in the doctrines if I need help or understanding. Being that Army doctrines and regulations are updated over time, it is important to remain up to date on those doctrines and regulations. Being up to date with them is just as important as being up to date with my equipment I am signed for. How can I shoot effectively if I don’t keep up with how my assigned weapon works? All NCO’s should be very familiar with the statement, “I will strive to remain technically and tactically proficient” CITATION Cre86 l 1033 (Creed of the Non Commissioned Officer, 1986). So, the first step I took when trying to understand how I can support the mission command, is to read up on the doctrine and regulations and gain a clear understanding of them. The main focus or point of military operations involving mission command is “the exercise of authority and direction by the commander using mission orders to enable disciplined initiative within the commander’s intent to empower agile and adaptive leaders in the conduct of unified land operations.”CITATION ADP121 l 1033 (ADP 6-0 Mission Command, 2012). Originally I assumed and thought that mission command was a duty or job for officers, not NCOs. I honestly thought it was their job not mine. After seeing and realizing that Mission Command is done through the Warfighting Function CITATION ADP121 l 1033 (ADP 6-0 Mission Command, 2012) , I was able to see how mission command is also my responsibility and job as well to support. When the Commander issues his or her intent, it is up to me to understand it and make sure my team understands it as well. I pride myself in knowing that if I don’t understand something that I can ask for help and not feel bad or embarrassed about asking for said help and guidance from others. Even though I am a leader, I must remember that I am ultimately part of a team, and may have to seek help at times. I have no issues asking my team members for help if I am unsure of something or need clear guidance. There is no reason to be prideful and not ask for help if you do not know what is being published or said by the Commander. This sets us up as a team for success and understanding before we even make our plan to execute the Commander’s intent or mission. By taking this step, I am supporting the principles of mission control and fulfilling my job and responsibilities as a NCO in regards to supporting mission command. It is my job to communicate with my Soldiers and keep them informed of the commander’s mission, as well as anything that the unit has going on. This includes trainings, days off, ranges, field exercises, deployments, and organizational events. Doing so enables the entire team to have an understanding of what needs to be completed and accomplished. It also gives them the time line of when the tasks needs to be finished. This also makes sure that the team can accomplish the task even if I am not around to directly supervise. This gives my team purpose and motivation to complete their job, and gives them a sense of pride in their job. This also will keep up the morale and welfare of my Soldiers because they are being informed and not left in the dark.
Constructing and managing great teams through trust, knowledge, and experience is one of the essential key points of mission command. How can I ensure that the mission will get done even if I am not around? Should I have to closely watch over my Soldiers daily to make sure the job gets done? It is my job to ensure that I train my Soldiers and get them prepared for success, and make them the subject matter experts in their field. It’s my job to make them professionals. Every member of the team plays an important role and job in accomplishing the mission, no matter how small or large that role may be. I will assign tasks and responsibilities to my Soldiers based off their individual strengths. For example, one Soldier may be great at making a database for expired meds while another Soldier is better at organization. I don’t believe in placing a job based off of weakness. I use their weakness to help teach and mentor them to get better. That is why we counsel Soldiers and give them feedback on how to get them ready and succeed. Each Soldier feels important and as part of the team because they have their own individual task and responsibility to take care of. This gives my Soldiers individual responsibilities and makes them feel as though they are part of a cohesive unit and feel needed. As a junior Soldier, I didn’t do much in regards to training. All I did for training was online courses and spent numerous hours in the motor pool. We would go to the motor pool almost every day to work on our vehicles or reorganize the supplies in them. For example, one day we did nothing but take everything out of the vehicles let it sit out for several hours and then at the end of the day they decided we could put it all back in and go home. Our time could have been spent better with training in our job. Our leadership believes in keeping us gainfully employed instead of letting us train in our profession. If we weren’t in the motor pool, my leaders would send us to the library to do correspondence courses. We never did anything medical for training. Luckily, when we deployed we didn’t have a time where we really had to use our skills, because I was afraid of how rusty we might have been. When I became a leader I was determined to train my Soldiers, not give them busy work or keep them only gainfully employed. It’s my job to make them professionals. Every day I give my Soldiers an opportunity to learn because we train over different scenarios that we may see in the medical field or while deployed. I also give them a chance to do individual training online if they want it. I do not believe in finding busy work or keeping Soldiers just sitting around doing nothing. As medics, we have a unique set of skills that can go bad if we do not take the time to train on our skills. I try to do training that is not the normal every day training of PowerPoint slides, a check list, or using the mannequin. Instead, we come up with training as a team that keeps us engaged and our minds open to learning more productive and efficient ways to do something. A good example of this is when we would drive around in our medical vehicles with the lights off and Soldiers would have to start an IV using only their NVGs for vision. My Soldiers love this kind of training. This keeps my Soldiers engaged and motivated to learn. It also gives them something to look forward to every day.
It is expected of Army leaders is to lead, develop, and achieve CITATION ADP12 l 1033 (ADP 6-22, Army Leadership, 2012). This job is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Both in and out of the uniform. This is so much more than given times to show up, counseling, and training . It starts at me. My soldiers reflect who I am as a leader. If they aren’t proficient, then I am not proficient. If they aren’t professional, then I am not a professional. If I am to be effective as a leader, I have to set the right example for my Soldiers. They have to see the extra effort I put in that sets myself apart from others in the ranks. I have to push them past their comfort zone and set them up for success. I must also acknowledge their achievements and accomplishments when they do go the extra mile. If I want my Soldiers to trust me and be engaged, I must get to know them on a personal level, as well as a professional level. I have to be involved in their lives. I become a big brother or father type role to them. This means I will give them advice for both their professional life and their personal life, too. There have been some instances, and I am sure there will be a lot more, that I cannot relate to. When this happens I will do my research and stand beside my Soldiers in their time of need and offer any support that I can. This shows them they have a leader that cares about them. The type of impact I have on my Soldiers is seen throughout my company. My company sees that I genuinely care about my Solders and their needs, both personal and professional. Being a leader that my Soldiers trust and confine in has always been a personal goal of mine. I strive to make sure I hit that goal daily.
Using the guidance of mission command is a role that every leader has to take on every day. As a part of the Commanders staff, supporting the mission comes with providing trained and professional Soldiers, who are ready to go at a moment’s notice. This happens because I choose to stay up to date on the Army doctrines that have been published. Giving Soldiers the necessary training, tools, and motivation will greatly enhance the commander’s intent for the mission. As long as I continue to train and motivate Soldiers, I will meet the commander’s intent and do my part to support the Commander’s mission. This may seem like a simple job, but I believe that being successful in every little detail directly supports the Commander’s mission, accomplishment of the mission, and why the Army continues to strive and be the number one Military force today.
BIBLIOGRAPHY l 1033 ADP 6-0 Mission Command. (2012, May 17). Department of the Army.
ADP 6-22, Army Leadership. (2012, August 1). Department of the Army.
Creed of the Non Commissioned Officer. (1986, November 13).
FM 6-22 Army Leadership. (2006, October 12). Department of the Army.