Changing the Army’s Field Manual (FM 3-0) to reflect an evolved understanding following over nine years of “persistent conflict” – in Iraq and Afghanistan – and the impact these conflicts have on how the Army operates, as Gen. Martin E. Dempsey put it, is a “Campaign of Learning” across the Army.
Dempsey, commanding general, U.S. Army and Doctrine Command and Army chief of staff designate, said in the introduction to Change 1 of the manual, this campaign concluded the Army must “adapt our concepts, doctrine, and processes more frequently than in the past.”
However, even with this changed document, the Army’s emphasis will remain on developing leaders and soldiers for full-spectrum operations as the nation remains in that state of persistent conflict.
At a panel discussion titled “Network Enabled Mission Command,” convened Feb. 24 at the Association of the United States Army’s Winter Symposium and Exposition in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., said FM 3-0, Operations Change 1 that was rolled out at this forum, “replaces the command and control warfighting function with mission command.”
Mission Command is the exercise of authority and the direction of the commander using mission orders to enable disciplined initiative within the commander’s intent to “empower agile leaders in the conduct of full-spectrum operations.”
It is commander led and blends the art of command and the science of control focusing on the human dimension of military operations instead of technological solutions.
Caslen, the commanding general of the Army combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, Kan., emphasized that the shift to Mission Command not only focuses on art and science, but it also underscores the important and indispensible role of commanders.
These commanders have many and varied responsibilities in the present and future full-spectrum operations with joint, interagency, intergovernmental and multinational partners.
“Commanders must build teams – joint and interagency partners – and they must be able to understand complex environments and information [that is available] to influence friends and adversaries.”
Adding, “We must have this network to operate under,” in operational environments that are now and will remain extremely fluid with changing coalitions, alliances, partnerships and actors.
“The commander must drive the operations process and must understand, visualize, describe, direct, lead and assess operations,” Col. Robert R. Naething said.
Naething, the deputy director, Mission Command Center of Excellence, added, “The commander must also lead in the development of teams among modular formations and partners. Also he or she must take the lead in informing and influencing activities, establishing themes and messages and personally engage key players.”
“This,” he said is the art of command – using creative skills and the exercise of authority through decision making and leadership.”
The science of control deals with the detailed systems and procedures that will improve the commander’s understanding of the given situation, and will support the execution of the missions.
This relies on “staff tasks.” The staff conducts the operation’s process by planning, preparing, executing and assessing. Staff members conduct knowledge and information management and they inform influence cyber and electromagnetic activities.
Mission Command creates a flow whereby the leader leads and the staff supports.
This flow enables what the Army terms “operational adaptability,” – understanding the operational environment, creating teams that anticipate transition, accepting risk to create opportunity and influencing friendly people and forces, neutrals, adversaries, enemies, and partners.
“Operational adaptability as an integral part of Mission Control,” Naething said, “requires leaders who are capable of understanding the situation in depth, critically assessing the situation and adapting actions to seize and retain the initiative.”
FM 3-0, Operations Change 1 provides commanders, noncommissioned officers and soldiers with the methodology to increase their understanding of the operational environment that will result in successful full-spectrum operations