Military Decision-Making Procedures
Military Decision Making Process
The commander and his staff focus on recognizing and anticipating battlefield activities in order to decide and act faster than the enemy. The primary product the staff produces for the commander, and for subordinate commanders, is understanding, or situational awareness. True understanding should be the basis for information provided to commanders to make decisions.
The staff officer who performs this mechanical staff functions, no matter how flawlessly, without understanding how commanders make decisions, is useless to his commander. Staff officers must be able to anticipate the outcome of current operations to develop concepts for a follow-on mission. They must also understand and be able to apply commonly understood doctrine in executing their missions.
How can a staff NCO anticipate the outcome of current operations to develop concepts for follow-on-missions?
Military Decision-Making Procedures
The obligation of the military is to safeguard the nation against enemies. Military men go through training and are required to develop abilities to anticipate combat zone activities to make decisions that assist in acting faster and subsequently defeating the enemy. Anticipations have resulted to fellow soldiers saving each other and taking advantage of the gaps that the enemies overlook. Also, many army successes were because of carefully analyzing and anticipating the next moves of the enemies. Anticipation keeps a soldier alert in addition to providing various scenarios of solving a particular issue. Consequently, noncommissioned officers (NCOs) should understand how commanders make decisions to anticipate the next course of action when in combat. Following the decision-making process of army commanders are very crucial, and NCOs should aspire to gain those abilities and utilize them during training and in battle. One way to increase these skills is through anticipating the operations of current operations. Also, NCOs need to understand and have the ability to apply the universal doctrines in executing missions. Therefore, NCOs should recognize and anticipate war activities to defeat the enemy and attain success.
There are various ways that the NCOs can expect the outcome of current operations to develop concepts for follow-on missions. Firstly, NCOs can predict the result by gaining battle visualization skills. Commanders visualize the battlefield through developing a clear understanding of the current state of the field with relation to the adversary and the battle environment, envisioning a desired end state, and then visualizing the sequence of activities that move the commander’s force from the current situation to the end state (“Staff Organization and Operations”, 1997). NCOs can gain these skills through performing their battle visualization duties. Upon learning battle visualizing skills, NCOs can reason like their commanders, and prepare themselves mentally while expecting the commander’s orders. Careful execution of the battle visualization duties will instill the visualization process in the NCOs thus developing concepts for follow-on missions. It also provides insight on how the commanders think thus understand their thought processes and figure out why army men do certain things in the field.
Secondly, NCOs need to use their judgment and initiative competencies to gain the ability to develop concepts for follow-on missions. Officers must use good judgment to size up a situation quickly, determine what is crucial and do what is necessary. Good judgment allows them to make serious decisions that will save the team when in distress. Additionally, judgment allows NCOs proper reasoning and understanding of the various combat missions (“Staff Organization and Operations”, 1997). NCOs must also take the initiative instead of waiting for the commander to give appropriate guidance on when and where to act. The initiative shows competence and the ability to make own decisions for the sake of one’s team. The use of these two traits will make it easier to judge a situation during combat and make an initiative that benefits the teammates. It will also equip the NCOs with decision-making skills essential when weighing the options to take during a war. Proper use of judgment and initiative will make NCOs reason like their commanders thus anticipate commander decisions and act accordingly. NCOs who use judgment and initiative are fast, reliable and resourceful. The skills enable NCOs to anticipate the questions that their commanders will ask to make informed decisions. Judgment and initiative also keep NCOs on their feet as they anticipate the commander’s intent two levels ahead thus enabling them to operate according to the commander’s intent. Judgment and initiative will not only allow NCOs to anticipate the next move but will also make the NCOs understand the commander decisions thus better execution of orders.
Thirdly, NCOs can anticipate the outcome of current operations through preparing, updating and maintaining estimates. The estimates are necessary to help the commander making decisions. The estimate is made up of important data, procedures, conclusions based on anticipated and current situations and suggestions on the best ways to use available resources and how to obtain additional resources a. Familiarizing oneself with these estimates will equip NCOs with information of what to expect in battle and how to deal with such situations. It will also improve their decision-making skills as they generate recommendations for the estimates. The skills are necessary as they enable the NCOs to make sound decisions when in combat. As a result, NCOs obtain the ability to expect the outcomes of operations and develop concepts to use when in battle. Besides, estimates enable NCOs to anticipate any situation in battle. The estimates also allow these officers to think like the commanders and make decisions based on those thoughts. Careful understanding and implementation of the estimates provides insight on combat and the commander’s thought process.
Lastly, planning equips the NCOs with the ability to anticipate battle outcomes and the action plans necessary for those outcomes. Planning in the army entails preparing for battle through setting aside resources, clearly outlining the game plan and the various strategies to use in the field (Commander and Staff Officer Guide, 2011). It informs all the individuals of their roles and responsibilities during the war. The activity equips the NCOs with what to except thus allowing them to visualize and mentally analyze their actions. It also makes them understand the decisions of the commander thereby making it easy to follow orders in the field. Planning prepares the NCOs physically, mentally and emotionally. As a result, the NCOs gain insight on what to expect and how to act. Planning, therefore, provides the anticipation required for following commander decisions, understanding the strategies, making sound judgments and taking initiatives that benefit the other unit members and assist in achieving victory.
In conclusion, anticipating
outcomes and the development for follow-on missions do not come naturally to
soldiers. The soldiers need to train their minds and carry out various duties
that allow them to understand the different practices and how they can use
those methods to anticipate the decisions made by commanders during the war.
NCOs should, therefore, take their responsibilities seriously and generate ways
how they can use those duties to understand combat ways and make sound judgment
that makes the process easier to defeat the enemies. NCOs should plan for all
situations adequately to equip themselves with planning skills necessary in the
battlefield. They should visualize the battlefield and analyze all possible
outcomes and ways to counter those outcomes. They should use their abilities to
make sound decisions, make better judgment and take the initiative that saves
the lives of the unit men and protects their country. They should take all
activities seriously and relate these events to the combat zone. They need to
develop a deeper comprehension of the commander thought processes and relate
that thought to the situation at hand. Only then can the NCOs gain insight on
their commander’s decisions and the various steps to take when in combat.
Commander and Staff Officer Guide. (2011). Department Of The Army, ATTP 5-0.1.
Staff Organization and Operations. (1997). Department Of The Army, FM 101-5.