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Tell the King that after the battle my head belongs to him. During the battle I still need it to serve him.
General Fredrich Wilhelm von Seydlitz[1][2]

The Germans identified three core battlefield demands of their officers: the ability to make decisions, the ability to lead and the ability to endure the situation faced on the battlefield.[3]

‘The commander's decision for his unit as a whole, and the missions (tasks) to subordinate units in support of the decision, are communicated to subordinates by clear and concise orders, which give them freedom of action appropriate to their professional knowledge, to the situation, to their dependability, and to the team-play desired.’[4]

This is the essence of leadership: appreciate the situation, make a decision, then lead others in putting the decision into effect, and finally—the hardest and most taxing—endure and overcome what happens next.[5]

Mission command[6] is Australia’s philosophy for command[7]. The philosophy was borrowed from the German ‘Auftragtaktik’[8] (task tactics)[9] in the 1990s, via American and British advocates. Tasks are achieved based on the expression of a superior’s intentions, assignment of resources and a statement of constraints[10], but allow a subordinate to decide the method to achieve the required results. A subordinate is expected to apply judgement in achieving the  commander’s intent[11] and taking into account changing circumstances.[12]The philosophy sits within the existing legal requirements, that is, to ‘follow lawful orders’.[13] No leeway is provided, as the Germans [14][15] do, if the order needs to be varied or ignored; so few[16] Australians actually practise Auftragtaktik, or as it is officially termed, ‘Fuehren mit Auftrag’[17] (lead by task)[18]. The Australian approach to mission command misses several key nuances contained in the German.

This paper will discuss the origins and characteristics of the Fuehren mit Auftrag. The paper will highlight some issues with the Australian practice of mission command and offer some solutions by linking mission command with elements of project and crew resource management that can be used to better apply mission command while we wait for the legal system to catch up.

Fuehren mit Auftrag is derived from ‘subsidiarity’[19][20]. Subsidiarity is an old term, one that isn’t much seen, known or used in Australia. As an organising principle, ‘subsidiarity’ is drawn from ‘natural law’[21] and holds that issues should be dealt with at the most immediate or local level consistent with their resolution. Subsidiarity can be traced to the Roman idea of ‘subsidium’.[22] The ‘subsidium’ (literally to sit behind, aid and support) lends assistance[23] in case of need, but does not direct every action.[24] For the Germans, subsidiarity is heavily embedded in Catholicism, Lutheranism and Calvinism as well as their military, business and government[25]; as such it is deeply imbedded in their psyche.

Given the brutality and stresses of warfare, a German subordinate[26] is within their rights to seek clarification, additional or alternate resources or adjustments to the timings, the result sought[27] or the objectives. They are also within their rights to ignore guidance if the individual judges it to be inconsistent with the situation.[28] The reason is simple: without the right to question, reject or adjust, it is unreasonable to expect the subordinate to bear responsibility for their part.[29] The alternative is constant referral to the superior for guidance.[30] The interplay facilitates a common view of the situation, clarifies the ‘essential achievement’ sought and frames what a suitable solution will look like.[31] Once the dialogue is over, the subordinate is required to use ‘best efforts’ or ‘best endeavours’ and ‘best speed’ to meet the superior’s expectation. Importantly, for the Germans, decisive action is seen as the highest ideal and complementary, whether correct or not[32]; since leaders who wait for orders usually fail to take advantage of momentary opportunities. Additionally, the failure to act through indecision or omission is seen to be as bad as a poor decision.[33] In summary, Fuehren mit Auftrag is reliant on the need for trust in each other’s competence, not personal likeability[34]; acceptance of error; active participation through freedom of action; tasking that leads to reasonably achievable objectives; a pleasure in taking responsibility; unified action based on common doctrinal understanding; the leader being at the point of main effort; clear responsibility boundaries; and an eagerness to support each other. Equally critical, is that of non-interference in what is not your business.[35]

Without using the terminology, it is easy to see that the Germans intuitively operate using the Cynefin framework of complex/complicated/chaotic domains. The Germans emphasis ‘probe-sense’, ‘sense-analyse’ or ‘act-sense’ approaches.[36] The result is an understanding of the need to apply ‘novel’, ‘emergent’ or ‘good’ practice to practical problems.[37]The heart and soul of Fuehren mit Auftrag is the achievement of the ‘desired result’ or ‘essential achievement’, not the method to be used.[38] [39] With a focus on the ‘ends’, the Germans seemed to be able to embrace reverse planning more easily than most in the ‘collective West’.[40] In essence: professional mastery, a search for objective truth, an embrace of logic, the capacity to listen to intuition and the application of sound imagination[41] are the underpinnings of mission command.

The German ‘superior-subordinate’ relationship is militarily unusual.[42] While the German military legal system retains a disciplinary code, the emphasis is on ‘self-discipline’, using Fuehren mit Auftrag within the context of Innere Fuehrung[43]. Innere Fuehrung[44] requires a soldier in a democracy—a citizen in uniform—to not serve or defend a regime, ruler, or ideology with unconditional obedience against the best of one’s knowledge and sense of service to a ‘just cause’.[45] Each soldier is obliged, continuously, to reassess their decisions, behaviour and actions on the constitutionality, legality and morality of their mission or task. A soldier does so to avoid the abuses of human rights that have been repugnant features of the past and the present, even in the Australian military[46]. The main aim of Innere Fuehrung is to prevent soldiers from once again becoming tools of oppression or injustice. The question of obedience, or the tolerable degree of obedience, was the central question to be answered.[47] Because of Innere Fuehrung, the Germans effectively moved from a master-servant model to one of ‘co-equals’, both charged with the achievement of the objective, both bearing responsibility for failure and both sharing in the praise of success. This is not the Australian command relationship; Australia retains the master-servant model and you can see some of the results from the soul searching after Afghanistan. Fortunately, within Australia you can see the German model[48] in many fields or professions, such as between a builder and their team of tradesmen, and even in sports teams. Within the militSary you see uncodified expression of the German approach amongst the engineers and to some extent in aviation[49]. The key to the success of the German model and why it has been embraced is because of strategic, operational and tactical successes where the probability was considered low.[50]

Most texts on mission command are written from an academic perspective, discussing the ideas of trust, training, initiative, bias for action etc. Few provide ideas that can be used on a daily basis to support mission command or improve its application. The following section will try to do so.

Military tasks are essentially the equivalent of what a civilian would call an activity, project or work package. Each tend to be temporary and unique endeavours designed to produce a product, service or result with a defined beginning and end, undertaken to meet unique goals and/or objectives to bring about beneficial change or added value.[51] [52] Combat, humanitarian, training, office or barracks tasks[53] tend to fit that definition too, though there are some repetitive ‘business as usual’ tasks that require best-practice approaches. In essence, military tasks can be described in project management terms of scope (the result desired or essential achievement), time (schedule/timings) and budget (personnel/resources/consumables/supplies).[54] The table below provides some comparisons for clarity.

Table 1 - Comparative Definitions
SourceScopeScope Sub-ElementsTimeResources
Project managementScopeWork-packageTimeBudget
Activity managementActivityEventTimingsResources
MilitaryTaskStages or PhasesTimingsSupplies
Capability developmentScopeWork-packageScheduleCosts

If orders or tasks are not provided with the necessary components—whichever terms are used—they are incomplete. Scope-time-budget (STB) is the bedrock of any activity; get one of the three elements wrong and trouble, friction and/or failure are likely. Historically, defining and sticking to the scope has been one of the biggest problems.[55] Militarily, all tasks can and should be thought of in terms of ‘task-time-resources’ (TTR) rather than scope-time-budget (STB), since the terms better match military thought. Another way to look at how to develop a sensible TRR is to use the ‘Look-See-Image-Show’ idea developed by Dan Roam. In some respect similar to the early parts of Boyd’s OODA loop, Roam considers Looking to be an observation process, while Seeing is about selection and clumping, it is akin to orientation. Imaging strives to sort ideas by deciding between them. And Showing is all about using visualisation tools to present the idea. The concept is supported by the 6WH (who, what, where, when, which, why and how) compared against Simple or elaborate, Quantity or quality, Vision or execution, Individual attributes or comparison and Change (delta) versus status quo creating the mnemonic SQVID[56]. The result is the production of portraits, charts, maps, time lines, flowcharts and plots that populate time series or value chains to Show.[57] Clearly there are other tools that could be incorporated.

Shortly after the embrace of the military appreciation process (MAP), Australian practice has been to use the idea of ‘essential’, ‘specified’ and ‘implied’ tasks. Unfortunately, it has gotten to the stage where planners are identifying long lists of essential, specified or implied tasks, especially during courses. The emphasis is often on the plural, and the longer the list the better. In the early days[58] of the MAP, there was only one essential task and it was derived directly from the groupings and task part of the order.[59] This was while the higher commander’s intent was taken verbatim, also from the order.[60] [61] Early benefits of the MAP were the embrace of visualisation tools, such as the modified combined obstacle overlay (MCOO) and situation templates (SITEMP).[62] This approach sped up planning and issuing orders. Essentially, there was no distraction from the ‘core problem’, ‘core task’ and ‘core result’.[63] Diagrammatically, the relationship between ‘essential-specified-implied’ tasks can be thought of as shown below.

Essential-Specified-Implied to Result Relationship

What should be appreciated from the diagram is that time matters. A ‘decision-action’ cycle must be such that an estimate[64] is made, a decision taken and orders issued at such a speed that it can be translated into action while the situation remains essentially the same[65]. The reality is that for various reasons it might not, so rules such as 1/3-2/3[66], which have become dogma, should be abandoned and replaced with an emphasis on giving the executing elements the most time to ‘prepare’, ‘deploy’ and ‘act’. To paraphrase Suvorov: ‘I fight in minutes’, meaning the fastest has a higher chance of ‘winning’[67]; and the fastest is usually the best prepared—cognitively[68], physically[69] and spiritually[70]. The difference between what was perceived and what exists is why a commander’s intent[71] is the ‘guiding compass’, not the order.

At this point, a short digression on the importance of understanding time and its impact on action is required. While planning or preparing to conduct an activity, we act as futurists[72] [73]. Futurists define at least six alternatives from: projected, preferable, probable, plausible, possible, potential to preposterous as a ‘futures cone’.[74] A ‘projected’ future is often considered ‘predicted’. The model provides a start point for orientation and acts as a ‘forcing function’ to expedite action while the situation is as stable as possible.[75] Since choices have consequences, future outcomes influence choices.[76]

Cone

Another way to think about tasks is from a doctrinal perspective. Doctrinally, a task in action tends to follow a sequence of: ‘consideration; preparation; movement to the action area; the conduct of the action itself; replenish/refurbishment; then a move to a holding/hide area; and subsequently reassignment’ to the next activity[77]. Diagrammatically it looks like:

Task Decontructed

The deconstruction diagram and the ‘futures cone’ illustrate why your ability to take advantage of an opportunity declines or changes over time. The sequence applies to combat, sport, work and other life areas. Each step reduces your options to diverge from the selected path, especially if you want to hit the desired result. The value of considering a task in generic execution terms is that it aids the development of drills, standing operating procedures (SOPs), actions-on and/or mission profiles.

Another idea that is useful is the basic process model. Each activity is based on inputs interacting with resources to be transformed through a process which is controlled by rules to generate an output. If you look at any drill, SOP, action-on or mission profile they can be deconstructed into the elements of a basic process map. If it cannot, then reworking is needed. Additionally, each work package, event, stage or phase can also be understood through the lens of a basic process map and the process maps can be linked into a Gantt chart. A synchronisation matrix is a form of Gantt chart, but with poor linkage and visualisation characteristics. The process map below shows a breakout from the action sequence provided earlier.

Essential Relationship

Another idea worth considering is crew resource management (CRM).[78] Crew resource management has been embraced by aviation and seems to be an idea that could be used in headquarters, crewed vehicles and even within task organised teams. CRM is a set of techniques and procedures to be used in environments where human error can have a devastating impact. CRM has primarily been used to improve aviation safety. The concept focuses on interpersonal communication, command relationships and decision making in aircraft cockpits. CRM concentrates on a wide range of skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours such as communication techniques, situational awareness techniques, problem-solving tool selection, decision-making process, and teamwork. Ideas such as the two-minute command post drill have CRM attributes that could be expanded further and incorporated into doctrine. It would seem that CRM and mission command could be easily integrated. However, the ability to formally challenge a superior must be provided for within the legal system—otherwise rank, not logic, wins. The days of the ‘master-servant model’ are coming to an end.

For the Germans, training[79] is the bedrock of Fuehren mit Auftrag.[80] With one of the key ideas being ‘schwerpunktbildung’[81]. Schwerpunktbildung is the nested concentration of effort on the most important, and the idea designed to support an understanding of why it is so. German training is best described as being based on operational needs, codified into doctrine then trained with purpose; not the other way round.[82] The objective is ‘operational professional mastery’ matched to the existing military epoch.[83] Mastery is ultimately predicated on the ability to identify cues, conduct pattern retrieval, develop a hypothesis, test that hypothesis and then act[84] ideally with an economy of effort that you see in a master.[85] That is why drills, SOPs, actions-on and mission profiles feature prominently—they enhance mastery. In essence the Germans seem to embrace end-states, reverse planning, perfection in training and expediency in execution. Thinking along German lines means that quite limited amounts of information need to be passed along a chain of command and fewer things have to be considered when tired, cold/hot, wet, wounded, injured or exhausted. Warfare is not conducted when you’re fresh. Mastery is the bedrock of mission command, and without competence at all levels mission command fails.

Mission command has been partially embraced by Australia. The idea that mission command is a shortcut that abrogates a commander’s responsibility and places it on the subordinate—a common refrain or criticism—must be abandoned. The partial embrace squanders its value and leads to some unintended consequences, which is especially limiting for a small military, such as Australia’s.

This paper provides an Australian view on mission command, a description of its source in the German concept of Auftragtaktik or Fuehren mit Auftrag and the ‘natural law’ concept of ‘subsidiarity’. Auftragtaktik is now embedded in the overarching German concept of Innere Fuehrung. The paper then links military tasks to the project or activity management ideas of ‘scope-time-budget’ or ‘task-time-resources’ and provides a short discussion on implied, specified and essential tasks. Searching for implied, specified and essential tasks is time wasting and misses the purpose of learning, practise, rehearsals and the use of aids such as standing operating procedures or aide memoirs or collectively doctrine. There is little need for doctrine if it is discarded to follow a process that devalues it. If nothing else, consistently talking about and accounting for ‘task-time-resource’ will go a long way to help in embracing mission command. Additionally, embracing crew resource management is highlighted as a concept that should be incorporated to round out mission command.

Mission command’s importance is that it empowers people.[86] While trite, it has real value. People who are allowed to exercise their own judgement are generally well-motivated compared to those who are not. They tend to make better subordinates and better superiors. Where appropriate, they learn from their mistakes because they have, within reason, been allowed to make them. A subordinate who is never allowed to make decisions may never make mistakes, but equally surely will never learn from them.[87] In essence: professional mastery, a search for objective truth, an embrace of logic, the capacity to listen to intuition and the application of sound imagination are underpinnings of and are reinforced through sound training. We should embrace mission command personally, technically, morally and legally.

Table 2 - Summary Table
TermDefinitionNotes
Mission commandA philosophy for command and a system for conducting operations in which subordinates are given clear direction by a superior of their intentions. Australian Defence Glossary (mil.au)The result required, the task, the resources and any constraints are clearly enunciated, however, subordinates are allowed the freedom to decide how to achieve the required result.
CommandThe authority which a commander in the military Service lawfully exercises over subordinates by virtue of rank or assignment. Notes: 1. Command includes the authority and responsibility for effectively using available resources and for planning the employment of organising, directing, coordinating and controlling military forces for the accomplishment of assigned missions. 2. It also includes responsibility for health, welfare, morale and discipline of assigned personnel. Australian Defence Glossary (mil.au)You should note that this does not accord with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (legislation.gov.au) Division 2-The Dictionary…proper, when used in relation to the use or management of public resources, means efficient, effective, economical and ethical.
AuftragtaktikTranslates as ‘task tactic’, which is an untranslatable idea in English. To overcome the translation issue it is usually translated as ‘mission-type tactics’. In mission-type tactics, the commander gives subordinates a clearly defined objective, the forces needed to accomplish that objective and a timeframe in which the objective must be accomplished. The subordinate leaders then decide on methods to achieve the objective independently. Mission-type tactics - Wikipedia.To a large extent, the subordinate leaders are given the planning initiative and a freedom in execution, which allows a high degree of flexibility. The concept frees the higher leader from micro-managing tasks.
BefehlstaktikIn command tactics, the recipient of the order is given: type, scope, use, means, places, routes, times and all other components that are crucial for execution. If, in the course of execution, the situation changes to such an extent that implementation is no longer achievable, it is not possible to react flexibly. Only after reporting to the supervisor and receiving a new order can alternate action be taken. Command tactics - Wikipedia.Command tactics existed in the armed forces of the Warsaw Pact and also in the armies of the Anglo-American states. There is no provision for self-reliant, independent action.
Fuehren mit AuftragThe successor term for Auftragstaktik in German. Usually translated as ‘lead by task’, but could be translated as ‘command by task’. The French use the term ‘command by intent’. So we have lead by task, mission command and command by intent, all three on first glances meaning something slightly different.I think the French provides a better interpretation of what the German words mean in English. Translating just three words shows the complexity of moving ideas between one language or culture to another.
Innere FuehrungInnere Führung is the leadership concept and philosophy of the Bundeswehr. It is based on the model of a thinking and responsible citizen in uniform. It anchors soldiers and the Bundeswehr in German society. Innere Führung determines the boundaries of command and obedience as well as the principle of leading with a mission. The concept is intended to alleviate the tensions between the individual rights of a free citizen and the military duties of the soldier. Innere Führung - WikipediaThe development of Innere Fuehrung occurred prior to the founding of the Bundswehr. The concept was designed, in part, to stop soldiers becoming tools of oppression and the abuses of human dignity that had occurred during the Wehrmacht period

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Footnotes

1 Czeslik, K LTCOL 1991, Auftragstaktik, Thoughts of a German Officer, Infantry Jan-Feb 1991

2 https://muse.jhu.edu/article/241516 This is the most authoritative reference. The quote is in response to unwanted oversight by Frederick the Great at the Battle of Zorndorf in 1758.

3 Kjoerstad, O 2010, German Officer Education in the Interwar Years: Frei im Geist, fest in Charakter! Submitted for MPil War Studies Department of History, University of Glasgow

4 The German Rifle Company, US Government Printing Office 1942, p312. The use of the term missions would be better translated as tasks.

5 Gallegos, M, Major (Retired), email of 08/08/2023 2:05PM. We often talk about understanding the action reaction counter-action cycle as the realm of the officer, while the non-commissioned and warrant officers make each happen.

6 Mission command is a philosophy for command and a system for conducting operations in which subordinates are given clear direction by a superior of their intentions. Note: The result required, the task, the resources and any constraints are clearly enunciated, however subordinates are allowed the freedom to decide how to achieve the required result. Search - Australian Defence Glossary (mil.au)

7 Command is the authority which a commander in the military Service lawfully exercises over subordinates by virtue of rank or assignment. Search - Australian Defence Glossary (mil.au) Notes: 1. Command includes the authority and responsibility for effectively using available resources and for planning the employment of organising, directing, coordinating and controlling military forces for the accomplishment of assigned missions. 2. It also includes responsibility for health, welfare, morale and discipline of assigned personnel. You should note that this does not accord with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (legislation.gov.au) Division 2-The Dictionary proper, when used in relation to the use or management of public resources, means efficient, effective, economical and ethical.

8 Auftragtaktik translates as task tactic, which is an untranslatable idea in English. To overcome the translation issue it is usually translated as mission tactics or Mission-type tactics - Wikipedia. Auftragtaktik is contrasted with Befehlstaktik (command tactic) Command tactics - Wikipedia. In command tactics, the recipient of the order is given: type, scope, use, means, places, routes, times and all other components that are crucial for execution. If, in the course of execution, the situation changes to such an extent that implementation is no longer achievable, it is not possible to react flexibly. Only after reporting to the supervisor and receiving a new order can alternate action be taken. Command tactics existed in the armed forces of the Warsaw Pact and also in the armies of the Anglo-American states. There is no provision for self-reliant, independent action. See also Czeslik, K LTCOL, 1991. Auftragstaktik, Thoughts of a German Officer, Infantry Jan-Feb 1991

9 Literal translation of Auftragstaktik.

10 Why constraints are listed is unknown.

11 ADF-P-3 Campaign and Operations Ed 3: para 4.8: The essence of mission command is a philosophy of centralised intent and decentralised execution and para 4.19: Mission command is not some kind of laissez faire anarchy

12 ADF-P-0 Command and Control and ADF-P-0 ADF Leadership. The idea of centralised intent and decentralised execution seems to be a play on the RAAF notion of centralised planning, decentralised execution. The idea has merit and should be considered further.

13 Defence Regulation 2016 (legislation.gov.au) Schedule 1Oath and affirmation faithfully discharge my duty according to law.

15 The German Rifle Company, US Government Printing Office 1942, p291: Section II Combat Orders, 75. Orders may bind only in so far as they correspond to the situations. Extract from Truppenfuehrung

16 The main Australian proponents of Mission Command are generally members of the Armoured Corps and especially the Cavalry. LWP-CA (MTD CBT) 3-3-6 Cavalry Regiment Section 1-3 Principles of Employment para 1.22 f: Mission command. Mission command is both the philosophy of command and the system for conducting operations in which subordinates are given a clear indication of a superiors intention and freedom to act within it. It is the framework that coordinates the bias for action. Mission command is enacted only when the following conditions are met: (1) the mission expresses the intent of the commander in an unmistakeable way (2) initiative is applied at all levels of command based on this intent (3) there is understanding and trust between commanders which has been developed through training (4) commanders are audacious, determined and innovative with the skills needed to operate technologically advanced equipment. Unfortunately, its hard to apply mission command when ad hoc teaming is the principle method of forming for deployments, based on non-doctrinal operationally specific manning documents.

17 Fuehren mit Auftrag is usually translated (transliterated) as lead by task, but could be translated as command by task. It is useful to note that the French use the term command by intent. I think the French provides a better interpretation of what the German words mean in English. Translating just three words shows the complexity of moving ideas between one language or culture to another.

18 Literal translation of Fuehrung mit Auftrag.

21 Subsidiarity - Wikipedia, The concept of subsidiarity has roots in the natural law philosophy of Thomas Aquinas.

22 A Brief Primer on Subsidiarity | Political Theology Network the term is, in fact, military in origin. The Roman subsidium was a military unit held in reserve until such time as it was need to step in to provide help for or to replace a failing unit, or to add resources in the collection of spoils after a victory. By analogy this idea of help or reinforcement was applied to social thought and philosophy, first more generally and later more technically and carefully.

24 Subsidiarity - Wikipedia, It is derived from the Latin verb subsidio (to aid or help), and the related noun subsidium (aid or assistance).

26 And an Australian one, given our shift to peer+ warfare.

27 Centre for Army (GBR) Leadership Insights: The Intelligently Disobedient Soldier, No1 Mar 2017. Sergeant Rubarths 11-man team, 10th Panzer Division fought their way through several defensive lines to reach its objective. The NCO was then faced with two options, either obey his orders to go firm and await reinforcement, or disobey them and exploit his success. Squatting on the edge of an enemy trench to survey the Stuka devastated landscape, Rubarth was joined by an infantry officer who barked an order to establish a defensive position. Rubarth dissented saying that the neighbouring 1st Panzer Division had stalled on the river bank and that his team were in an excellent position to get behind the defenders trapping their sister division. After a brief discussion (during which the officer lost the argument that 1st Panzer Division was not their concern) Rubarth briefed his men and successfully executed his new mission. The success created such destructive chaos that it unlocked the heart of the French defences and had decisive operational significance. The Wehrmacht had endeavoured to normalise such moral courage and why its formations were so happy to encourage it. Walther Rubarth was awarded a commission and the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross for his leadership on 13 May 1940. Sadly, he was killed in action during the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.

28 Lohmann, K-P LTCOL (Bundeswehr) 2007. Fuehren mit Auftrag Mission Command, Armor, Nov-Dec 2007. See the story of the Oberjager (senior mountain troop soldier) who crossed the Pinios River to seize positions on the far bank, even though his orders were to reconnoitre and report.

29 This sounds like crew resource management (CRM). The Germans seem to have understood that teams are dynamic organisms that thrive and grow if fed the right combination of inputs and resources, provided with sensible controls and removing anything that limits that growth.

30 Essentially Befehlstaktik. This is a common flaw in Australian staff officers, especially in Canberra, that is they espouse mission command, but demand no action except what they direct.

31 However, it should be noted that The commander must permit freedom of action to his subordinates insofar that this does not endanger the whole scheme. He must not surrender to them those decisions for which he alone is responsible. Truppenfuhrung (1935).

32 Correct or not is difficult to discern in combat; due to the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity of the situation one confronts. Judgement is based on what is known and the logic of what follows.

33 Czeslik, K LTCOL (Bundeswehr) 1991, Auftragstaktik, Thoughts of a German Officer, Infantry Jan-Feb 1991

34 Ive regularly heard superior officers say, I dont trust the guy, but generally mean, I dont like him. They rarely can identify competence issues. Competent is first amongst equals when it comes to mission command.

35 Kuester, J LTCOL (Bundeswehr) 2016, Fuehren mit Auftrag, Mission Command from a German Point of View, Military Review, 13 May 2016 Fhren mit Auftrag (army.mil)

38 Silva, JL LTCOL (Bundeswehr) 1989, Auftragstaktik Its origin and Development Baltic Defence College, April 1999.

39 Lohmann, K-P LTCOL (Bundeswehr) 2007, Fuehren mit Auftrag Mission Command, Amor, Nov-Dec 2007

40 Doerner, D 1996, The Logic of Failure: Recognizing And Avoiding Error In Complex Situations ISBN 0201479486

41 The following elements: professional mastery, a search for objective truth, an embrace of logic, the capacity to listen to intuition and application of sound imagination are derived from the work of McGilchrist, I. Dr, 2019. Ways of Attending How our Divided Brain Constructs of the World Routledge, Abingdon.

43 Innere Fhrung Wikipedia Originally called Inneres Gefuege internal organisation and cohesion. Wolf Graf von Baudissin, one of its main architects, stated that Inneres Gefuege made it clear that it was more than just a leadership idea. The other pioneers of Innere Fhrung were Lieutenant General (retd) Hans Speidel and Adolf Heusinger, Colonel (retd) Johann Adolf Graf von Kielmansegg and Lieutenant Colonel (retd) Ulrich de Maizi貥. All were Wehrmacht officers.

44 Kutz, M 2003. Innere Fhrung Leadership And Civic Education In The German Armed Forces, Jstor, September 2003.

45 This point creates moral dilemmas stick with the group or stand on principle. Innere Fuehrung provides the mechanism to question authority, resist coercion, think clearly and act correctly.

46 A review of the Brereton Report should point the need for a like concept in the ADF Brereton Report - Wikipedia

47 Beardsley, S 2019, Citizens in Uniform: The Bundeswehrs Innere Fhrung and the Cold War divide, pdf

48 The German model could be interpreted as the natural model. A model is in tune with the nature of man.

49 Aviation has embraced crew resource management (CRM). While retaining a command hierarchy, CRM is intended to foster a less authoritarian cockpit culture. With CRM, co-pilots are encouraged to question captains if they observed them making mistakes. CRM encourages team members to be experts at their jobs and know enough about other team members jobs so that you become an asset to the organisation. Personnel are encouraged to forecast what is likely to happen based on an estimate of the environment and an understanding what it means.

50 Centre for Army (GBR) Leadership Insights: The Intelligently Disobedient Soldier, No1 Mar 2017. A succession of service heads had fermented a nurturing but demanding culture based on intellectual development through curiosity, critical thinking, imagination and open-mindedness. It embraced new technologies and radical military thinking while putting an emphasis on the production oftwo types of leader, those best suited to drive the army in peacetime and those that had potential to excel in war-fighting. In this way, the German Army not only survived near death, but quickly acquired vigorous new life.

51 Nokes, S& Kelly, S 2007. The Definitive Guide to Project Management: The Fast Track to Getting the Job Done on Time and on Budget. ISBN 9780273710974

53 The temporary nature of projects stands in contrast with business as usual (BAU) or operations that are repetitive, permanent, or semi-permanent activities. In practice, distinctly different skills, knowledge, attitudes and management strategies are needed for the two types of activity.

54 Baratta, A 2006, "The triple constraint a triple illusion". PMI. Retrieved December 22, 2020. Barratta states the primary constraints are scope, time, and budget, but it is better known within the military development areas as scope, schedule and cost.

55 Why do projects really fail? (pmi.org) Scope creep is one of eight listed. It is often in the top ten causes of failure.

56 S stands for Simple, Q for Quality, V for Vision, I for Individual and D for change. Often the best solutions are the simplest and the most obvious ones. Visualising key insights helps to better assimilate and implement ideas. While the best way to communicate is through visualisations. The SQVID technique is an extremely easy technique to learn and use. Solving Problems with Pictures.

57 Solving Problems with Pictures. Book Review: The back of the napkin | by Oana Serban | Aug, 2023 | Bootcamp (uxdesign.cc) Each problem has an element of: Why, for Whom and with What, How much, Where, When, Which choice and How to get there from here.

58 I was a student on the first Infantry Regimental Officers Advance Course to embrace the new MAP. Some of those instructors are still alive. Since then the considerable movement has occurred, making the MAP appear cumbersome, unwieldy and focused on itself, rather than a process to develop a robust order.

59 Lohmann, K-P (Bundeswehr) 2007, Fuehren mit Auftrag Mission Command, Armor, Nov-Dec 2007. This remains the case for the Germans.

60 Lohmann, K-P (Bundeswehr) 2007, Fuehren mit Auftrag Mission Command, Armor, Nov-Dec 2007. Again remaining the German approach.

61 The German Rifle Company, US Government Printing Office 1942, p312 The commander's decision for his unit as a whole, and the missions to subordinate units in support of the decision, are communicated to subordinates by clear and concise orders, which give them freedom of action appropriate to their professional knowledge, to the situation, to their dependability, and to the team-play desired.

62 We thought finally, a picture says a thousand words had arrived.

63 Truppenfuehrung, HDv 300, Edited by Condell, B & Zabecki, DT 2009 Stackpole Books p22-38, especially para 36

64 Kill the Homothetic Army: Gen. Guy Hubins Vision of the Future Battlefield - War on the Rocks (mil.au) The French army has always taught the imperative of trusting ones gut. Decide, and decide fast The quantity of data and current and future computing power makes it increasingly possible to run models and simulations and quickly come up with something close to objective answers.

65 Cynefin framework - Wikipedia Cynefin offers a sense-making device. Cynefin contains five decision contexts: clear, complicated, complex, chaotic, and confusion. The model helps managers to identify situations, make sense of their own and other people's behaviour and offer modes of action. The framework draws on research into systems theory, complexity theory, network theory and learning theories.

66 LWD 5-1-4 Military Appreciation process p136, Table 4-1 Mission Analysis Aide Memoire. A Lessons Review found: 1/3 2/3 had become dogma in Army, but is not used in joint publications. The Review recommended: reject the 1/3 2/3 rule and remove from the publication and training regime. Replace with commanders and planners are to maximise the time for subordinates to plan and prepare. Maximising subordinate planning and preparation time can be achieved by using warning orders, simple/quick orders, confirmatory orders, fragmentary orders and most importantly concept rehearsals via simulation, wargames and talk-thru activities.

67 The Classic Approach (archive.org) One minute, Suvorov asserted, decides the outcome of a battle, one hour the success of a campaign, one day the fate of empires ... I operate not by hours but by minutes. Menning, BW Dr, 1986. Art of Victory - Train Hard, Fight Easy: the Legacy of A.V. Sovorov, Air University Review, Nov-Dec 1986

68 Right thinking, drawing on education, perception, facts and imagination.

69 Right action, action with the least waste of effort or resources.

70 Right preparation of the souls and awareness of the mortality of both parties in the struggle.

71 Vandier, P 2023, How to Adapt to a World of Uncertainty? Harvard Business Review France, Command by intent requires that the leader clearly articulate the goal and that the goal is understood by subordinates who can then take ownership of it and implement it within the reality of available resources. Intention provides a "space for autonomy" which, while giving a common meaning to the action of multiple actors, allows them to find the best local solutions, adapted to the contingency of their tactical situation. It enhances the ability of teams to adapt while remaining accountable for achieving their assigned goal.

73 Voros J 2003, A generic foresight process framework, Foresight, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 10-21. doi:10.1108/14636680310698379

77 The sequence could be considered a mission profile. A mission profile is a simplified representation of all relevant static and dynamic elements that a system is exposed to within a set of conditions.

79 At the Kriegsschule Potsdam (Knappe) -We got homework every second or third weekend. In an attempt to put us under stress similar to a combat situation, they gave us very little time to do the assignment. They would give us a situation in which we were a battalion commander. Our battalion was given a certain goal for the day and we were marching to meet that goal. Suddenly we would receive a message that the enemy had been spotted. Then we might get a contradictory message. Then we would encounter something else that would alter the situation. The problem was written our and we would read it as if we were seeing it. From all the information given us, we had to make our decision. Three or four possibilities might be equally correct. We had to judge the situation and make a decision on the basis of what we knew. We had to write the orders we would give to implement that decision. We had to explain why we made the decision; it was not so much that we had to make a patent decision as how we came to it, how we defended it, and how we executed it. Siegfried Knappe and Ted Brusaw. Soldat: Reflections of a German Soldier, 1936-1949. (New York: Random House, 1992), p104. Quoted in The Form Changes, the Spirit Remains the Same: German Officer Training, 1919-1938 dissertation by C.B.L. Bunn, North Carolina State University, Rayleigh, 2019.

80 Silva, JL LTCOL (Bundeswehr) 1989, Auftragstaktik Its origin and Development Baltic Defence College, April 1999. Critically important to the institutionalisation of Auftragstaktik was the superior military education provided to officers in the Kriegsakademie.

81 Schwerpunktbildung - English translation The massing or concentration of force. Militarily it is the concentration by echelon (lowest to highest) of force or mass. From a sports perspective a rugby maul exhibits Schwerpunktbildun

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(Basan, 2023)
Basan, T. 2023. 'Mission Command: Unfinished Business'. Available at: https://theforge.defence.gov.au/article/mission-command-unfinished-business (Accessed: 25 June 2024).
(Basan, 2023)
Basan, T. 2023. 'Mission Command: Unfinished Business'. Available at: https://theforge.defence.gov.au/article/mission-command-unfinished-business (Accessed: 25 June 2024).
Thomas Basan, "Mission Command: Unfinished Business", The Forge, Published: October 18, 2023, https://theforge.defence.gov.au/article/mission-command-unfinished-business. (accessed June 25, 2024).
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