Army Staff Doctrine Development toward Mission Command and the Decline in Staff Performance
Technical Report,26 Jun 2017,24 May 2018
US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States
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Army training evaluations of military staffs indicate these staffs struggle to perform the tasks necessary to fully support the commander. Despite the existence of doctrinal manuals, field training, and Army schools, battalion, brigade and division level staffs fail to control operations and support the commanders ability to make decisions. The question, therefore, is why are these staffs unprepared to perform the functions necessary to control operations and support decision making Simultaneously, business management theories have articulated a clear role for managers in the execution of routine organizational operations and their duties in support of organizational leaders. The business world embraces the idea of managers and leaders, as analogs for the staff and commander, having different roles and functions. Henry Mintzberg and John Kotter have described those roles and hold that the roles of the manager and leader are distinct, separate and complementary. In all, nearly 30 Army doctrinal manuals on operations, and command and control, dating from 1938 to 2017, were evaluated to determine the role of the staff relative to the commander and the specific guidance to the staff officer on his routine responsibilities. This review revealed the Armys changing views of the staff and an increasing focus on the commander. It appears that staffs struggle to perform their tasks because control doctrine has become excessively commander centric, fractured and spread between several manuals and has not changed to account for changes to command doctrine. Army staffs struggle to succeed because doctrine does not fully define the role or requirements of the staff and does not fully educate officers to execute their duties. The army should consider addressing this shortcoming by incorporating contemporary business theories and models into Army staff doctrine.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics