DROP ZONE: Success in Multi-Domain Battle relies on Mission Command

“They are fracturing our way of war by using other domains.”
–Gen. David Perkins, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s commanding general

While there are competing visions of what the future battlefield will look like, who the actors will be, and what capabilities will be required to win, there is general agreement that the future battlefield will be one of increased complexity, uncertainty, and that all domains will continue to gain interdependence and be contested.

As the future battlefield continues to be debated, a topic of conversation is the role of Mission Command in Multi-Domain Battle. The notion that Mission Command does not allow for synchronization, unity of effort, or mass are simply not true. Mission Command still allows for degrees of control, but leaders must acknowledge that contested domains will interrupt communications to and from higher headquarters and adjacent units, forcing subordinate leaders to make timely decisions that either seize or forfeit the initiative. A refusal to acknowledge this reality will affect how leader development and collective training is structured and ultimately not prepare units to face realities of future combat operations.

The conversation involving Mission Command must continue.

David “Cam” Smith is a United States Army Armor officer. He is attending Air Command and Staff College with a Multi-Domain Operational Strategist Concentration at Maxwell AFB, Montgomery.

Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.


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One thought on “DROP ZONE: Success in Multi-Domain Battle relies on Mission Command

  • November 1, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Can “they” (mission level command) conduct operations (ie, coordinate across the theater) without any dependence on tactical or operational text chat?


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