Mechanisms to emplace a leader-to-leader model
Write it into the order.
I received a large last-minute task yesterday to write a notional operations order (OPORD) to help one of our company commanders for a field competition. And by help, I mean that I did most of it for him.
What he did was fine. He said that he just needed something simple enough for his Soldiers in the field to repeat back where they are, what they’re doing, and why. The more complicated the order, the tougher it’ll be for them to remember it.
Well, he wasn’t the only one getting graded. His boss was, too. That means the order had to look robust enough to reflect his boss’s level.
I didn’t volunteer to help. His work likely met the intent. My boss had a different picture in mind and directed me to help.
It was role play. I had a lot of discretion in “making shit up.” Yet I could only make up so much without crossing over into “that’s not something we’d actually do or expect to encounter.”
Of course, I try to have fun with my work. An OPORD has a particular format. Five paragraphs: situation, mission, execution, sustainment, and command and signal.
Within the execution paragraph, there’s a subparagraph called the concept of operations. I saw this as my opportunity to write the following:
“…it remains imperative that subordinate units avoid waiting for formal tasks or orders from BN HQ, but instead take the initiative to work closely with supported units in anticipating [higher]’s requirements. Rigid hierarchies cannot respond fast enough to both repel the enemy and retain the initiative. Subordinate commanders remain closest to ground truth and therefore best informed of the situation as it unfolds, as well as best positioned to rapidly respond. BN HQ will issue formal orders as required, and to ratify the initiative of its companies. So long as subordinate efforts align with the commander’s intent, such efforts remain reasonable and BN will assume the risk. Companies receive direct liaison authority (DIRLAUTH) with supported units…”
Soon as I finished my final draft this morning, it went straight to whatever meeting needed it.
Not sure if it even got read.
I wrote the battalion order and the company order.
Guess I’ll find out.