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The Real Purpose Of MDMP: Creating Solid Orders When We’re Not Patton Or Rommel
The Military Decision Making Process (MDMP) has always been a fun dog to kick. MDMP can be a laborious process, filled with intricate details, and intense work packed into short spans of time. New staff officers and even experienced commanders bemoan the easy ability to get lost in the details of creating an order before a good order is even created. With all the challenges of the MDMP process, the question must be asked: Is MDMP even worth the trouble?
These criticisms of MDMP are all true, but these criticisms miss the real reasons that make the MDMP so valuable.
99.99% of us won’t be great military planners. No amount of studying military history will make a staff officer into a great military leader. Understanding military history helps staff officers plan, but great military leaders are abysmally rare. The MDMP provides commanders, staff officers, and subordinates a workable framework to create, coordinate, and assign military tasks to a military organization that can be further coordinated, resourced, rehearsed, and war-gamed against competitors to have the greatest probability of success. In short, MDMP helps mediocre military planners (the 99.99% of us that plan and create military operations) create military operations that have the best opportunity of success.
It makes us think about how we contribute to the bigger picture. One of the guiding principles of the MDMP is to help subordinate, adjacent, and enabling military forces to understand how their actions and activities contribute to the success of the supported military commander. MDMP lays out a framework of understanding the supported and supporting military missions as well as providing the all-important Commander’s Intent. The process to fully address and distribute not only the interlocking mission statements but also the Commander’s Intent so subordinate units and soldiers fully understand what success looks like and how to incorporate initiative to support opportunity on the battlefield. When battlefield tasks are paired with understanding, a major value of the MDMP process proves relevant to even modern battlefields.
It gives subordinate, supported, and supporting units an expectation of provided information. In complex and ambiguous situations, an expectation of the information, framework, and clear understandings of the tasks to be accomplished are invaluable. While the MDMP is cumbersome, it does provide information to execute military operations and a standardized description of tasks (doctrine) quite well.
Future improvements for the MDMP need to focus on how to make the MDMP more agile, a faster process for distribution to subordinate and adjacent units, and a way to rapidly update tasks and timings when battlefield conditions and enemy actions transform plans to take advantage of an unexpected opportunity. As I have written before, the Course of Action (COA) development process remains one of the greatest opportunities for technology and battlefield automation to assist in the orders process.
Lt. Col. Chad Storlie (U.S. Army, ret.) is a veteran of Iraq and the author of Combat Leader to Corporate Leader. He works in marketing technology and teaches as an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. He can be reached at Chad.Storlie@gmail.com
Constant deployments broke the Air Force's B-1 fleet. Now the service is facing a major bomber shortfall
On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.
In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.
A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.
The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.
Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Verizon committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace. Verizon is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn More.
Verizon values leadership, motivation, self-discipline, and hard work — all characteristics that veterans bring to the table. Sometimes, however, veterans struggle with the transition back into the civilian workplace. They may need guidance on interview skills and resume writing, for example.
By participating in the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program and developing internal programs to help veterans find their place, Verizon continues its support of the military community and produces exceptional leaders.
CAIRO (Reuters) - Islamic State's media network on Monday issued an audio message purporting to come from its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi saying operations were taking place daily and urging freedom for women jailed in Iraq and Syria over their alleged links to the group.
"Daily operations are underway on different fronts," he said in the 30-minute tape published by the Al Furqan network, in what would be his first message since April. He cited several regions such as Mali and the Levant but gave no dates.
'An insane game changer' — Soldiers are about to receive the Army's most advanced night vision goggles yet
Soldiers with the 1st Infantry Division are just days away from becoming the first to get their hands on the most advanced night vision goggles the Army has fielded yet.