Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
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
On a military base, a black flag is bad news. That means it's too hot outside to do anything strenuous, so training and missions are put off until conditions improve.
As the climate changes, there could be plenty more black flag days ahead, especially in Florida, a new analysis from the Union of Concerned Scientists found. America's military bases could see an average of an extra month of dangerously hot days by mid-century. In Florida, they could quadruple.
Pentagon data shows heat-related illnesses and injuries are on the rise in every branch of the military. Last year, nearly 2,800 troops suffered heatstroke or heat exhaustion, a roughly 50 percent jump from 2014.
"I think most of us, if we hear there are tens of thousands of cases of heat stress in our troops every year, our minds would go to where they were deployed," said Kristy Dahl, a senior climate scientist at UCS and the lead author of the study. "But more than 90% of the military cases of heatstroke happened right here at home."
BANGKOK (Reuters) - The United States and South Korea said on Sunday they will postpone upcoming military drills in an effort to bolster a stalled peace push with North Korea, even as Washington denied the move amounted to another concession to Pyongyang.
The drills, known as the Combined Flying Training Event, would have simulated air combat scenarios and involved an undisclosed number of warplanes from both the United States and South Korea.
An opening ceremony will be held Monday on Hawaii island for a military exercise with China that will involve about 100 People's Liberation Army soldiers training alongside U.S. Army counterparts.
This comes after Adm. Phil Davidson, head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, spoke on Veterans Day at Punchbowl cemetery about the "rules-based international order" that followed U.S. victory in the Pacific in World War II, and China's attempts to usurp it.
Those American standards "are even more important today," Davidson said, "as malicious actors like the Communist Party of China seek to redefine the international order through corruption, malign cyber activities, intellectual property theft, restriction of individual liberties, military coercion and the direct attempts to override other nations' sovereignty."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to "act quickly" to reach a deal with the United States, in a tweet weighing in on North Korea's criticism of his political rival former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump, who has met Kim three times since 2018 over ending the North's missile and nuclear programs, addressed Kim directly, referring to the one-party state's ruler as "Mr. Chairman".
In his tweet, Trump told Kim, "You should act quickly, get the deal done," and hinted at a further meeting, signing off "See you soon!"
It is impossible to tune out news about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump now that the hearings have become public. And this means that cable news networks and Congress are happier than pigs in manure: this story will dominate the news for the foreseeable future unless Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt get back together.
But the wall-to-wall coverage of impeachment mania has also created a news desert. To those of you who would rather emigrate to North Korea than watch one more lawmaker grandstand for the cameras, I humbly offer you an oasis of news that has absolutely nothing to do with Washington intrigue.