Small Wars Journal

U.S. Advise-and-Assist Missions Erode Leadership Skills, Army General Says

U.S. Advise-and-Assist Missions Erode Leadership Skills, Army General Says by Matthew Cox –

The head of Army Training and Doctrine Command said Jan. 7 that the U.S. military's advise-and-assist missions in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan have eroded young leaders' confidence and willingness to make necessary decisions.


Gen. Stephen Townsend, TRADOC commander, said he is "troubled" that many young leaders -- from sergeants to lieutenant colonels -- don't believe in Army Mission Command, the service's doctrine designed to empower ground combat leaders to make decisions that may not follow initial orders from senior commanders.


"There is a lot of agreement that Mission Command is the right leadership and command doctrine for our Army; however, there is an alarming number of folks in uniform who don't believe that we, as an Army, are constantly practicing the principles of Mission Command," he told an audience Monday at an Association of the United States Army event.


Townsend said this has become obvious to him after visiting pre-command courses across the service, especially when he shows a slide with the six tenets of Mission Command…

Read on.


Rhetorical question: Who is responsible for developing leadership skills of junior leaders, regardless of mission? GOs seem to do a lot of talking about the necessity and utility of mission command, butt do not seem to understand how to actually exemplify or implement the philosophy. Junior leaders are not the problem. They never have been.