A commander must be guided by a set of principles in order to provide authority and direction to forces. According to Army Doctrine Publication 6-0 Mission Command, a commander utilizes the six principles of the Mission Command philosophy to successfully lead.
Maj. Gen. Wayne W. Grigsby, Jr., Combined Joint task Force-Horn of Africa commander, briefed the cadets of the Joint Military Academy of Arta, Dec. 27, 2014, on the six principles used to empower agile and adaptive leaders in the conduct of unified land operations.
“The way that you transform an army is through its mind, and they do that in the classroom here when they are studying and reading to build that education base at the Joint Military Academy of Arta,” said Grigsby. “Part of that education is learning about Mission Command, which is building relationships based on trust and understanding what you and your teammates are trying to accomplish in todays force.”
The six primary principles of Mission Command are:
- Build cohesive teams through mutual trust
- Create shared understanding
- Provide a clear commander’s intent
- Exercise disciplined initiative
- Use mission orders
- Accept prudent risk
According to the ADP 6-0, the exercise of mission command is based on mutual trust, shared understanding and purpose. Grigsby used his experiences in command to give examples of effective use of mission command while stressing what is the most important; building cohesive teams through trust.
“The most important principle is that foundation you have to build, building that team on trust and everything else falls underneath.” Grigsby said. .“You are always a constant coach, team builder and that is the real reason of being a good leader.”
According to the cadets, having the opportunity to listen and be educated on the Mission Command philosophy and art of war is priceless to them.
“The future leaders of the Military Academy would like to thank Gen. Grigsby for his speech and sharing his numerous experiences in the art of war and for the special interest he showed us,” said Nasra Ahmed Said, Joint Military Academy of Arta, fifth promoting, second year. “The chosen topic of his lecture will remind us to always be prepared in the task in hand. The future of our nation lays in the decisions we take today.”
The cadets of the Joint Military academy will go on after graduation and become the officers of the Djiboutian military forces. The academy is the sole training facility for their education. Having a general officer come in to speak with the cadets provides them that outsider’s perspective.
According to Colonel Mohamed Ali Obsieh, Joint Military Academy of Arta director general, these sessions with CJTF-HOA senior leadership provide a wealth of experience into the officer environment.
“The cadets we are training here in this academy will go on to be the future of the Djiboutian forces, and will lead the soldiers of tomorrow,” said Obsieh. “This meeting has inspired the cadets and has giving them, great experiences to learn from.”
The engagement of CJTF-HOA and the 407th Civil Affairs Battalion with support from the 2-16 Infantry Battalion at the Joint Military Academy of Arta has been an ever growing partnership that has been built upon trust and teamwork for the past two years, beginning the first year with only English discussion group, to now teaching different courses of material to the Joint Interagency, Intergovernmental and Multinational teammates.
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