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This excellent report has been professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction. Mission orders as described in ADP 6-0, are the foundation of mission command, because it sets the tone of a command climate. Mission orders tell a subordinate what to do and why he is doing it, but does not tell him how. By not telling a subordinate how to do something they can better account for and deal with the friction and fog of war to accomplish the commander's intent. ADP 6-0 Mission Command published in September 2012 lays out principles and tasks for commanders and staffs to prepare orders, and to execute command and control operations. ADP 6-0 states that army mission command comes from the German concept of Auftragstaktik.
This study analyzes the U.S. Army's historical examples of mission command in using three distinctly different American general officers from three separate periods of American military history. Mission command existed in the American army prior to the Prussian army of the mid to late nineteenth century and the US Army's formal adoption of mission command in the 1980. Analysis of the military careers of Generals Zachary Taylor, Ulysses S. Grant, and John J. Pershing shows these military commanders successfully displayed a mission command style of command. To conduct this analysis a short biography that shapes the traits, personality, and education of the general is important along with a description of the military environment of their respective period. These two important aspects place in context the detailed analysis of how they applied mission command to achieve operational and strategic success through military means.
Historical examples of mission command educate leaders and provide tools to draw from, so they can effectively lead soldiers in combat when a lack of combat experience exists. American commanders applied mission command throughout all conflicts the United States has participated in, and it began prior to German Auftragstaktik. American examples are more applicable for American leaders as the U.S. military culture of citizen soldiers is very different from the militaristic society of Germany that produced Auftragstaktik. There is a current a gap in historical examples of mission command that portray the command style used by historical American leaders. By educating current army leaders with successful historical examples of mission command, they can effectively apply mission command.