Combat, Orders, and Judgment

Insufficiently-told stories.


You won’t like losing.

19 responses to “Combat, Orders, and Judgment

  1. Reblogged this on The way I see things … and commented:
    This was the pivotal watershed moment of D Day–three Navy officers and four Rangers, disobeyed orders and created the decisive acts of disobedience that saved the beach. As a major in Frederick the Great’s German army admonished a lieutenant during a battle:

    “The King gave you a commission because he assumed you knew when to disobey an order.”

    There is a lesson here. Flexibility exercised with good judgment is a pearl without price if it resides within the mind of the man on the spot.

  2. Anton Chigurh

    so we beat the Nazis in WWII so that the descendants of “the greatest generation” could be enslaved by political correctness, usury and unlimited immigration?

  3. Centurion_Cornelius

  4. Here’s a beach head for you. This will be the model going forward. The collapsing blue hives will be subsumed by the collapsing state gov’s. New boss same as the old boss but new boss gets more territory. Oh and collapsing states will be subsumed by FedGov. Now start working on a plan to survive Venezueala X 50 (or 51 if you count the future Rican state).

    While we debate the finer points of webb gear the commies are folding up the country. The next gen can not will not be able to fight. They are already disabled by massive flouride, SSRI, screen hypnosis, dindu culture festivals at school etc etc. Pink fucking sock brigade will not be free they will be slaves and it will be our fcking fault.

    • nope. (((They))) are doing it all by pyramiding debt. When the ponzi collapses, they fall. This is, in fact, the basic pattern of Jewish history: repeated, violent power accretions and then downfall. And I fear that, this time, (((they))) will attain terminal velocity.

    • Don’t forget that California has, either as the result of Brown’s delusional state or a well considered political move, ala Soros, declared itself an independent nation while still sucking down a Trillion a year in welfare. It is probably there that war will break-out between the Cubans/Lefties/Islamists crossing enmasse and US troops

  5. It’s a great article about a historic moment. Here is the problem: JUDGEMENT. Too many read this sort of thing, along with articles on Mission Command, and without training or developed judgement assume they can do whatever they want in combat.

    Absent a clear emergency such as the D-Day scenrio described, this is what makes units fail and gets people killed. Disciplined action along with good judgement, control, sequencing and initiative is what succeeds.


    • Can’t believe this simple stuff has to be reviewed here. You’re not only right Max, you’re obviously right. ANY team goal, whether building a widget or slaying the opposition, REQUIRES a chain of command It’s so obviously true that it deserves no further discussion.

      Though it would be nice if you’d recognize that to get there–to WIN–requires STRONG egos to commit themselves to that, rather than abandoned ones. But that’s ethical philosophy, not on-the-spot tactics. Ha, it’s why we have “division of labor”!

      “Individualism does NOT mean alone.”

  6. Initiative, as part of a strategy, that was part of a Grand Strategy.

    Rugged Individualists need not apply.

    • “Rugged Individualists need not apply.”

      You don’t know what you’re talking about. Those Warriors who won the wars we did, if you wanna call it “winning,” were nearly to a man rugged individualists. It’s what almost all Americans were, not that long ago. The ones we never win–that go on and on and on with little purpose beyond oil and poppies–those are the ones fought by mental zombies who reject individualism.

      So why are you encouraging that?

      • It is best expressed by Rommel – “the officers of a panzer division must learn to think and act independently within the framework of a general plan, and not wait for orders.” The key phrase here is “within the framework of a general plan” which is something the US military culturally can not do. We crank out hundred page division OPORDs, and brigade OPORDs that can easily reach 50 pages of text trying to plan for any possible variable, all of which will be displayed on the various screens of battlefield information systems, BLUEFOR tracker, et. al., and managed by the appropriate TOC, or White House situation room.

        Auftragstaktik works for the Germans because their military culture and personnel system for officers supports it. The system rewards officers who seek responsibility and demonstrate initiative. Learning from mistakes is encouraged and required. Thus, they can deal with a real mission type order, such as prevent the enemy from taking Atlanta. Commanders are free to defend at any location they wish or to attack at any time and location they wish in order to achieve that objective. As one unit gets engaged, other unit commanders react to the situation and add their units to the mix in order to achieve the overall objective.

        Contrast tot he US approach which typically results in the mission to defend Phase Line Orange or reduce number of insurgent attacks by X. The tasking itself tends to dictate the tactics employed, and inhibit the options available to the unit commander. When the US does go more free form, the culture tends to be for each unit commander to try to show how he (this is pre Rainbow Army [TM] experience) is better at commanding units than anyone else is. Notice the lack of the framework of a general plan …. That is why many of the vets here will tend to downplay the virtue of the “rugged individual”. That initiative needs to contribute to mission success, and not be an attempt to highlight the individual at the expense of the team.

      • I know very well of which I speak.

        Your cognitive and reasoning skills however, lack luster.

        You should work on them.

  7. Courage to exercise disciplined initiative, perceptiveness as to achieving the commander’s intent, and good judgment are what makes or breaks victory. This is why the bureaucratic mind fears initiative and judgment even when it brings results, and prefers process and adhering to “The Plan” even when it excludes good results.

  8. Exasperated Citizen

    This article pointed out some essential considerations. Keeping the Commander’s intent firmly in mind, as conditions and realities CHANGE, on the ground, as opposed to simply acting ONLY on the initial orders, especially when there’s no way to contact Higher, to ask for permissions which usually WON’T arrive in time, is the responsibility of the man on the scene.

    This brings to mind the old joke that arises when one has to take some initiative, NOW, instead of playing “Mother may I,” and awaiting permission from Higher: “You can Court Martial me, if I survive!”

    The only thing I saw amiss in this article was that a Navy Lt. JG is the equivalent of an Army 1rst Lt. An Ensign is the equivalent of a 2nd Lt.

  9. Alfred E. Neuman

    Reblogged this on FOR GOD AND COUNTRY.

  10. I knew Col. Nightingale as our Bn. Commander when I was in 1st Ranger Bn. back in the mid eighties. He is a highly intelligent man and extremely well read. While a company of us were deployed to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 1987, he gave us an off the cuff dissertation of T.E. Lawerence and his exploits in the area within which we trained.

    I met him again when I was on an MTT to Bolivia in the early nineties. He was assigned to MilGroup there.

    Always personable and approachable, there was never a doubt he cared for his troops and their wellbeing. Good man.