SMALL WARS COUNCIL
Go Back   Small Wars Council > The Small Wars Community of Interest > TRADOC Senior Leaders Conference

TRADOC Senior Leaders Conference Discuss issues from the TSLC.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-06-2010   #221
wm
Council Member
 
wm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: On the Lunatic Fringe
Posts: 1,237
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Jakola View Post
I suggest it is like driving a car where we are quite confident of reaching our destination without incident; but, we remain vigilent and prepared to react in case something goes awry. It is more than just being reactive to the environment; it requires us to constantly envision what could go wrong and then prepare to prevent or overcome potential problems should they materialize.
If this what exemplifies design, then my earlier comment about old wine seems dead on.

I would hope that a relook of our process would yield is something much more radical than this:
"We have to get from point A to point B. Let's load up the Strykers and drive to B. But be ready folks. We may encounter native raidng parties so let's prepare for actions on contact. And get our ISR assets out so we don't get ambushed. The bridge may be washed out so we'll have to bring an AVLB--or a Wolverine if we can beg one from higher--and be ready to take some alternative routes. Remember to ask for a continuous FMV feed from Cortps assets so we can decide what other routes might be availalble.
"Questions?
"WTF, we can't get Corps coverage?--then '2' you better make sure you figure out how we get FMV fed to us."

What in the "Design is like driving" example describes what needs to be done to ensure that the correct problem (getting from A to B) has been selected? What in the example demonstrates that the solution set most probable of success(drive there) has been chosen?
__________________
Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit
The greatest educational dogma is also its greatest fallacy: the belief that what must be learned can necessarily be taught. — Sydney J. Harris
wm is offline  
Old 03-06-2010   #222
William F. Owen
Council Member
 
William F. Owen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: The State of Partachia, at the eastern end of the Mediterranean
Posts: 3,947
Default

From FM 5-0 Final Draft

Quote:
3-40. In understanding the operational environment, the commander and staff focus on defining, analyzing, and synthesizing the characteristics of the operational variables. They do so in the context of the dynamic interactions and relationships among and between relevant operational variables and actors in the operational environment. Often, learning about the nature of the situation helps them to understand the groupings, relationships, or interactions among relevant actors and operational variables. This learning typically involves analysis of the operational variables while examining the dynamic interaction and relationships among the myriad other factors in the operational environment.
Please can anyone tell me how to translate this? This is just one example of many many paragraphs that are essentially incomprehensible. The part where it says "learning helps them understand" beggars belief. Does this paragraph just say the studying something helps you understand it?

Have I missed the point?
__________________
Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

- The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
- If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition
William F. Owen is offline  
Old 03-06-2010   #223
Bob's World
Council Member
 
Bob's World's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,703
Default In Stephen Covey speak:

Quote:
Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
From FM 5-0 Final Draft



Please can anyone tell me how to translate this? This is just one example of many many paragraphs that are essentially incomprehensible. The part where it says "learning helps them understand" beggars belief. Does this paragraph just say the studying something helps you understand it?

Have I missed the point?
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
__________________
Robert C. Jones
Intellectus Supra Scientia
(Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

"The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)
Bob's World is offline  
Old 03-06-2010   #224
Global Scout
Council Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 106
Default

Quote:
3-40. In understanding the operational environment, the commander and staff focus on defining, analyzing, and synthesizing the characteristics of the operational variables. They do so in the context of the dynamic interactions and relationships among and between relevant operational variables and actors in the operational environment. Often, learning about the nature of the situation helps them to understand the groupings, relationships, or interactions among relevant actors and operational variables. This learning typically involves analysis of the operational variables while examining the dynamic interaction and relationships among the myriad other factors in the operational environment.
It would be useful to see an unclassified example. I have seen classified examples that were very helpful, and I suspect we can take a historical event (maybe the Vietnam conflict) to show how this framework could have helped decision makers understand the situation (the conflict, actors, and variables that are suspected to be related to the problem set).

The key is to facilitate constant learning, versus our typical approach of creating clear objectives to get to imaginary end states, which seldom works in the real world (I anticipate hoots and howls over this remark, bring it on). We get to transition states, then we should adjust based on our goals and understanding of the environment. I tend to side with the State Department's perception of DoD planning, which is that parts of it are essential, while other parts are largely a waste of time. DoS prefers to focus on the process of diplomacy to create desired change over time, while the military wants clear achievable objectives (artifical approach to eliminate ambiguity). Our two recent military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are perfect examples where numerous variables have influenced the decision maker (not just enemy forces in the field), and the character of both wars changed over time, and we were slow to transition our approach (conventional, CT, counterinsurgency, peace enforcement, etc.) as the environment and objectives shifted.

Design can be useful, so I'm a supporter of the idea/theory; however, the our staffs are not organized to support this effort, so it is largely unachievable with our current structure. It gets back to the expression, "that nothing is too hard for the man who doesn't have to do it".

Wilf I suspect you'll make an argument that we have always done this, and perhaps to some degree you're correct, but something happened to the military starting in the late 80s and running through the 90s (the Vietnam reformist impact), where our doctrine largely dismissed the lessons of the past and attempting to "clearly" define military problems, and while giving lip service to whole of government, didn't really practice it.

More to follow, just wanted to throw out some lose thoughts.
Global Scout is offline  
Old 03-06-2010   #225
selil
i pwnd ur ooda loop
 
selil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Belly of the beast
Posts: 2,112
Default

Complexity in any system (regardless of that fecund garbage the military espouses) is when the tools and techniques of a system are attempted to be integrated. Regardless of requirements as more and more elements are added the ability to control variables within the system becomes nearly impossible. Complexity is different from chaos in the fact that inputs and "desired" outputs are known but the ability to control for the results desired in chaos are unknown.

Uncertainty is a trait of both chaos and complexity. Uncertainty is found in the lack of knowledge inherent in any system or set of relationships created by unknown variables. Whereas complexity is "created" in the system "uncertainty" is inherent in the fear, uncertainty, doubt, and trust of the system responses. Since any system that is complex will have unknown or transient responses uncertainty will be inherent. The more complex the system the more uncertainty inherent in the system.

Design is an attempt to mitigate complexity and find simple structures or patterns to control for uncertainty. Design can follow formulaic patterns or rule sets entering "planning" (also called engineering) or it can follow natural less than empirical strategies that may allow for "art" to be exposed. Another point is that design can exist outside of planning but be inclusive of planning. As an example an architect designs a building, but an engineer creates the plant-plans, and a manager the project plan. The design process is intent of the creator/originator and the plan is the execution on that intent.

Unfortunately this simplistic discussion does not give glimpses into how the words are often misused. In engineering the models or design are often about the intent/goals, and the planning process is but one of the elements in that process. However the words get used interchangeable to effect the levels of effort or control the inputs into each other.
__________________
Sam Liles
Selil Blog
Don't forget to duck Secret Squirrel
The scholarship of teaching and learning results in equal hatred from latte leftists and cappuccino conservatives.
All opinions are mine and may or may not reflect those of my employer depending on the chance it might affect funding, politics, or the setting of the sun. As such these are my opinions you can get your own.
selil is offline  
Old 03-06-2010   #226
William F. Owen
Council Member
 
William F. Owen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: The State of Partachia, at the eastern end of the Mediterranean
Posts: 3,947
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Global Scout View Post
Wilf I suspect you'll make an argument that we have always done this, and perhaps to some degree you're correct, but something happened to the military starting in the late 80s and running through the 90s (the Vietnam reformist impact), where our doctrine largely dismissed the lessons of the past and attempting to "clearly" define military problems, and while giving lip service to whole of government, didn't really practice it.
Well actually I'm just asking myself how complicated inane language helps any of this? If I cannot be said clearly and simply, it has no military utility!
__________________
Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

- The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
- If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition
William F. Owen is offline  
Old 03-06-2010   #227
Pete
Council Member
 
Pete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: North Mountain, West Virginia
Posts: 990
Default

Wilf has a good point about the parlous state of Army-speak. It seems as though people have gotten so used to seeing PowerPoint slides with needlessly complex process diagrams that they influence they way guys think and express themselves.

The full version of "The Gesesis of the Field Artillery" can be read by clicking here. The author is unknown, it appears to date from the 1960s, and it is in the public domain.
Pete is offline  
Old 03-06-2010   #228
Fuchs
Council Member
 
Fuchs's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,189
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
Well actually I'm just asking myself how complicated inane language helps any of this? If I cannot be said clearly and simply, it has no military utility!
I've become used to ignore such parts and to only care about interesting parts of texts.

Few authors use a very dense style where every line is really important. Those who do usually write in a style that's rather difficult for the reader.


I have actually a hypothesis about all this blather in FMs. It may be a psychological trick, meant to address the subconsciousness.
Propaganda lies become powerful by repetition - maybe professional blather becomes effective by the sheer repetition of keywords?
Fuchs is offline  
Old 03-06-2010   #229
Cole
Council Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 94
Default Just my personal opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
From FM 5-0 Final Draft:

3-40. In understanding the operational environment, the commander and staff focus on defining, analyzing, and synthesizing the characteristics of the operational variables. They do so in the context of the dynamic interactions and relationships among and between relevant operational variables and actors in the operational environment. Often, learning about the nature of the situation helps them to understand the groupings, relationships, or interactions among relevant actors and operational variables. This learning typically involves analysis of the operational variables while examining the dynamic interaction and relationships among the myriad other factors in the operational environment.

Please can anyone tell me how to translate this? This is just one example of many many paragraphs that are essentially incomprehensible. The part where it says "learning helps them understand" beggars belief. Does this paragraph just say the studying something helps you understand it?

Have I missed the point?
Wilf, line by line:
  • "Operational environment" is the Army's new term for battlespace
  • "Operational variables" are PMESII-PT. They are analyzed at the operational/strategic level just as tactical level leaders/staff analyze the "mission variables": METT-TC. Many PMESII-PT variables are related to the ASCOPE acronym used with Civil Considerations in METT-TC:
http://usacac.army.mil/blog/blogs/co...plication.aspx
  • "Actors in the operational environment" are the friendlies, enemies, neutral and not-so neutral civilians, civil-military, NGOs, etc.
  • But you probably are correct that the final three sentences all relate to the same conceptual thought, which could be combined into a simpler:
"PMESII-PT analysis must involve learning about the personnel involved with each operational variable and how those variables and people relate to each other."

I actually like almost everything about the rewrite...except "design" which I don't understand.

Last edited by Cole; 03-06-2010 at 09:42 PM. Reason: Clarification
Cole is offline  
Old 03-06-2010   #230
Cole
Council Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 94
Default Again, just my personal opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by selil View Post
Complexity in any system (regardless of that fecund garbage the military espouses) is when the tools and techniques of a system are attempted to be integrated. Regardless of requirements as more and more elements are added the ability to control variables within the system becomes nearly impossible. Complexity is different from chaos in the fact that inputs and "desired" outputs are known but the ability to control for the results desired in chaos are unknown.

Uncertainty is a trait of both chaos and complexity. Uncertainty is found in the lack of knowledge inherent in any system or set of relationships created by unknown variables. Whereas complexity is "created" in the system "uncertainty" is inherent in the fear, uncertainty, doubt, and trust of the system responses. Since any system that is complex will have unknown or transient responses uncertainty will be inherent. The more complex the system the more uncertainty inherent in the system.
I have great difficulty taking seriously anyone who criticizes military jargon and use of language...while simultaneously using words like "fecund."

Believe some are reading too much into the relationship between uncertainty and complexity. Believe "uncertainty" came about as the partly correct answer of anti-FCS leaders who correctly identified that sensors will never find all the enemy or his intentions. It is analogous to chess or football where both sides see all players on the board, yet one of two equal sides will lose, or a weaker side won't necessarily play by "established" rules. The unsuspected player on the sidelines will stick his foot out and trip the guy running for a touchdown...with no flag applicable.

But there is a major difference between not finding hunter-killer dismounts on complex terrain versus finding and dealing with massed armored forces in the year 2010. The anti-FCS leaders want to discount sensors, long-range fires, and air attack. Claims of uncertainly support the need for more close combat and more armor protecting against anti-armor weapons...despite the fact that those dying are being killed by IEDs, small arms, and RPGs used as massed artillery.

"Uncertainty" became the rallying cry used to reject the FCS idea that tactical/MI sensors and scouts are adequate to achieve perfect SU. It correctly identifies that even if possible, seeing the enemy isn't enough, especially if he hugs non-combatants, and does not play by the rules of "chess or football." Uncertainty correctly rejects Effects Based Operations where long range fires and air attack are sufficient...if the enemy stays massed and out in the open...and if we are willing to spend/rebuild under fire afterwards to repair EBO damage.

However what is forgotten in the Capstone Concept is that "uncertainty" applies equally to the logistician trying to deliver extra fuel supplies to an overly armored gas-guzzling force. Transportation and sustainment forces end up being ambushed en route...due to uncertainty. Uncertainty applies to the inter and intratheater sealift/airlift force that must get both the vehicles and supplies to theater and the ultimate user over the highly uncertain last operational and tactical miles. While we accept all kinds of anti-access unlikelihoods, we never seem to acknowledge that sealift may never arrive due to enemy intervention of scarce RO/ROs/Fast Sealift.

Fortunately, the expansion and up-armoring (double V-hull coming) of Stryker, remaining FCS spin outs, and continued testing of Stryker etc. networking advantages will salvage some of the "baby" of the rejected FCS bathwater...so all is not lost. Heavy BCTs will arrive eventually, and hopefully we will never find ourselves running out of fuel with "superior" armor as the Germans did in WWII, losing to lesser armored Americans/allies.

Quote:
Design is an attempt to mitigate complexity and find simple structures or patterns to control for uncertainty. Design can follow formulaic patterns or rule sets entering "planning" (also called engineering) or it can follow natural less than empirical strategies that may allow for "art" to be exposed. Another point is that design can exist outside of planning but be inclusive of planning. As an example an architect designs a building, but an engineer creates the plant-plans, and a manager the project plan. The design process is intent of the creator/originator and the plan is the execution on that intent.
I hear you on the architectual versus engineering design. Architectual and military design may involve visualizing and describing space in a building or on the ground. But ability to do that does not guarantee ability to engineer/plan and more importantly execute the design. Aren't the days of the Howard Roark/Frank Lloyd Wright one-man-does-it-all design/engineering not feasible anymore than one staff member and commander doing it all in design or planning? Isn't it kind of egotistical to try to design it all alone, or rule with an iron my-way (plan)-or-highway authority in the CP?

Quote:
Unfortunately this simplistic discussion does not give glimpses into how the words are often misused. In engineering the models or design are often about the intent/goals, and the planning process is but one of the elements in that process. However the words get used interchangeable to effect the levels of effort or control the inputs into each other.
Isn't it comparable to the automotive designer who draws and sculpts clay to look a certain way...then reality on the ground (engineering/enemy vote)distorts it to look much different in execution.

Last edited by Cole; 03-06-2010 at 11:05 PM. Reason: Clarification
Cole is offline  
Old 03-06-2010   #231
selil
i pwnd ur ooda loop
 
selil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Belly of the beast
Posts: 2,112
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole View Post
Isn't it comparable to the automotive designer who draws and sculpts clay to look a certain way...then reality on the ground (engineering/enemy vote)distorts it to look much different in execution.
Simply yes.

The abandonment of simplicity (Frank Lloyd Wright buildings) for complexity (Toyota Camry drive by wire throttle) has led to disasters of implementation regardless of design. I know I'm mixing the two areas of consideration but the analogy should stick.

The issue IMHO is still that complexity begets uncertainty. Wilf has a good point on the inherent problems of making things more difficult than they should be... He almost is channelling Einstein in "things should be as simple as possible but no simpler".
__________________
Sam Liles
Selil Blog
Don't forget to duck Secret Squirrel
The scholarship of teaching and learning results in equal hatred from latte leftists and cappuccino conservatives.
All opinions are mine and may or may not reflect those of my employer depending on the chance it might affect funding, politics, or the setting of the sun. As such these are my opinions you can get your own.
selil is offline  
Old 03-07-2010   #232
Bob's World
Council Member
 
Bob's World's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,703
Default

The author's main problem was that he tried to say "employ operational design" and describe at the same time what operational design is.

As to examples, the major headquarters that has been employing this the longest is USSOCOM, and all of those products are quite intentionally unclassified.

The purpose of design is to promote understanding; but perfect understanding that is then locked up in a vault is not of much value. They don't lend themselves to publication very well though, as the design diagrams require a guide to lead one through them; and if a picture tells a 1000 words, a design diagram often tells 1000 stories.

I can't speak for others, but ours work best in small groups with 2-3 of the designers providing a short tag-team brief, followed by a much longer tag-team Q&A.

To simply hang the picture on the web, or to write up an explanation leaves most thinking "what's the big deal," or "I disagree." But most walk out of the tag-team presentations with fresh ideas and perspectives and a deeper understanding of the problem they face, and that is the point of the process.
__________________
Robert C. Jones
Intellectus Supra Scientia
(Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

"The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)
Bob's World is offline  
Old 03-07-2010   #233
Global Scout
Council Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 106
Default

The useful design produts that SOCOM designed are classified for good reason. What your talking about that is unclassified is SOCOM's visual version of the JOE inappropriately labeled design. it shows the convergence of trends and does trigger some interesting questions. The actual design prodcts facilitate a deeper understanding of a specific problem in depth and how it interacts with other systems and actors globally. It has nothing to do with Seliel or Cole's interpretation. Selil is focused on design from an engineer perspective, and Cole from a tactical perspective. Wilf agee the definition provided was useless. The real design products are manpower intensive, involve the interagency and a large commitment of the intell community, plus academia. Once developed a tactical unit can provide input based on their view of ground truth, but the initial product is not produced by 3 staff officers. It can be useful for some problem sets, but the wat it was presented clearly led to confusion which isn't useful.
Global Scout is offline  
Old 03-07-2010   #234
William F. Owen
Council Member
 
William F. Owen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: The State of Partachia, at the eastern end of the Mediterranean
Posts: 3,947
Default

Quote:
3-9. A commander‘s experience, knowledge, judgment, and intuition assume a crucial role in understanding complex, ill-structured problems. Together, they enhance the cognitive components of design, enhancing commanders‘ intuition while further enabling commanders to identify threats or opportunities long before others might.
...and here we go again.
The first sentence is essentially says that being smart helps you solve problems. The second sentence then extrapolates that and that smart people will use "Design" better than dumb people?

I really am trying hard not to be a pedant, but this FM is one of the most badly written documents I have ever seen. The definition of Design takes 6 paragraphs, most of which spout rubbish. If anyone wants to leap in defend this, then let's hear it.
__________________
Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

- The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
- If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition
William F. Owen is offline  
Old 03-07-2010   #235
William F. Owen
Council Member
 
William F. Owen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: The State of Partachia, at the eastern end of the Mediterranean
Posts: 3,947
Default

Quote:
2-1. Planning is the process by which commanders (and the staff, if available) translate the commander‘s visualization into a specific course of action for preparation and execution, focusing on the expected results (FM 3-0).
OK, so primarily a way of translating a "visualisation," into action. So it's NOT a way of producing orders!
So :
Quote:
2-4. A product of planning is a plan or order—a directive for future action. Commanders issue plans and orders to subordinates to communicate their understanding of the situation and their visualization of an operation.
Planning IS about producing orders. Really? Apparently the Plans and Orders "communicate their understanding of the situation and their visualization of an operation."
So we now have
Quote:
"The measure of a good plan is not whether execution transpires as planned, but whether the plan facilitates effective action in the face of unforeseen events. Good plans and orders foster initiative.
GARBAGE! The measure of a good plan is if it works so achieving the desired end state via the plan! The execution does matter! That is why you do planning! Good plans tell you what to do and when to do it. Initiative is for when no plan exists, or the plan is inadequate or failing!
__________________
Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

- The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
- If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition
William F. Owen is offline  
Old 03-07-2010   #236
Bob's World
Council Member
 
Bob's World's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,703
Default You must know...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Global Scout View Post
The useful design produts that SOCOM designed are classified for good reason. What your talking about that is unclassified is SOCOM's visual version of the JOE inappropriately labeled design. it shows the convergence of trends and does trigger some interesting questions. The actual design prodcts facilitate a deeper understanding of a specific problem in depth and how it interacts with other systems and actors globally. It has nothing to do with Seliel or Cole's interpretation. Selil is focused on design from an engineer perspective, and Cole from a tactical perspective. Wilf agee the definition provided was useless. The real design products are manpower intensive, involve the interagency and a large commitment of the intell community, plus academia. Once developed a tactical unit can provide input based on their view of ground truth, but the initial product is not produced by 3 staff officers. It can be useful for some problem sets, but the wat it was presented clearly led to confusion which isn't useful.

But that's all news to me. Come see me in my office at the J56 Strategy Division when I get back from Afghanistan and we can discuss.
__________________
Robert C. Jones
Intellectus Supra Scientia
(Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

"The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)
Bob's World is offline  
Old 03-07-2010   #237
Infanteer
Council Member
 
Infanteer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 347
Default



I just read some of the excerpts from this manual to my NCOs and the one comment was "I think it was better when we had officers from the nobility who just treated us like peons instead of educated officers who try to make us look like peons...."

What ever happened to clarity and brevity in Staff Duties? I see mission statements that are whole paragraphs....
Infanteer is offline  
Old 03-07-2010   #238
Ken White
Council Member
 
Ken White's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,060
Default Those are brilliant comments that bear repetition and thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Infanteer View Post
..."I think it was better when we had officers from the nobility who just treated us like peons instead of educated officers who try to make us look like peons...."

What ever happened to clarity and brevity in Staff Duties? I see mission statements that are whole paragraphs....
The first is the well phrased sensing of many NCOs...

Those few -- but still too many -- today who are guilty of such efforts really ought to consider how their actions reflect on themselves. Condescension is not a military virtue.

Today's troops are capable of doing far more than many are willing to permit them to do. Among other things, that failing drives good people out (while fostering not so good people staying in) and is extremely wasteful.

On the brevity comment, spot on. Even more accurate on the clarity aspect. The production of any manual of over 100 pages should be immediately outlawed -- simply because the larger ones lose so much in translation...
Ken White is offline  
Old 03-07-2010   #239
IntelTrooper
Council Member
 
IntelTrooper's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: RC-S, Afghanistan
Posts: 302
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
On the brevity comment, spot on. Even more accurate on the clarity aspect. The production of any manual of over 100 pages should be immediately outlawed -- simply because the larger ones lose so much in translation...
B-- But Ken, are you saying that military service members aren't reading hundreds of pages of manuals every time they get a new position, are trained on a new piece of equipment, or have to carry out some task? That they just want to most important details, and don't need paragraphs of over-complicated gibberish? That said information should be easy to find?

Why, if what you're saying is true, then there's thousands and thousands of pages of manuals gathering dust that no one reads! That's patently absurd, sir!

Heretic! Furcifer! (Okay, that one was a little too far.)
__________________
"The status quo is not sustainable. All of DoD needs to be placed in a large bag and thoroughly shaken. Bureaucracy and micromanagement kill."
-- Ken White


"With a plan this complex, nothing can go wrong." -- Schmedlap

"We are unlikely to usefully replicate the insights those unencumbered by a military staff college education might actually have." -- William F. Owen
IntelTrooper is offline  
Old 03-07-2010   #240
Cole
Council Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 94
Default Just my personal opinion, as always

Quote:
Originally Posted by Global Scout View Post
The useful design produts that SOCOM designed are classified for good reason. What your talking about that is unclassified is SOCOM's visual version of the JOE inappropriately labeled design. it shows the convergence of trends and does trigger some interesting questions. The actual design prodcts facilitate a deeper understanding of a specific problem in depth and how it interacts with other systems and actors globally. It has nothing to do with Seliel or Cole's interpretation. Selil is focused on design from an engineer perspective, and Cole from a tactical perspective. Wilf agee the definition provided was useless. The real design products are manpower intensive, involve the interagency and a large commitment of the intell community, plus academia. Once developed a tactical unit can provide input based on their view of ground truth, but the initial product is not produced by 3 staff officers. It can be useful for some problem sets, but the wat it was presented clearly led to confusion which isn't useful.
The way you have seen it is used in practice may differ from the way the TRADOC Operational Concept and now doctrine describe it, but Commander's Appreciation and Campaign Design indicates that Selil's description is pretty accurate...at least if you are going to use the term "design" when some other term might be more appropriate:

http://www.tradoc.army.mil/tpubs/pams/p525-5-500.pdf

The first chapter helped me understand design much better. Particularly liked this quote:

(3) Every ill-structured problem is essentially unique and novel. Historical analogies may provide useful insights—particularly on individual aspects of a larger problem—but the differences between even similar situations are profound and significant. The political goals at stake, stakeholders involved, cultural milieu, histories, and other dynamics will all be novel and unique to a particular situation.

Believe some miss the point that not every Soldier must read/study doctrine. But instructors/trainers at institutional level must study it to create lesson plans that are doctrinally-founded. Combat training centers O/Cs and other evaluators need some evaluation source based on more than opinion of how they did it in their particular unit under a unique commander/leader/staff officer, in a particular theater and year in theater, and a unique village, valley and ethnic/tribal mix when public opinion and the threat may have differed substantially.

In my solely academic perspective, the lesson plans we create are based on collective tasks which in turn are based on doctrine, task lists, and researched lessons learned. In our particular case, we used the FM 5-0 (and FM 3-0, & previous 5-0.1) "plan, prepare, execute, and assess continuously" as the outline for many lessons on multiple subjects...because it works and helps you not to forget something. That "operations process" and troop-leading procedures are probably most of what your typical NCO must understand where FM 5-0 is concerned.

I'm still not sure from the TRADOC Concept what planning products result from "Design." Suspect they exist in multiple formats and differ based on the nature of the ill-structured problem and command-designated courses of action that may change based on subject matter experts briefings. But as "Global Scout" indicates, many may be classified, many are probably unique to particular commanders, and most "Design" probably involves operational/strategic commanders and tactical units like SOF that have strategic influence.

Also believe many critical of the writing don't comprehend that it is often a team effort with multiple reviewers altering content to leave a hodgepodge of styles and substance by the time it is approved. It may not be pretty, but if it isn't done, you are left relying on opinions of how to do things based on historical experiences/perspectives of particular units/individuals that no longer apply.

Last edited by Cole; 03-07-2010 at 06:57 PM. Reason: Clarification
Cole is offline  
Closed Thread

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
BG McMaster on the Army Capstone Concept (Quicklook Notes) SWJED TRADOC Senior Leaders Conference 30 09-06-2009 12:42 PM
Capstone Concept will change Army doctrine SWJED TRADOC Senior Leaders Conference 13 09-06-2009 12:42 PM
Efforts Intensify to Train Iraqi Police SWJED The Whole News 6 01-16-2006 12:27 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 04:43 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9. ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Registered Users are solely responsible for their messages.
Operated by, and site design © 2005-2009, Small Wars Foundation