Literature Review Stoehner

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Military Chain of Command and Environmental Interference:

Military Chain of Command and Environmental Interference

Terminal Learning Objective:

Terminal Learning Objective At the end of the screencast the reader will be able to: I dentify the structural and operational units of the chain of command. I dentify communications breakdowns. Identify flaws that are inherent within the chain of command

Enabling Learning Objective:

Enabling Learning Objective By identifying these core elements the viewer will be able to reach the Terminal Learning Objectives. Identify the Chain of Command from the top down. Understand the composition of the Armed Forces. Realize the mission of the Armed Forces. Identify relevant issues that demonstrate failure of the Chain of Command

What is Chain of Command?:

What is Chain of Command? A linear model of leadership that lends itself to hierarchy wherein the person on top controls the operations of those members on bottom through the use of intermediaries. Members within the chain of command expect to lead and to be led. Even the President of the United States is accountable to the constituency of the United States.

Flow of Command Overview:

Flow of Command Overview In the armed forces each member is part of the chain of command. The President is considered the Commander in Chief. The Secretary of Defense is responsible to the President for all issues defense related. Within each branch a General Officer is appointed as the secretary for that branch. They report to the SECDEF.

Flow Continued:

Flow Continued

Department of Defense:

Department of Defense Composed of military branches; each with a specific mission set and skills to match the mission. DoD

Branch Level Flow:

Branch Level Flow

Command Level :

Command Level

How Chain of Command Works:

How Chain of Command Works Information flows from the top down to the next level in the model. At each level certain interferences may exist. For example: Sargent Slaughter may be partial to Pvt. Parts. Pvt. Schmuckatelli may have disciplinary issues that causes Sgt. to be very hard on him. Pvt. Lesson is disenfranchised with military service because of hazing or a lack of justice.

Henri Fayol:

Henri Fayol July 29, 1841-November 19, 1925 Developed theories on business administration. Many of his theories were widely accepted; most were implemented. Fayolism contains six functions: Forecasting Planning Organizing Commanding Coordinating & Controlling

Fayolism and Troop Leading:

Fayolism and Troop Leading Military troop leading steps mirror Fayol’s identifying functions. Begin Planning Arrange Reconnaissance Make Reconnasissance Complete the Plan Issue the Order Supervise

Relevant Management Principles:

Relevant Management Principles Like all leadership models there are fundamental elements of Fayol’s fourteen principles that are distinctly relevant to military leadership. Unity of Command Scalar Chain (or Linear Chain Esprit de Corps

Sources of Interference :

Sources of Interference Like any business or organization, interference is common in the military Sources of Interference are unique in military applications. Establishing appropriate controls builds redundancy Environment Personnel Situational Hazards Stress Physical communication breakdown. Equipment Failure Mission Requirements

Control Mechanisms:

Control Mechanisms Commander’s Intent widely distributed Supervision of tasks Integrated feedback system Mutual Trust and Rapport Bottom Up Planning Procedures

Examples of Chain of Command Failure:

Examples of Chain of Command Failure Abu Ghraib Prison Incident Soldiers went without appropriate supervision Commanders did not integrate mechanisms for redundancy Environmental factors contributed to a lack of understanding of the Commander’s Intent.

Examples Continued:

Examples Continued Pat Tillman death Former NFL player who joined the Army after 9/11 Ranger KIA in Afghanistan, April 2004 Pat Tillman Exploitation After Death the Bush Administration covered up the nature of his death in order to propagandize Specialist Tillman


Outcomes Abu Ghraib National Shame Media Exploitation Political Objectives Scrutinized Pat Tillman National Shame Media Exploitation Recruiting Efforts Stalemated due to Fear


Conclusion The United States Armed Forces are responsible for safeguarding the American way of life and furthering the United States Democratic goals abroad. Military Commanders are given great responsibilities to act as liaisons between the United States government and Third Country Nationals. Communications breakdowns at the command level are detrimental to national policy and goals. This means that it is now more important than ever for unit commanders and subordinate leadership to reinforce the chain of command by identifying sources of interference within it.

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