Leadership and Communication

Problem Statement Failure of the division to start the planning of the 2012-2013 manipulation on time ND using the proper procedure to develop a plan known as “Military Decision Making Process”; had cause the Division the ability to provide better and more clear guidance to their subordinate units. Communication is slow and broken in some cases, causing the subordinate commanders the ability to prepare for the changes, adjust for the new policies and reduce the natural resistance for change on the Soldiers.

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With the draw-down of the Military Forces from Iraq and now Afghanistan, budget reduction and future shrinking of the Active Military Forces, this high-tempo mission will be coming to an end. The Division is still being asked to keep doing the same mission but with less personal in full-time status. The Division option is to use reserves Soldiers in normal reserve status. This mean the commanders can order Soldiers to participate or support this mission using their mandatory 14 days of annual training (AT) and their one weekend a month to help for plan some of the exercises.

The Soldiers that desire and can stay away from their civilian jobs for more than 14 consecutive days or do these 14 days twice or more a year, they can be provided special orders all the way to 180 days more. Soldiers willing to work on one-year orders are now being told they have to move to one of the three military bases where the planning and training missions of these units will be conducted. Before, Soldiers were able to stay at their home units and travel to the training location where the exercise was going to be conducted.

Immobile Soldiers were provided housing allowance if they had to live at another location. This new policy will have a major impact on the Soldier finances, due to the coast of living difference and having to maintain two households without assistance. The cost of living is base on where they sign the immobile Soldier, not where there family or house is located. Because of these new policies fewer Soldiers are monopolizing or want to stay immobile, causing the loss of highly skilled and experience Soldiers on a full-time status.

Also, getting Soldiers to volunteer to fill all the required full-time position had become a challenge. The constant change of plan or guidance had kept the Soldiers and lower leadership frustrated, and their moral is starting to be affected. Some of the Leadership and Soldiers are not too happy with the decisions the 75th Division is taking to minimize the impact on the quality of the raining provided to our client unit with the new restrictions on immobile personnel and budget allocated for the mission.

On an effort to fill all 150 positions available the unit open this slots to be fill with personnel from outside of the 75th Division. This can be a double edge sword if the selection processes don’t do a good job selecting the right candidates: First, the good part of this action is that it will bring fresh knowledge and experience to the unit; second, the bad part if it can bring inexperience trainers or personnel with the wrong skills hat will have to be train before we can use them to support the missions.

This will take 2 to 3 month out of the 12 months of the manipulation this Soldier is ready for the mission. “Military Decision Making Process (MD) is an iterative planning methodology to understand the situation and mission, develop a course of action, and produce an operation plan or order” ( ADAPT 5-0, Army Pub, May 2012). By looking at the timeline you can see the Division failure to follow this methodology and this was the main cause for failing earlier identification and potential solutions for the issues mention above.

The following are some of he issues identify cause by the changes in policy, possible failure of the leadership to identify or react to these issues in a timely manner, the effect on their subordinates and poor communication: 1- How the Division or the new Task Force (immobile team) created is expected to accomplish the missions with fewer personnel, and without a clear date when the members of this Task Force will be on orders to start working the missions? – Why do we waited so long to make these decisions or attack a problem that we knew was coming a year ago, when we knew the troops were going to start leaving Afghanistan and the resident already provided guidance to start reducing the force? 3- Can all these questions or issues related to politics, leadership or combination of both? Internal or external to the division? 4- Could it be a communication problem? 5- What effect the lost of experience will have on the quality of the mission? How do we overcome this challenge? – Why our leadership seems to not push back to their higher when they keep tasking the division with missions like we are still fully staff (in reference to full time personnel)? Literature Review Article: Army May Have To Cut Reserve and Guard (http://www. Sinews. Com news/articles/2012/02/21 /nowhere-to-turn -GU art- reserve-cue TTS-would -be-next) “Army Chief of Staff Gene. Raymond Dowdier told reporters in Washington that the ground service was able to fashion a 57,000-troop reduction plan without “touching” the Reserve and Guard ranks.

But if Congress fails to pass legislation this year that would head off more military spending cuts, Army officials would have no choice but to slash more active-duty troops and the two reserve components. ” (Bennett, 201 2) Department of Defense Strategic Guidance Sustaining U. S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense “Sixth, the Department will need to examine the mix of Active Component (AC) and Reserve Component (RCA) elements best suited to the strategy.

Over the past decade, the National Guard and Reserves have consistently demonstrated their readiness and ability to make sustained contributions to national security. The challenges facing the United States today and in the future will require that we continue to employ National Guard and Reserve forces. The expected pace of operations over the next decade will be a significant driver in determining an appropriate AC/RCA mix and level of RCA readiness. ” (Sustaining U. S. Global, 2012) “President Obama steady put in a rare appearance at the Pentagon, flanked by the four service chiefs and his Secretary of Defense.

Saying that now is the time to cash in a peace dividend, he unveiled plans for a significantly slimmed-down military. This dance was choreographed to convey strength. Everything else about it showed how domestic entitlements are beginning to squeeze the U. S. Beam’s defense drawn 2012) All these articles support the fact of the reduction of personnel for deployment training and the very low possibility of the US Army Reserve Command approving more people to immobile for this mission. Our

Field Manual – Operations Process, describe in detail the MD methodology and doctrine, that if the Division Staff would had started using back in April 2011 when we first were told about the reduction in personnel to 150 Soldiers; would had help identify a lot of the issues we are working on today, develop contingency plans, provided clear guidance to the subordinate commands and would had started the “unfreezing” step of the phases of planned change (Shoehorning 2010, p. 354) to adjust and implement changes. If you look at the fig B-l on page B-3 from FM 5-0, you will see a chart that describes the MD theology.

In that picture you will see the production of three Warning Orders (WARNS), to help facilitate parallel planning with your subordinate units to develop a plan to meet our goals and complete the mission. Because, you are doing parallel planning you are working with your subordinates on identifying the issues and finding a common solution. By the end there will be no surprises and the subordinates would have being getting guidance throughout the planning, for them to develop their specific plan to execute their portion of the mission.

On ADAPT 5-0, Operation & Planning, page 8, you ill see the following: “The MD facilitates collaborative and parallel planning as the higher headquarters solicits input and continually shares information concerning future operations with subordinate and adjacent units, supporting and supported units, and unified action partners through planning meetings, warning orders, and other means. Commanders encourage active collaboration among all organizations affected by the pending operations to build shared understanding, participate in course of action development and decision-making, and resolve conflicts before publication of the plan or order. You can see were he Army Doctrine support the active collaboration among organizations affected by a change or new plan. Again you can see a relation or similar effect of using this methodology with using the steps of the phases of planned change (see page 353, Chromosome 2010). When you look at the vertical structure of our organization you can identify the issue of failure of the staff elements (or units) of the organization to provide specialize expertise and guidance to the line units ( in our case the brigades and battalions) for them to be able to conduct the mission as expected by the division (Shoehorning 2010).

Staff units were not identifying the issues or providing solutions to the brigades on a timely matter. Another potential factor for the lack of planning is the culture of the unit. Some of the authoritarian behavior that exist and is accepted, may had led to fill that plan for changes is not important, because the attitude is “Change is going to happen no matter what, so suck-it up and drive on”. Also, the fact that some of the higher rank personal had being with the unit for a long time and feel they don’t need to provide too much guidance.

They are use to ‘Will make it happen attitude” from the subordinates units that they fill they don’t need to provide that much guidance for the mission to be successful. Analysis Base on the present findings this is a failure to address a potential issue on time and had a contingency plan in place. The findings prove that most of these issues can be directed or point toward the Leadership, but mainly the staff section of the division command. They are the ones responsible to provide the mission and end state that will let the team know when they complete the mission, and the task or guidance how to get there.

If the staff would had inducted a good MD it would had identify the issues ahead of time, and would had develop the solutions. One thing everybody knows, but we fail to identify is the issue with the natural resistance for change; once we realize and accept that part, we will consider the best way to deal with resistance. Our textbook cover the phases of planned change that provide guidance on how to introduce a change in the organization in three phases – unfreezing, changing and refreezing (Shoehorning 2010, p. 353).

We can see where the MD would had indirectly make the Division go through the three phases has they do parallel leaning with the subordinate units. Especially the first two phases and the third would had taken place when the unit had executed the plan develop during the MD. The change would had being accepted because the subordinate or line units would had help develop the plan to establish the new change and the already understand the purpose of the change. Communication is key on making sure everybody knows what is expected of them, clear guidance on how to do the job and coordination of efforts.

This communication should be done in person and in writing. Leaders need to enforce the rules and use of Army Doctrine hen it comes to developing plans, following rules and communication, but need to stop being less autocratic when it come to developing a plan and introducing a change. The autocratic style (http://www. Unlink. Com/-Dominick/Deader/leads . HTML) that our leaders or staffs are being using to implement the new plan of execution is causing more problems because is not providing the proper detail of instruction needed to execute.

Too many variables unanswered causing constant changes of direction in the plan, which causes the frustration of the followers (in our case the Soldiers). Possible Solutions – Set a plan of action to help the Division solve these issues; by using the accelerated version of MD. This will help identify the issues and provide solutions, but the staff needs to have a representative from each of the subordinate units. Because time is of essence, the commander need to be more involve and provide constant guidance and decisions to move the process through the steps a lot faster, without losing quality in the solutions. -latently where immediate changes need to take effect to help solve the issues of meeting immediate goals (client units to be train in the next 90 and 1 20 days out). 3- Leadership need to make sure his staff is communicating with the subordinate units and bringing the best courses of action to solve the issues so the commander can make a decision. 4- The Division Commander need to hear the true, the good and the bad news so he is aware of what is going in his command and this will allow him to prioritize his efforts. – The staff needs to start analyzing the mission task assign to the Division and determine if we can do it or not; this will help ease the load of mission and again they can prioritize. All this action will allow the Division to focus on the task ahead and make smart session on the load of mission we can execute. Will bring the Division to work together on the best courses of action to handle the mission and provide clear guidance; and improve the communication.

Reflection This project had help me realize how easy is for a high level command to lose perception of reality. Once you get to that level of command is easy to look at everything from your point of view only, that you don’t see how your decisions are affecting the Soldiers on the ground, who are the one getting ready to execute your plan. I had learned that it does not matter how high you go up he latter, you still have to apply certain basic rules, like if you do not inspected it would not get done or it would not get done properly.

Our Field Manuals and regulation have a better purpose than just to fill your bookshelf; you need to open it and apply the guidance provided, and make it your own. Listen to your subordinates and take their advice if it is a good one. Communicate, up and down, left and right; and keep your ears open. I had learned a lot not just from the project, but from the course. I had learned to be a better leader and manager. The importance of understanding those around you, and their purpose r effect they have on you in relation to your position in the company.