What Is Mission Command?

Mission command is a style of military command in which commanding officers inform subordinates of their mission objectives and allow these subordinates to carry out a mission with the freedom to decide how to do so. This promotes speed of action, efficiency and initiative.

Mission command originated with the development of larger forces and increasingly complex weapons technology, which meant commanding officers would sometimes lose communication with units carrying out a mission. Six principles guide the philosophy of modern mission command: Build cohesive teams through mutual trust, create shared understanding, provide a clear commander's intent, exercise disciplined initiative, use mission orders and accept prudent risk.