Forums
Page
of 4

Leading elements and chain of command misconceptions?

31 replies
Posts:
1,340
Votes:
+615
Discharged (CNTO Alumni)
wrote:
wrote:
But in the Russian army it's a completely different ball game.

Completely different ball game here in the British Army too mate we have Fire Teams but they don't do anything on there own they are literally only there to enable the section to perform Fire and Manoeuvre.

Yes, that's why I listed US Army example where FT have more independence (I'd argue how much more) while I think most other armies follow the Russian/German/British model where inner elements are there only for ease of maneuvering.

Bottom line, fireteam exists to help squad leader control the squad. That still doesn't mean they have become an independent element.

If we read carefully the above excerpt from US manual, that fireteam independence is expressed in few very low level tasks:

- choosing the movement technique UNDER FIRE - this is a natural, the leader under fire usually knows best shit in which he is in
- micromanages fireteam soldiers assigning sectors of fire, distribution of fire and targets

Still in every army a general can come to a grunt and override any subordinate order. He doesn't do it because it's bad leadership. On low level like squad, squad leader very often splits teams however he sees fit. Following WW2 US Army infantry training video about Wehrmacht - a gruppe leader is briefing his squad (not fireteams). That gruppe has both MG team (mg34/42) and riflemen team (Kar98) - they even made teams completely asymmetrical to emphasis the usage of teams! That concept is still present in Russian and French Army today (maybe others too). That asymmetrical concept implies the dependency of subelements on command of element commander.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDZMJXaADQI
Posted Jan 12, 18
Like
x 1
Undo
Posts:
1,340
Votes:
+615
Discharged (CNTO Alumni)
British training video (very informative too):

https://youtu.be/ciFnTiacaDU

has 3 parts, just follow along.
Posted Jan 12, 18
Like
x 1
Undo
Posts:
1,721
Votes:
+907
Discharged (CNTO Alumni)
Avoid micro-management. Leaders need to let leaders lead - it sounds blindingly obvious, but it has to be said. Orders should be given that allow a subordinate to get them done in the way that they deem to be best. Lower-level leaders require tactical flexibility to get their jobs done - dictating exactly how an element should move and rigidly enforcing it can get people killed. It is better to give guidelines - that you need them to move to a certain place, and that they should try to follow waypoints you set for them - and allow them to adapt to it as they see fit. Obviously there are exceptions to this, but they are just that - exceptions, not the rule. Micro-management stifles tactical flexibility and lower-level leadership and should be avoided.

~Andrew "Dslyecxi' Gluck, Tactical Guide to Arma 3 (TTP3).

I think this covers it pretty well.
Posted Jan 12, 18
Posts:
1,637
Votes:
+1,083
wrote:
Avoid micro-management. Leaders need to let leaders lead - it sounds blindingly obvious, but it has to be said. Orders should be given that allow a subordinate to get them done in the way that they deem to be best. Lower-level leaders require tactical flexibility to get their jobs done - dictating exactly how an element should move and rigidly enforcing it can get people killed. It is better to give guidelines - that you need them to move to a certain place, and that they should try to follow waypoints you set for them - and allow them to adapt to it as they see fit. Obviously there are exceptions to this, but they are just that - exceptions, not the rule. Micro-management stifles tactical flexibility and lower-level leadership and should be avoided.

~Andrew "Dslyecxi' Gluck, Tactical Guide to Arma 3 (TTP3).

I think this covers it pretty well.

Well, there are multiple types of "micro management" - it's customary for guides, lectures and presentations about human leadership to warn about the more common "do exactly as I say because I don't trust you to make decisions for yourself", which I think Dslyecxi refers to. Or the related "parental instinct" where a superior tends to judge and adjust every action of the subordinate to be "better" in their view, resulting in the subordinate never taking responsibility.

Some other flavours of "micro management" include (generally positively marketed) transitive-style leadership where, translating to our language, both SL and FTL are in "command" of a FT, with SL overruling the FTL (with the FTL being informed in the process, adjusting their duties).

I think we were concerned about the uniformity of squad leadership back when the system was introduced, at least I had my worries about people preferences in the amount of responsibility and initiative they want to take, varied across the community, resulting in conflicting combinations of SLs that tend to be more "hands on" and FTLs that prefer to be more standalone, but there were no solutions to that. Maybe there are no solutions and it's just something we have to live with.

wrote:
Yes, that's why I listed US Army example where FT have more independence (I'd argue how much more) while I think most other armies follow the Russian/German/British model where inner elements are there only for ease of maneuvering.
History / time periods are a very important context, when I was researching the standardization of OPORDs across nations, I noticed that some modern armies seem to prefer small (~4-man) standalone teams with specialized equipment, rather than 8-10-man squads ... IIRC.
When we were discussing this last time, I think Berenton also brought up the idea of asymmetric squads from his experience and I still personally think that would be worth pursuing in CNTO (as it would reinforce the idea of a squad being a single element, not a union of two identical fireteams), but that sadly doesn't solve the "SL vs FTL" responsibility question.
Posted Jan 12, 18 · Last edited Jan 12, 18
Like
x 2
Undo
Posts:
1,721
Votes:
+907
Discharged (CNTO Alumni)
L5ZDjvI.jpg


Edit:
With added layer of general movement and ST HUD

5Khc77W.jpg

What's there not to understand?
Posted Jan 12, 18 · Last edited Jan 12, 18
Posts:
2,615
Votes:
+1,047
We have asymmetric sections in the UK and I think you may be right about it helping keep the squad together.
Posted Jan 12, 18
Like
x 1
Undo
Posts:
1,340
Votes:
+615
Discharged (CNTO Alumni)
Ok, maybe I wasn't understood well. Both ways are "correct" depending on which army doctrine one follows. But our reorganization was done months (year?) ago with intent of making squad a tighter unit, then we should act like that. And that is our doctrine. Unless SSGTs and Training team want to change it, then we'll be informed. Until then, we act like we're British section (squad). If we adopt US concept, we'll play like US Army. But we can't keep bumping on same question over and over again.

British section doesn't assume micromanagement. They did subdivide the section in 2 FTs. But not because they want A1 and A2 to act like independent ninjas (neither US Army does that!) but rather to ease up movement.

In the end, neither a squad/section is totally independent of anything. One of the leading US military thinkers Robert R. Leonhard stated that independence to decide things comes with simple question - "do you have the combined arms capability to complete the operation". If FT or SL need to ask for air/mortar/arty support, they are mere cogs in the bigger picture.

Another thing - US doctrine has a concept of release point - a line after which a unit is released of tight command and the commander of the unit moving out becomes commander of that unit.
Posted Jan 12, 18 · Last edited Jan 12, 18
Posts:
251
Votes:
+123
Some of you seem to misinterpreter a tiny bit. I'm not saying that FT should be independent ninja team that spits on SL orders. I want to underscore the fact that micromanaging as SL is just horrible most of the times and if the moment comes you don't drag out someone of their FT but you tell their FTL that you want them to do something you want so FTL can choose the person and give him a green light to go and do it. Of course there are exceptions but as said above - there are only exceptions.

I remember when Shakan was once ASL and I was one of the FTLs and I'd say we were pretty much micromanaged but the situation forced it on him(us) and it worked out well. After all I was listening to the orders on radio and them passing them down to my guys and telling them when to move and how to move(according to orders).

I can also remember when I was the SL and I only gave out general orders like "take this place" and I left the rest to FTs and there was some great teamwork there. You might say that in this case FTs acted like small ninja teams(but there was a lot of cooperation between alpha 1 and alpha 2 so IDK about that).

All of this works and I guess it's just down to who's playing the leading roles to be honest. The message here is to not ignore chain of command. FTL has his guys and if SL desires to use one of them - no problem, but you have to tell FTL that you want it done and it will be done. Don't bypass anyone.
Posted Jan 12, 18 · OP
Posts:
2,615
Votes:
+1,047
This is the confusion Abuk
Co_C.jpg



People think the CoC on the right means micromanagement or the FTL's are of not needed but this is completely false.
Posted Jan 12, 18
Posts:
1,721
Votes:
+907
Discharged (CNTO Alumni)
That is not correct. Chain of command includes FTL. We follow shack tac guide. St Hud change was cosmetic and to ease the movement not to change chain of command. Restructure did not remove FTL as element leaders. They are still managing the fireteams (direct voice) and respond to SL (radio). Fireteam are to maintain visibility within squad and work together. This does not remove their independence as element. Fireteam leaders can make decisions which are within squad leads intent.

If that's so much an issue we can go back and have fireteams separate on shack tac Hud.
Posted Jan 12, 18 · Last edited Jan 13, 18
Like
x 2
Undo
Page
of 4
Login
Upcoming Events
NoticeNotices