Lead with the best version of yourself.

The Science and Art of Command

by Michael Everett

Does the Army practice Mission Command? Or Command and Control?

After the 2019 update to ADP 6-0 Mission Command, many young leaders are confused about the terms command and control and mission command.

The bottom line is this: Mission command is the United States Army’s approach to command and control (C2). It became clear that doctrine devoid of C2 is not the optimum way to communicate where mission command lies in the spectrum of warfighting. The 2019 version of ADP 6-0 makes it clear that mission command is meant to enable the command of troops and the control of operations. This vital piece of information clarifies the purpose of mission command and how to frame its implementation.

The Field Grade Leader and Domestic Operations: A Primer


by Rick Chersicla                                                                             

You’re in garrison, and you get the Warning Order (WARNO) for the Battalion (or Brigade) to deploy for a real world mission. Your organization, however, is not preparing to deploy overseas, or for an Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise (EDRE), but is instead preparing to deploy and support civil authorities within the United States. 

The odds are that very few—or perhaps none—of the personnel in your organization has conducted Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) operations. You and your leadership may find yourselves asking “what is DSCA?” on the eve of an operation, and more importantly “how can we prepare for it?”

Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) is support provided by federal military forces (and DoD civilians, DoD contract personnel, and National Guard forces in a Title 32 status) in response to a request for assistance (RFA) submitted by civil authorities. DSCA operations can be in response to manmade or natural events and can range from hurricane relief, to supporting wildland fire fighting, to COVID-19 vaccination support at the request of FEMA. 

Given the frequency with which some Governors activate their National Guard for emergency response operations, many Guardsmen are well versed in DSCA operations. While Active Duty forces respond to domestic crises with less regularity than National Guard compatriots, they can still prepare for DSCA missions, rather than end up in an on-the-job-training situation when time could be of the essence.

Leading at the Crossroads of Experience and Personality

by Kyle Trottier and William Branch

Upon being selected to serve as the BCT Executive Officer (XO) and BCT Operations Officer (S3), William Branch and I held a series of sensing sessions with each Battalion Commander and Battalion Command Sergeant Major (CSM), peer battalion field grade officers, the brigade staff, key leaders on the division staff, and finally the brigade commander and CSM. Our intention was to understand each command team and their staff leaders to inform how we would best be able to enable the success of each battalion and the brigade as a whole throughout the duration of our time in these positions. Will and I developed a simple rubric to visualize and understand the experiences of commanders using Personnel, Supply, Equipment Readiness, Training (P, S, R, T) and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to understand personality characteristics. These two products allowed us to understand the previous experiences of each leader and ourselves, and inform where and how we as the brigade XO and S3 could best communicate with and enable that command team. This methodology also informed how we could best lead the brigade staff and our coordination with the division staff.

This article aims to share these lessons with field grade officers soon to assume Key Developmental (KD) positions and assist them by providing a way to quickly understand themselves and their commander. Ultimately, these lessons can help Soldiers prepare to lead their formations both effectively and adaptively.

The SFAB: A Lieutenants Experience

by Christopher Wilson  

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article was published in the Spring 2022 issue of Infantry magazine and has been reproduced with permission.

As I in-processed to the 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade (2SFAB) at Ft. Bragg, NC last summer, I anticipated running into at least a few peer-lieutenants. It did not take many double-takes and greetings of “So you’re the LT,” before I realized that I was the singular variable in 2SFAB’s lieutenant-trial experiment. I immediately assumed that my relative inexperience would be a great weakness here, but I was wrong. SFAB is structured so that everyone adds a niche capability to the team, one’s unconventional experiences become his or her value-added. I was not even in the organization for two weeks when I walked-in on a battalion meeting at the tactical operation center during a live fire exercise. CSM Jacob D. Provence immediately turned to me and said, “Sir, I’m so glad you’re here. You know why? Because you’ve got fresh eyes. Tell us what you think about this [situation].” Now a whole room of senior or at least disparately experienced Soldiers stare at you expecting you to provide them with something worthwhile. That’s what it is to be an Advisor.

The Top 10 Things I Learned as a Battalion Commander at the National Training Center

by Ethan Olberding

Editor’s Note: Over the next week, we will be running a series of articles from 4-70 AR on their lessons learned at the National Training Center (NTC). Each article is unique in that it will present a different perspective from the organization’s key leaders and staff members. Our hope is that these articles will help prepare you for success in your current or future roles in your organization. 

I recently completed a National Training Center (NTC) rotation at Fort Irwin, California as the battalion commander of 4-70 AR, 1st ABCT, 1st AD. I personally learned several lessons that I am still reviewing to inform future training plans and leader development strategies. In the interest of sharing information and creating professional dialogue, please see below for the Top 10 Things I learned through this experience. I hope these points generate conversation and useful leader discussions. 

ACFT 3.5: How the Army can Meet Congressional Guidance without Resorting to Gender Discrimination

ACFT 3.5: How the Army can Meet Congressional Guidance without Resorting to Gender Discrimination

by Kristen M. Griest

I wrote an op-ed through the Modern War Institute in February advocating against the implementation of ACFT 3.0, the latest version of the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT). The new updates to this test include the option to choose either a plank or leg tuck as a core exercise, the removal of branch-specific minimum standards, and the addition of a promotion system that will assess Soldiers according to their gender. While the Army is eager to produce a version of the test that will not disadvantage women and thereby gain Congressional approval, the ACFT 3.0 misses the mark.  

Suicide is a Battle, I Could Not Fight It Alone

By Danita Darby

On 25 May 2019, in Bagram, Afghanistan, I had reached the end of my rope. I was suspended from my command in February 2019, but that single situation is not why I am writing this. What I am writing about today is the fight I had internally during that time period. I am ready to tell my story, and I hope that it strengthens those who are struggling and informs others. I tried to kill myself. 

Lessons Learned in Large Scale ACFT Testing

Lessons Learned in Large Scale ACFT Testing

by Sarah Ferreira 

Since 2018, my unit has been executing the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) on a large scale, meaning that we test large groups of Soldiers continuously throughout a single duty day. We found that we can test a battalion size element (about 1,500 Soldiers) in a 9-hour time frame given the following conditions:

  • 20 fully equipped lanes
  • Grass/turf field that can accommodate 20 lanes-each lane is 3 meters wide and 60m long
  • 2 x Rogue pull up rigs located at end of the testing lanes (or 20 x pull up bars)
  • 2 mile run course co-located next to testing lanes
  • 80 Soldiers per group arriving in 30-minute increments

With each testing repetition we’ve increased our proficiency in setup, administration, grading procedures, assigning support staff, and Soldier throughput. Below are some lessons learned, advice, and tips for anyone who may be tasked to administer large scale ACFTs in the near future.

A Note to the Slick Sleeves

By Micah Ables

During my time in command, I had numerous conversations with disappointed young soldiers who regretted that they hadn’t had a chance to go to war and get a deployment patch. I signed reenlistment contracts for several outstanding soldiers who wanted to leave our unit to deploy to a combat zone with another. I had many conversations with frustrated young officers who signed up to serve when the war was still relatively “hot” and were disappointed to commission after the war slowed down. I know there are far more across the Army who feel this way.

This note is for you:

Be proud of your service. Although you may not feel like it most days, you are a part of the legacy of your unit and our Army. It’s easy to get bitter or cynical about motor pool Mondays, garrison gate guard, range details, red cycle taskings, and on and on and on. But never forget that, despite all that frustration and the less-than-glorious action, you are integral to your unit and the Army, as well as their legacy and role: to stand ready to fight and win our nation’s wars.