Mission Command Analysis

2560 words 11 pages
MISSION COMMAND ANALYSIS:
COLONEL JOSHUA CHAMBERLAIN AT THE BATTLE OF LITTLE ROUND TOP

In late June 1863, Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia passed through western Maryland and invaded Pennsylvania. General Lee believed that by invading the North, he could draw the Union Army of the Potomac away from their defenses and force them to come after him. He also assumed the people of the North would be so demoralized if the Union were to lose another major battle, especially if it was fought on Northern soil, that President Abraham Lincoln would be forced to negotiate a settlement of the Civil War. On 01 July 1863, then Colonel Joshua Chamberlain, and his 20th Maine received word to begin movement to
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COL Chamberlains ability to clearly visualize the battlefield paid off during the famous bayonet charge, late in the battle, by causing a great deal of confusion in the Confederate ranks who thought the Company was actually two regiments. After COL Chamberlain visualized his operation, he began describing his intent and purpose for the mission to his assembled company commanders in order to facilitate a shared understanding. COL Chamberlain made sure that every man in his unit knew what the consequences of failure were while issuing his intent and purpose. He also began directing his subordinate leaders by setting achievable goals and providing clear tasks. Conveying the essence of his visualization, he sent his B Company of 44 men to the 20th Maine’s left front flank as skirmishers. He directed his B Company commander to go out of eyesight but to stay within supporting distance. COL Chamberlain knew that if he heard them fire that the Confederates would be trying to get around his flank. He also told the commander of B Company to keep him informed of any of the critical information requirements he described. He then instructed the right flank company to tie in with 83rd Pennsylvania and the left flank company to anchor on a large boulder. COL Chamberlain also directed that the men begin digging in and piling rocks to make a stone wall. Shortly after Chamberlain’s men were in position, the Confederates

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