TX, UNITED STATES
Story by Capt. Maria Mengrone
176th Engineer Brigade (TXARNG)
CAMP SWIFT, Texas – Newly assigned lieutenants and staff of the 386th Engineer Battalion, 176th Engineer Brigade received critical training in the military decision making process during annual training, 9-14 July, 2017, Camp Swift, Texas.
The military decision making process (MDMP) is an Army seven-step method used to guide decision-making on and off the battlefield.
“Since we have so many new lieutenants added to the staff it seemed like a fantastic training opportunity,” said Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Tony Miles of the 386th Engineer Battalion and resident of Lincoln, Neb. “I want to introduce them to the mindset and the mechanism that they’re going to utilize throughout their careers.”
The group of approximately 12 staff officers worked in their respective sections with close oversight from experienced trainers of the Army National Guard’s Mission Command Training Support Program (MCTSP) based in Ft. Leavenworth, Kan.
“We make sure they understand not only the "how" of mission command and the military decision making process but the "why" of each step, input and output,” said Doctrinal Training Team Leader John C. White resident of Austin, Texas.
The six-day training consists of hypothetical scenarios designed to challenge and promote communication across staff sections.
“It’s a complex process that requires us to work with each other regardless of section; you have to work with others to get help,” said 1st Lt. Cory Ferguson, administrative officer, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 386th Engineer Battalion, 176th Engineer Brigade resident of Corpus Christi, Texas.
The staff exercise training is structured to enable commanders to train their staff to perform essential battle command planning, coordination, integration, synchronization, and control function.
“The more they see and apply MDMP the better officers they’re going to be,” said Miles.
The MDMP training is designed to meet the needs of the units requesting the training.
“Even many captain’s that haven't served on a staff long may not be familiar or proficient in the operations process,” said White. “We simply tailor our instruction to the staff's experience level. We may have to take some steps slower, explain more or reduce the complexity of the mission or problem they are facing.”
The end goal is to ensure new lieutenants and staff can convert vast amounts of data into meaningful information allowing commanders to make well-informed decisions.
“I’m excited to be able to get feedback during this training so as a staff we can give a better presentation and product to the commander,” said Ferguson.
Although this training was primarily geared toward new lieutenants of the 386th Engineer Battalion the MDMP training offered through MCTSP is open and available to other units.
“It’s a really good program for units to use and improve their staffs. It’s a one stop shop where we bring all the products and training material that’s designed with the commander's intent for training in mind. It doesn't cost the unit any money and they just need to commit the right personnel and time to make it effective,” said White.