[December 29, 2017] The night was unusually dark and windy … perfect weather for an attack on an enemy fortified position located in a village just east of Baghdad. We had complete tactical surprise because unit leaders were ready to make sound and timely decisions.
Over 25 Sunni insurgents were killed or captured that night due to the fact that unit soldiers made several decisions that placed us in an advantage using night scopes, accurate firepower, and flexible tactics. This was the beginning of the war in 2003 and we continued to use them until ordered to exit the country in 2011.
It is the duty of leaders everywhere to make sound and timely decisions; whether or not they are told to do so. When leaders do this, they are exercising their power and obligation to carry out their assigned tasks or missions.
Here are some of the requirements that leaders should ideally possess to make the proper decision:
- Specified authority that identifies the boundaries of decisions
- Training in sound decision-making techniques
- Relevant experiences
- Wisdom and intellect to make good decisions
- Sufficient information to make proper decisions
This is not easy for those lacking experience. When I was at Fort Benning Infantry school, there were two Lieutenants who were forced to resign because they could not make sound and timely decisions. The reason for their failure is irrelevant and so they were dismissed from the Army.
The U.S. military and other successful organizations are good at weeding out leaders who cannot make decisions. Your life and those of your buddies may one day depend upon it. Are you ready?