July 16, 2014
The title of this article may be somewhat misleading. Our doctrine is not new but rather renewed. The basic recruiting fundamentals and principles still apply, but are rewritten using the Army doctrine 2015 template, Army terminology - when possible - and emphasize mission command. Roles in the recruiting center are gone with the exception of the center leader. All Soldiers are now recruiters conducting operations as directed by the center leader.
The role of recruiting doctrine is to provide a gateway for the proper conduct of recruiting operations and sound decision-making. It provides leaders with the right and left limits of operational activities, and suggests ways to exploit opportunities and detect vulnerabilities.
Doctrine is authoritative but allows flexibility in its application. It combines theory, history, experimentation, and current practices, along with fundamental principles that guide leaders in their decision making process.
Successful doctrine implementation requires a highly educated and trained force that possesses a high degree of trust and confidence in each other. However, in a geographically dispersed command, such as USAREC, leaders at every level - while well intentioned - often succumb to a checklist mentality. This often subverts the ability of junior leaders and Soldiers to feel free to innovate, perhaps causing them to fail and learn from mistakes.
In units that develop a checklist mentality:
· it is the checklist that soon replaces innovation at the small unit level,
· it is the checklist that becomes the mission,
· it is the checklist that allows us to passively resist any change, and
· it is the checklist that replaces individual initiative and leads to complacency.
For USAREC to succeed and release the power of individual imagination and initiative, leaders at every level must resist the temptation to develop a checklist for every occasion.
In the end, no one can anticipate every circumstance to achieve every detail of a mission. Mission command will allow all commanders the opportunity to challenge their subordinates and allow those up for the challenge - based on their established trust and confidence - the will to transform and succeed.
Infrequently or routinely, actions completed sometimes do require a checklist and that’s okay. Don’t get me wrong, checklists do serve a useful purpose - ensuring we do not forget essential or elemental actions. However, checklists can not replace “how to think” about recruiting operations will never replace good teaching, coaching and mentoring of subordinates.
As we all implement our new doctrine, I encourage each of you to review how we interact with each other, if you’re a leader be aware of how you lead, and all of us ensure our actions:
· encourage innovation rather than discourage,
· facilitate the exchange of professional recruiting knowledge,
. foster trust and confidence, and
· build a teaching organization where we are free to teach each other regardless of rank or position.
Strength Starts Here!
MG Allen Batschelet