The U.S. Army and Mission Command

Philosophy versus Practice

Maj. Brett Matzenbacher, U.S. Army

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In the late spring of 1940, the German army was poised along the western front to break the calm of Germany’s seven-month “phoney war” with France and England, during which no major land operations were conducted. The chief of staff of the German invasion forces, Oberst (Col.) Kurt Zeitzler, issued orders to the subordinate commanders of Panzergruppe Kleist.1 He reportedly commanded “that your divisions completely cross the German borders, completely cross the Belgian borders, and completely cross the River Meuse. I don’t care how you do it, that’s completely up to you.”2 Such were the mission orders that guided the actions of the 250,000 soldiers of the German army’s main effort in the battle to defeat the combined forces of the Western allies massed along the French border.

As Jörg Muth, author of Command Culture: Officer Education in the U.S. Army and the German Armed Forces, 1901–1940, and the Consequences for World War II, describes, “in contrast, the orders for the American forces to land in North Africa were the size of a Sears Roebuck catalog.”3 Muth’s description emphasizes the differences in the command philosophies of the two armies at that time. The former, represented by Zeitzler, is the philosophy of Auftragstaktik, characterized by decentralized leadership, maneuver warfare, and the empowerment of subordinates to make decisions and seize the initiative whenever possible. The latter is the twentieth-century American “managerial approach” to war, “characterized by centralization, standardization, detailed planning, and quantitative analysis,” according to Eitan Shamir in “The Long and Winding Road: The U.S. Army Managerial Approach to Command and the Adoption of Mission Command (Auftragstaktik).”4

About forty years after World War II, however, the U.S. Army began to embrace the philosophy of its former enemy, with the 1982 version of Field Manual (FM) 100-5, Operations.5 Over time, Auftragstaktik was loosely translated into “mission command.” The idea has become a pillar of the Army’s operational concept, now called unified land operations.6 Since 1982, many articles on mission command have been written, and the phrase has permeated Army doctrine. Additionally, the Army has refined the concept after numerous combat operations across the globe. As such, one might assume that the assimilation of the mission command philosophy into the Army’s culture would be well advanced. However, the reality is that the Army has failed to fully integrate the concept of mission command because it has failed to properly define the philosophy and to set the conditions for its successful implementation. The Army could achieve the culture change it needs by using a more precise definition of mission command and by aligning professional military education with it.


The Origins of Mission Command

German Army Regulation 300, Truppenführung (Unit Command), 1933, succinctly described the Auftragstaktik philosophy and the framework the German army would use in World War II.7 The regulation’s introduction stated that Auftragstaktik was necessary to counter the inherent uncertainty and ever present friction in war.8 Because of the inherent uncertainty and friction, subordinate leaders would need to be empowered to make “independent and decisive decisions” based on their commander’s intent, even if that meant not following the original order received.9 Additionally, their freedom of action would be possible because of the trust and understanding between subordinate and superior.10 Finally, Auftragstaktik was inextricably tied to, and a vital prerequisite of, Bewegungskrieg (maneuver warfare), the genesis of the famed blitzkrieg (lightning war) tactics. Germany saw maneuver warfare as the solution to the dilemma it regularly found itself facing due to its geographic location within Europe: fighting on two fronts while outnumbered.11 In essence, victory would be achieved through quick, decisive, offensive actions in which the superior quality of German military leaders and soldiers would compensate for their inferior numbers. Because units were operating independently under the principles of Auftragstaktik, they would be able to more rapidly observe, orient, decide, and act (reminiscent of the more modern-day Boyd’s OODA loop) than their opponents.12

In Transforming Command: the Pursuit of Mission Command in the U.S., British, and Israeli Armies, Eitan Shamir describes how Auftragstaktik evolved from a body of thought that began to take root in the Prussian-German army around the turn of the nineteenth century.13 Auftragstaktik was among the reforms implemented after Napoleon defeated the Prussian army at the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt in 1806.

A number of influential reformers, to include Gen. Gerhard von Scharnhorst and Gen. August Neidhardt von Gneisenau, began to reform the Prussian approach to command even before Jena-Auerstedt.14 After the defeat, these reforms gained momentum and were continued by two of these officers’ protégés, Carl von Clausewitz and Helmuth von Moltke the Elder.15 While Clausewitz enjoys more fame today, it was really Moltke who “institutionalized the new approach to command.”16 As chief of the Prussian (and later German) general staff from 1857 to 1887, Moltke was ideally placed to ensure that Auftragstaktik became fully entrenched.17 In addition, he demonstrated the effectiveness of this new command philosophy by using it to achieve victories in the Austro-Prussian and Franco-Prussian Wars.

The success of Auftragstaktik in these conflicts cemented its place within the German army. The Germans continued to refine their command philosophy prior to World War I, and after that war, determined that Auftragstaktik should extend all the way down to the noncommissioned officer level.18 As such, by World War II, this body of thought had been a part of the German army’s culture for over a hundred and fifty years.

After the Vietnam War, American senior leaders were looking for an innovative upgrade to the existing attrition-based doctrine to offset disadvantages in facing the numerically superior Soviet army. In 1980, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) commander Gen. Donn A. Starry even went so far as to hold a four-day conference with a number of former Wehrmacht (Nazi Germany’s unified armed forces) officers to “derive lessons for a modern defense of Europe against a Soviet invasion.”19 This interaction led to the principles of Auftragstaktik becoming a focus of the 1982 version of FM 100-5. Their adoption signified a dramatic shift in the American approach to war and the birth of the U.S. Army’s notion of mission command.

The Change from Management to Mission Command

Making a radical change in thinking and practice within such a large and tradition-bound organization as the U.S. Army presents a complex, if not impossible, challenge. To understand how and where the Army has gone wrong, this paper builds on Shamir’s analysis in Transforming Command, in which he applies former Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Edgar H. Schein’s organizational culture model.

In Organizational Culture and Leadership, Schein proposes “three levels of culture.”20 These levels include artifacts, espoused beliefs and values, and basic underlying assumptions.21 Schein suggests that an organizational culture’s artifacts are the easiest level to identify, and they include the mission, the organizational structure, and, in the case of a military organization, the doctrine.22

While the artifacts may be the most visible aspects of a culture, they also have the least impact on how it thinks and operates, according to Schein. The next level, espoused beliefs and values, can consist of “written or unwritten ideologies, ideals, goals,” or education.23 This level has a much stronger and more direct impact on an organization’s true beliefs and ways of thinking—its basic underlying assumptions.24

While this article does not seek to apply every level of Schein’s model to the Army, it does examine changes the Army has made in its artifacts and its espoused beliefs and values. More specifically, this article explores the Army’s doctrine and education system to illustrate how the Army has failed to implement mission command. As Shamir states in his analysis of the behavior of armies, if an army’s second and third levels of culture “remain unaltered, so will [the army’s] organizational behavior.”25


Two potential “gaps” exist when an organization attempts to adopt the practices, or culture, of another, writes Shamir.26 The first gap occurs during adoption and interpretation, with the possibility that the idea “will be interpreted and practiced differently by the adopting party due to the impact of particular strategic settings and organizational cultures. Consequently, the impact of the adopted concept on the organization and its effectiveness may be different than expected or intended.”27 Shamir states further that the “second gap, praxis, develops during the implementation of the adapted doctrine.”28

The Army’s Unfocused Interpretation of Mission Command

The Army doctrine publications (ADPs) offer “logic maps” as graphic representations of their major principles. Let us compare the logic map in the 2012 edition of ADP 6-0, Mission Command, with a notional logic map that captures the essence of Auftragstaktik in Truppenführung. Figure 1 shows the logic map found in ADP 6-0.29 Figure 2 shows a logic map depicting the role of Auftragstaktik, based on Bruce Condell and David T. Zabecki’s summary of Truppenführung.30

A comparison of these two graphics demonstrates distinct differences between the original German concept of Auftragstaktik and the U.S. Army’s adaptation. Although a visual comparison of the two figures indicates some variations in complexity, a deeper examination of the two clarifies some significant differences.

In the German approach, the command philosophy of Auftragstaktik was the driving force behind the operating concept (maneuver warfare). Auftragstaktik permeated everything about Germany’s approach to warfare. This likely is why the principles of Auftragstaktik were explained in the introduction to Truppenführung. Auftragstaktik, by implication, was meant to provide the overarching basis for leadership and command, regardless of the situation. Based on ADP 6-0, however, mission command is simply “one of the foundations” of unified land operations.31 As such, it is clear that the concept of mission command does not enjoy the same primacy in American doctrine that it did in its German predecessor.

Second, as figure 1 captures, U.S. Army doctrine has conflated a command philosophy, mission command, with the command-and-control warfighting function. Mission command, however, should be the central philosophy meant to influence the way in which an organization’s noncommissioned and commissioned officers lead their units. It should inform the way they train, plan, educate, and conduct operations. Command and control should be viewed as the supporting process that stipulates the authority, systems, and procedures used to execute mission command—in other words, the tools a leader uses to synchronize the actions of an organization with adjacent units and within the leader’s chain of command.

In overlaying on, and mixing, the philosophy of mission command with command and control, Army doctrine has only succeeded in confusing the two. The result is that many junior leaders, and for that matter, some senior leaders, have the impression that the Army is simply renaming a warfighting function rather than trying to change the essence of its underlying command philosophy. In Truppenführung, the Germans recognized the potential for such confusion, and as such, separated these two distinct concepts. Auftragstaktik was described in the introduction of Truppenführung precisely to reinforce the idea that those principles applied to everything in the remainder of the manual. The procedures and systems that comprised the command-and-control function were subordinated to the overarching philosophy and described in chapter 2 of Truppenführung, titled “Command.”32

Finally, the U.S. Army has lost focus on the end state that it was attempting to achieve by changing its command philosophy. The primary reason the Army began adopting the principles of Auftragstaktik was to respond to a changed understanding of the nature of emerging modern war, and the kind of environment Army forces faced at that time, as discussed in the 1982 edition of FM 100-5. The new doctrine led the Army to transition from an attrition-based approach to one based on maneuver warfare. To illustrate, figure 2 depicts the logic behind what the Germans believed were the principles of Auftragstaktik in conducting modern maneuver warfare. Similarly, FM 100-5 also draws the link between these principles and the successful conduct of maneuver warfare throughout its second chapter.33

However, the logical relationship between the needed changes in command practice to the conduct of modern maneuver warfare appears to have been lost in formulation of mission command doctrine. While the Army’s operating concept, unified land operations, does represent the tenets of maneuver warfare, neither ADP 3-0 nor ADP 6-0 makes the connection that mission command is a prerequisite for maneuver warfare as an operational approach. At best, U.S. doctrine states mission command, presumably the philosophy rather than the warfighting function, is “a foundation” of unified land operations.34 While this does denote that mission command retains significant importance in the Army’s doctrine, it is a far cry from being the centrifugal component in the operating concept, as was the case in the German army as illustrated in figure 2.

While this may seem to be simply nitpicking doctrinal minutiae, these gaps in definition and description are noteworthy. If, as ADP 3-0 states, the role of doctrine is to serve as “a body of thought on how Army forces operate” and as a “guide to action rather than a fixed set of rules,” then it is crucial that doctrine clearly describe the concepts the organization wants to employ and why it wants to employ them.35 Clear understanding is, after all, one of the principles of mission command.

As a consequence of the lack of commitment to the concept of mission command as the key philosophical foundation of its new doctrine, the Army’s adoption of mission command has been incomplete due to a flawed interpretation of the concept of Auftragstaktik. However, this is but one of the obstacles currently facing the Army as it struggles to implement mission command.

An exploration of the second gap, what Shamir refers to as “praxis,” is helpful.36 As Shamir succinctly explains, praxis gaps occur “as a result of an interplay between external and internal factors.”37 Examples of external factors that could affect the implementation of a foreign idea into one’s own military include changes in technology and “civil-military relations,” while some internal factors might “include education, training, and personnel policies.”38


The Need to Reform Leader Development for Mission Command

In the 150 years between the German army’s defeat at the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt and its early victories of World War II, the German army effected many changes in its education, training, and personnel policies to inculcate its command philosophy. The U.S. Army, since the release of FM 100-5 in 1982, through subsequent doctrinal manuals, has attempted to shrink this period of evolution. Yet, while the Army has changed its doctrine, it has neglected to make critical educational reforms necessary to successfully integrate mission command into its culture. An analysis of the lack of changes in Army education, particularly of officers, provides the best understanding of where the praxis gap described by Shamir has occurred.39 First, however, an analysis of how the Germans changed their officer education system to instill their new command philosophy into the moral and psychological fabric of their forces will provide some context.

By the early twentieth century, the Germans had developed, arguably, the best officer education system the world had ever seen. With a clear eye on their objective, “the whole German professional military educational system paved the way for the famous Auftragstaktik.”40 Prior to World War I, “serious military education” for a German officer aspirant would begin at age fourteen (some schools admitted boys as young as ten), at one of the various Kadettenschulen (cadet schools) found across Germany.41 These schools “offered the same curriculum as a Realgymnasium [secondary school],” though it was slightly altered to allow more time for courses in language and geography as well as time for drill and athletics.42 While formal military training was minimal, an established cadet chain of command and commissioned officer instructors were already evaluating cadets on leadership and character.43

After the eleventh grade, cadets were tested to determine if they had acquired the requisite knowledge to continue officer training. If they failed this exam, they were excused from the Kadettenschulen and returned to civilian education.44 Following the thirteenth grade, at age nineteen, cadets would again be examined and, upon passing, “gain a degree equivalent to the Abitur (ready to enter a university)” despite the fact that in the final two years “military subjects taught would by far outweigh regular school disciplines.”45

Even upon graduation from the Kadettenschulen, cadets were not commissioned as officers but were promoted to Fähnrich (ensign), ranking just above sergeants. They would be sent to their respective regiments, where their training would continue under the tutelage of the officers of their regiments for approximately a year, depending on the ensign.46 Once their regimental commanders deemed them ready, the prospective officers would be sent to the Kriegsschule (war school) for two years of intensive training in their respective branch.47 Upon graduating from the Kriegsschule, the ensigns would return to their regiments to continue to gain practical experience, and finally, “the regimental commander would decide—usually after a conversation with all the officers of the regiment—if the young aspirant had proven worthy to become an officer.”48

Even upon commissioning, the young lieutenant found no respite. Once again, his commander and brother officers would assist him in preparation for the exams that would determine his eligibility to attend the vaunted Kriegsakademie (War College) roughly five years after receiving his commission.49 An officer’s performance in these exams was a matter of pride (or shame) to the entire officer corps of the regiment, and that performance could directly affect the career of the regimental commander.50

Education, combined with multiple opportunities to gain real-world experience with soldiers, was emphasized. As Muth states, “real life was the test for the German officer aspirant, not the artificial atmosphere of an enclosed military academy.”51 Thus, the Germans approached leader development along three separate lines of effort: the institutional domain, the operational domain, and the self-development domain. Upon graduation from a Kadettenschulen, a young officer would gain operational training, education, and experience in the aspirant’s regiment under the supervision of the regimental commander with observational participation by the other officers of the regiment. Everyone had a vested interest in the development of every new member of the regiment’s officer corps. Institutional education, training, and experience were gained in the final two years of a cadet’s time at the Kadettenschulen and at his respective branch school.

Finally, while with his regiment, and in preparation for his branch schooling, an ensign was expected to commit considerable time to self-development, again, under the tutelage of his brother officers within the regiment. In total, the typical German lieutenant received about six years of training and education, including two years of practical experience with soldiers, prior to being commissioned and assuming a position of authority.

Though the Kadettenschulen were abolished after World War I in accordance with the Versailles Treaty, German precommissioning officer training during the interwar years was very similar to the model discussed above.52 Formal and informal education continued throughout the officer’s career with the same thoroughness demonstrated in precommissioning.


Contemporary U.S. Army precommissioning officer education pales in comparison to the German model and has undergone minimal change since the 1982 release of FM 100-5. The vast majority of U.S. Army officers are produced via the Reserve Officer Training Corps or the United States Military Academy at West Point. Regardless of the path a cadet takes, the journey provides a similar experience. Earning a civilian degree is the cadet’s priority. In contrast, military-centric training is restricted to short drill periods, with the most intensive training occurring over the summer months between the cadet’s junior and senior years. This training focuses on providing cadets with skills similar to what a recruit would receive during basic training, with some additional leadership, team building, and tactics included. This level of training would roughly correspond to what a cadet would have received in the German system before graduating from a Kadettenschulen. However, unlike the German system, upon graduation a U.S. Army cadet is commissioned as a second lieutenant. The new officer is then sent to a branch-specific school, which typically lasts about six months. Once the young officer has completed this training, he or she is put in charge of a platoon or given a staff position until a platoon becomes available. Despite the fact that the U.S. Army uses a similar leadership development methodology, as captured in figure 3, a new second lieutenant has only received a fraction of the institutional training, education, and experience as his and her German predecessor.53

Opportunities in the operational domain for U.S. Army cadets are limited to a handful of tactical training events with other cadets, not in an actual tactical unit. The exception is Cadet Troop Leader Training, which “provides cadets the opportunity to experience leadership in” active-duty units where aspiring officers will ideally shadow a current platoon leader for three to four weeks.54 However, Cadet Troop Leader Training is not universal, nor is it mandatory, and experiences vary significantly depending on the type of unit and the training cycle.

Upon arriving at a tactical unit, leader development remains extremely uneven. As Gen. George C. Marshall stated in 1939, “I thoroughly agree with the Chief of Infantry as to the too strong tendency of regimental commanders to rely on the service schools for the education of their officers.”55 Unfortunately, this statement is just as applicable today as it was in 1939. While some battalion and brigade commanders dedicate extraordinary energy to the development of their junior officers, many do not, and the Army has no method of evaluating how well leaders develop their subordinates, like the Germans had in the 1930s.

The self-development domain is even less structured. Some new officers do not learn their first duty assignment until they are well into their branch-specific training course; therefore, they have no mentors from their gaining units to guide them in their self-development program. Some exceptions may include reading lists or an online self-study program, depending on the branch. Self-development, however, should be guided and mentored to achieve its true potential, as in the German model. Done incorrectly, as Maj. Joe Byerly stated in a Naval War College Joint Military Operations paper, this leads to “learning the wrong lessons from history and using selective readings to reinforce one’s prejudices.”56

Contemporary Army officers report to their first unit with three to four years less training, education, and experience than their 1930 German equivalents. Not only is this discrepancy in time significant, but the breadth and depth of a German officer’s development also made the individual officer infinitely more capable and ready to assume the leadership within the unit once finally commissioned. The officer had already proven worthy in the eyes of soldiers and peers of the regiment, giving a level of credibility that few second lieutenants in the U.S. Army today enjoy.


The Way to Develop a Shared Understanding of Mission Command

Arguably, the two most important principles of mission command are shared understanding and mutual trust. Ironically, U.S. doctrine fails to convey a clear, shared understanding of mission command. The Army’s doctrine on the matter is confusing and inconsistent. Additionally, the U.S. Army’s system of developing its officers fails to build mutual trust between echelons of command. Junior officer precommissioning training has been examined here as the vehicle to demonstrate this, but the same could be said for intermediate and senior officer professional military education as well as the Army’s noncommissioned officer education system. U.S. Army leaders are often underprepared for the responsibilities they are given. Returning to Schein’s levels of culture, the Army has made only cursory changes to its artifacts, and it has failed to change its espoused beliefs and values (its education system). As such, the Army has failed to change its culture.

Mission command is indeed the proper command philosophy for the U.S. Army. Current and likely future operations will be complex, dynamic, and too varied for one central commander to make sense of every relevant factor and then direct actions to each subordinate commander. The Clausewitzian notion of fog and friction is no closer to being mitigated today than it was in the 1830s. However, as noted historical and military author Daniel Hughes states in an article in the International Military Defence Encyclopedia, “as long as Western armies regard Auftragstaktik simply as a policy of short general orders, rather than a fundamental principle governing all requiring decisions and judgment, their officers will not understand what the principle entails, let alone implement it on the battlefield.”57 This is not an insurmountable task nor does it require that the U.S. Army attempt to copy or replicate the actions of the German army of the late nineteenth or early twentieth centuries. Additionally, as Martin van Creveld said, “it is not necessarily true that a non-German armed force has to traverse that history in its entirety, to understand and apply” Auftragstaktik, or mission command.58

However, the Army is going to have to do more to successfully adopt mission command as its overarching command philosophy. First, it must forcefully and clearly articulate that the concept is the essence of its doctrine and distinguish it from the command-and-control warfighting function. In other words, the Army’s artifacts must accurately reflect the culture it is attempting to adopt. Second, “it is not enough to write new doctrine.”59 Changes must be made to the Army’s officer and noncommissioned officer military education and training programs that remakes and reshapes its espoused beliefs and values. In this way, the Army can truly change the foundation of its basic assumptions and its culture. If the Army is unwilling to make these changes, mission command will remain merely an espoused leadership philosophy, rather than a philosophy in practice.

This article is based on Brett Matzenbacher, “The U.S. Army and Mission Command: An Espoused Philosophy versus a Philosophy in Practice” (master’s thesis, Naval War College, 2015).


  1. Jörg Muth, Command Culture: Officer Education in the U.S. Army and the German Armed Forces, 1901-1940, and the Consequences for World War II (Denton, Texas: University of North Texas Press, 2011), 174.
  2. Johann Adolf Graf von Kielmansegg, “Bemerkungen zum Referat von Hauptmann Dr. Frieser (Panzergruppe Kleist) aus der Sicht eines Zeitzeugen” [“Comments on the Report by Captain Dr. Frieser (Panzer Group Kleist) as Seen by an Eyewitness”], in Horst Boog, Operatives Denken und Handeln in deutschen Streitkräften im 19. und 20. Jarhundert [Operational Thinking and Action in German Armed Forces in the 19th and 20th centuries], ed. Günther Roth (Herford, DE: Mittler, 1988), 152. Kielmansegg was a logistics officer for the 1st Panzer Division, and he was present when Col. Kurt Zeitzler spoke the order.
  3. Muth, Command Culture, 174.
  4. Eitan Shamir, “The Long and Winding Road: The U.S. Army Managerial Approach to Command and the Adoption of Mission Command (Auftragstaktik),” Journal of Strategic Studies 33, no. 5 (2010): 646.
  5. Field Manual (FM) 100-5, Operations (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Publishing Office [GPO], August 1982 [now obsolete]), 2-1–2-8.
  6. Army Doctrine Publication (ADP) 3-0, Unified Land Operations (Washington, DC: U.S. GPO, 2016).
  7. Bruce Condell and David T. Zabecki, eds., On the German Art of War: Truppenführung (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2001), 4.
  8. Ibid., 17.
  9. Ibid., 18.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Ibid., 3, 18.
  12. John Boyd’s “observe, orient, decide, and act (OODA) loop” is described, discussed, and applied in numerous sources, including William S. Lind, Maneuver Warfare Handbook (Boulder, CO: Westview, 1985).
  13. Eitan Shamir, Transforming Command: The Pursuit of Mission Command in the U.S., British, and Israeli Armies (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2011), 85–93, iBooks.
  14. Ibid., 93–98.
  15. Ibid., 98.
  16. Ibid.
  17. Ibid., 98–121.
  18. James S. Corum, The Roots of Blitzkrieg: Hans von Seeckt and German Military Reform (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1992), 76–77.
  19. Shamir, Transforming Command, 247.
  20. Edgar H. Schein, Organizational Culture and Leadership (San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons, 2010), 66, iBooks.
  21. Ibid., 69.
  22. Ibid., 68–69.
  23. Ibid., 68.
  24. Ibid., 68–77.
  25. Shamir, Transforming Command, 64–65.
  26. Ibid., 27.
  27. Ibid., 26.
  28. Ibid., 27.
  29. ADP 6-0, Mission Command (Washington, DC: U.S. GPO, May 2012, iv.
  30. Condell and Zabecki, On the German Art of War, 2–19.
  31. ADP 6-0, Mission Command, iv.
  32. Condell and Zabecki, On the German Art of War, 22–28.
  33. FM 100-5, Operations, 2-1–2-10.
  34. ADP 6-0, Mission Command, 1.
  35. ADP 3-0, Unified Land Operations, 1.
  36. Shamir, Transforming Command, 27–29.
  37. Ibid., 29.
  38. Ibid., 28.
  39. Ibid.
  40. Muth, Command Culture, 173.
  41. Ibid., 87.
  42. Friedrich Franz von Unruh, Ehe die Stunde schlug: Eine Jugend im Kaiserreich (Bodensee, DE: Hohenstaufen, 1967), 106.
  43. Muth, Command Culture, 93–94.
  44. Ibid., 103–4.
  45. Ibid., 107.
  46. Ibid., 184.
  47. Ibid.
  48. Ibid., 185.
  49. Ibid., 149–62.
  50. Ibid., 149–55.
  51. Ibid., 184.
  52. James S. Corum, The Roots of Blitzkrieg, 77–84.
  53. Army Doctrine Reference Publication (ADRP) 7-0, Training Units and Developing Leaders (Washington, DC: U.S. GPO, August 2012), 1-2
  54. U.S. Army Cadet Command: The Official Home of the Army ROTC (website), accessed 6 November 2017,
  55. Larry I. Bland, Sharon R. Ritenour, and Clarence E. Wunderlin Jr., eds., The Papers of George Catlett Marshall: “We Cannot Delay,” July 1, 1939-December 6, 1941, vol. 2 of 6 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), 65. Gen. George C. Marshall’s memorandum to the assistant chief of staff G-3, 26 September 1939.
  56. Joseph M. Byerly, “The Self-Development Domain: The Forgotten Domain of Leader Development” (research paper, Naval War College, 2014), 11.
  57. Daniel Hughes, “Auftragstaktik,” in International Military Defence Encyclopedia, vol. 1A-B, ed. Trevor N. Dupuy (London: Macmillan, 1993), 332.
  58. Martin Van Creveld, “On Learning from the Wehrmacht and Other Things,” Military Review 68, no. 1 (January 1988): 70.
  59. Paul Johnston, “Doctrine is Not Enough: The Effect of Doctrine on the Behavior of Armies,” Parameters 30, no. 3 (Autumn 2000): 30–39.


Maj. Brett Matzenbacher, U.S. Army, is the operations officer for 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado. He holds a BA from the University of Central Arkansas and an MA from the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island. He has served with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), as a small group leader at the Maneuver Captain’s Career Course at Fort. Benning, Georgia, and as the aide-de-camp for the commandant of the U.S. Army Armor School.

March-April 2018