Bottom line: Commanders that can’t delegate will not survive in the modern battlefield

From our article C4ISRNET (Defense News):
“Command by intent can ensure command post survivability”

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“In a changing operational environment, where command posts are increasingly vulnerable, intent can serve as a stealth enabler.

A communicated commander’s intent can serve as a way to limit electronic signatures and radio traffic, seeking to obfuscate the existence of a command post. In a mission command-driven environment, communication between command post and units can be reduced. The limited radio and network traffic increases command post survivability.

The intent must explain how the commander seeks to fight the upcoming 12 – 24 hours, with limited interaction between subordinated units and the commander, providing freedom for the units to fulfill their missions. For a commander to deliver intent in a valuable and effective manner, the delivery has to be trained so the leader and the subordinates have a clear picture of what they set out to do.


The war in Ukraine has shown the tangible threat to command post survival, highlighted in the May-June 2023 “Military Review” article “The Graveyard of Command Posts,” ( a development that became visible in the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War in 2020 ( ) where command posted that where sensed by sensors where targeted and destroyed.

Innovation is not only technology but also rethinking and adjusting how we act, our processes, and our tactics in a changing operational environment. So, the question is – how do you increase command post survivability? Our proposed way to rely on intent to carry the commander’s will, especially after the initial engagement phase, instead of constant communication should increase command post survivability. The limited electromagnetic activity will make it harder to identify command posts from other units, and the limited radio traffic will be mixed with the noise from the surrounding electromagnetic signatures. ”


See Colonel Stephen Hamilton and my article in C4ISRNET (Defense News):

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