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February 25, 2015

More lessons to learn in the Mamasapano tragedy:

  • leadership is crucial, especially during perilous times
  • chain of command should not be taken willy-nilly
  • communications is vital
  • it is easier to tell the truth

Leadership is akin to that of a driver on the steering wheel.  When negotiating a difficult terrain, the driver must be all-out in focus.   But during the most critical hours of the mission, there obviously was an absence of leadership, just separate points of authority which could not move in unison for lack of a coordinating, guiding force.    The absence of leadership was most obvious: ask the question Who was in charge?

Chain of command, or whatever  term it is called, should be taken seriously, never lightly, more so in a military operation as complicated and dangerous.  A miscue or a fault on the chain especially one coming from the top is bound to set off a train of complications and confusions cascading down the line resulting in a major disarray.   It is called command breakdown.

During the hearings, I was hoping someone would ask (or did i miss it?):  are cellphones now the primary means of communications in such missions?   And why text not  voice call?  On social media young netizens are perplexed and amused that urgent messages were being sent through text instead of calls.   In any case, communications is very crucial in coordinating disparate forces and gleaning from bits and pieces of info from the hearings and the news, apparently bad communications contributed  in the collapse of command leading to the death of the SAF 44.

Lastly, well, we all lie for one reason or another.  But, truly honesty is the best policy.


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