The 18th century military strategist Carl Von Clausewitz called it the “fog of war.” It must have been pretty foggy on the night of June 5th and morning of June 6th 1944 off the coast of Normandy. In the pre-dawn hours Airborne troopers were dropped all over the field of battle, few hitting the “drop zone” as planned…
Rule of LGOPs
After the demise of the best Airborne plan, a most terrifying effect occurs on the battlefield.
This effect is known as the Rule of LGOPs. This is, in its purest form, small groups of 19- year old American Paratroopers. They are well-trained, armed-to-the-teeth and lack serious adult supervision. They collectively remember the Commander’s intent as “March to the sound of the guns and kill anyone who is not dressed like you…” …or something like that. Happily they go about the day’s work…
The Rule of LGOPs is instructive:
– They shared a common vision
– The vision was simple, easy to understand, and unambiguous
– They were trained to improvise and take the initiative
– They need to be told what to do; not how to do it
The Rule of LGOPs is, of course, a metaphor for resilience. All Armies, by the way, believe their soldiers are the best, the bravest, the most noble. But not all are the most resilient or adaptable. To be sure, I am not denigrating planning. Whether that structured thought effort is military, homeland security, or risk assessment, which I include as a type of planning. But anticipation must go hand in glove with adaptability. Life is full of surprises.
The full paper is available here. Had some trouble with folks accessing the “box” http.
Click the following for “Blood Upon The Risers” and a tribute to the American Paratrooper.