The Rule of LGOPs (Little Groups of Paratroopers) A Metaphor for Resilience

On this the 71st anniversary of the World War II D-Day invasion it is only fitting to remind ourselves that rarely do things go as planned in battle.

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 purestNormandy_1944 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.

https://jmarke.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/the-rule-of-lgops-little-groups-of-paratrooper-john-marke-2015-rev-of-2011

https://app.box.com/s/h1aampwcd2cad5f025a7f5m9zsuwq7gw

Click the following for “Blood Upon The Risers”  and a tribute to the American Paratrooper.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KonxiEQ8oM

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10 thoughts on “The Rule of LGOPs (Little Groups of Paratroopers) A Metaphor for Resilience

  1. While working as plans ncoic of the G3/82nd ABN DIV I included the rule of lgops into as many of the documents as I could. Just to remind the officers of the reality of war planning.

    • Stephen,
      Sorry it took me so long to get back to you with a response regarding LGOPs. Glad you included LGOP to remind us of our unique heritage. Our ability to improvise and adapt is crucial. By the way, 42 years ago this week I started “jump week” at Ft. Benning, 44 Co.
      Airborne!
      John Marke

      • Happy Airborne Birthday! My 31st Airborne Birthday is a couple of weeks away. HIT IT! One thousand, two thousand…

  2. Pingback: Ready for D-Day | TechnoChitlins

  3. What’s Taking place i’m new to this, I stumbled
    upon this I have discovered It absolutely helpful and it has aided me out loads.
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  4. I’d like to get access to the LGOPs paper. How may i do that?

    I have the “Rule of LGOPs” on my desk at my job with the Navy unit I support. Some are amused; some horrified; the couple of paratroopers that work there just smile, nod and quietly mumble “hooah”.

    Thanks.

  5. Pingback: Never Underestimate the Power of the LGOP | Head Space and Timing

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