Chapter 7

Turning Your Strategic Objectives into Mission Statements

Although there is a lot of camaraderie in the military, because we truly respect each other, each of the branches likes to give the other a hard time. There are a few jokes that go around about pilots, and one of them in particular always gets the laughs: How do you know if the person you’re talking to in a bar is a pilot? The answer: Don’t worry, he’ll tell you. And although we give pilots a hard time for their confidence, there is something that pilots are pretty darn great at doing, and that’s planning. No pilot ever willingly starts a sortie without a detailed flight plan complete with primary targets, alternate targets, tertiary targets, desired effects, and an end state, as well as a slew of other preparedness steps. They create such detailed plans because they have to. What if we had fighter pilots flying around without specific engagement criteria, with no defined mission, and no fuel consumption plan? In best-case scenario terms, it would be a complete waste of resources. In worst-case scenario terms, that kind of disorganization could be extremely dangerous for the pilot, the civilian population on the ground, and to the mission itself.

The Fundamentals of Planning

Detailed planning creates a clear unity of effort that ensures that everyone is working toward the same goal. In this chapter, I’ll be giving you an idea of what a mission statement looks like and how you can use it. I’ll also use a few terms ...

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