Why A Custer Executed Poor Mission Command During The Battle Of Little Bighorn

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Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer executed poor mission command during the Battle of Little Bighorn by failing to create a shared understanding of the operational environment and exercise disciplined initiative. Custer was the commander of a battalion in the Battle of Little Bighorn during the Indian Wars1. Little Bighorn was the location of a nomadic village of Lakota Sioux, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes2. Custer approached the unified Indian village with his force of nearly 650 men from the east and south to act as a hammer. Following Custer’s advance, additional infantry and cavalry approached from the north to act as a blocking force or anvil in support of Custer's movements2. In less than an hour, Custer lost his life and over a third of his troops at the hands of an Indian force of nearly 1,800 warriors3. …show more content…

Custer’s scouts warned the commander of the size of the Indian village and cautioned that the Indian’s in the village likely had seen the smoke from the battalion’s camp1. Custer disregarded these warnings and did not share them with his staff or troops1. ADRP 6-0 states commanders and staffs use collaboration and dialogue to create a shared understanding of operational issues and approaches to solving them4. In this case, the extraordinary size of the Indian force was an unexpected operational issue. Because Custer failed to communicate the scouts’ warnings, his men unknowingly facing an adversary nearly three times their size. This failure to create shared understanding significantly contributed to the sweeping defeat Custer’s battalion suffered at Little

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