The question of why some units are more successful than others is frequently asked at all levels in today's Army. The intent of the question is to identify and quantify critical aspects of the battlefield on which current and future commanders can focus and train to do well. That a unit is able to execute specific tasks to doctrinal standards does not guarantee success. A commander must be able to not only execute tasks to standard, he or she must integrate or synchronize the tasks to achieve a specific intent.
The term "synchronization" is commonly used to describe the actions that must occur at critical times and places to achieve an intended outcome. Synchronization requires planning, training, and practice.
The conductor of an orchestra must synchronize all of the instruments in an orchestra in order for the musical sounds to become a symphony. No matter how well each of the instruments in the orchestra is played, without the synchronization of all the instruments, an orchestra produces a cacophony of musical sound instead of a symphony. Before an orchestra creates a symphony, each of the musicians must learn, practice, and rehearse their respective pieces. It is the conductor who brings all of the musicians and instruments together to produce the symphony.
Commanders on the battlefields of today and tomorrow, like conductors of fine orchestras, must plan, train, practice, and rehearse to synchronize their "Musicians of Mars" to produce the symphony of war. GEN Patton's "Harmony" of 1941 is "Synchronization" of today's Air/Land Battle.
The following pages tell a story of synchronization from the maneuver team commander's perspective. It is not intended to be the perfect solution, rather a story showing the critical tasks that most commonly cause units to not meet their training objectives. The characters and the battles are fictional, the story is not. The successes and failures are found everyday as units around the world train for their concert with Mars. Our intent is for the reader to finish with a better understanding of synchronization and how better to prepare themselves and their soldiers to become "Musicians of Mars."
Brigadier General, USA
Table of Contents
TEAM BAYONET (H+6 Hours)
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