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Military Decision Making Process

The Military Decision Making Process (MDMP) is the prescribed process US Military Services use to plan battles and engagements. MDMP traces its origins back to the Prussian general staff decision making process.

MDMP has four essential steps: 1) Mission Analysis, 2) Course of Action Development, 3) Course of Action Analysis/Comparison, and 4) Decision and Execution.

The process must be:

  • Flexible - it must be possible to abbreviate or modify the process to accommodate the situation and time available.
  • Comprehensive - the decision maker must consider both quantifiable and intangible aspects of military operations. This requires the translation of friendly and enemy strengths, weapon systems, training, morale, and leadership into combat capabilities. It also requires a clear understanding or weather and terrain effects and the ability to visualize the possible flow of the battle.
  • Continuous - the MDMP is a continuous process. The commander and staff must constantly collect, process, and evaluate information.
  • Focused on the Future - doctrinal emphasis is on making decisions which influence the outcome of the battle and which result in seizing the initiative.
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