Critical Choice--What is Best?

  • September 01, 2014
  • Colonel Douglas Ray Campbell

The Army trains its leaders how to think, not what to think. Yet, the Army also puts limits on thinking such as intent within mission command. Leaders make choices and issue their own intent and orders, as they understand the commander's intent and orders. In addition, the Army puts moral limits in place to guide thought and behavior. Within these limits, choice would seem to be clear and simple. Yet, a leader with the freedom to think, judge, and act will likely view what is best differently than his boss. This paper offers Critical Choice as a means for leaders to choose what is Best. The Critical Choice process provides a "clear, rational, open-minded, and informed" way to choose Best. Best is an informed, reasoned choice a leader can live with.