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October 31, 2018

A small state's special operators, up close

"All military units have is a formal hierarchy of decision-making, but informal practices always exist in parallel and are complementary. The practice of collective, informal decision-making, in the MJK known as 'Seamen’s Council' and in the Special Air Service (SAS) called 'Chinese parliament,' is well known in most special operations units, but is rarely described and discussed in academic literature. Important decisions in the MJK are generally made collectively, not by its commanders in splendid isolation. This egalitarian way of decision-making is practiced at all levels. The main purpose of the council is operational: Long and thorough discussions before missions create room for creative thinking, initiative, and avoiding group thinking. It seems to make Marinejegers better prepared for uncertainties, strengthens risk analysis, and enhances trust and cohesion within the unit. This unconventional practice works, and can be used, because it is a small unit. The MJK is a unit of less than 200 personnel, which even in a Norwegian context is small."

Posted by Ghost of a flea at October 31, 2018 07:24 AM