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Commander’s Intent

Definition/Scope: (JP 3-0) A clear and concise expression of the purpose of the operation and the desired military end state that supports mission command, provides focus to the staff, and helps subordinate and supporting commanders act to achieve the commander?s desire result withou furthor order, even when the operation does not unfold as planned. (FM 3-0) Commanders summarize their visualization in their initial intent statement. The purpose of the initial commander’s intent is to facilitate planning while focusing the overall operations process. Commanders develop this intent statement personally. It is a succinct description of the commander’s visualization of the entire operation, a clear statement of what the commander wants to accomplish. The initial commander’s intent links the operation’s purpose with the conditions that define the desired end state. Usually the intent statement evolves as planning progresses and more information becomes available. The initial commander’s intent statement focuses the staff during the operations process. The staff uses this statement to develop and refine courses of action that contribute to establishing conditions that define the end state. Planning involves developing lines of effort that link the execution of tactical tasks to end state conditions. A clear initial intent statement is essential to this effort. NOTE FM 3-0 has been superceded by ADP 3-0.



Broader Terms:

mission command
Mission enemy terrain troops time available and civil considerations

Narrower Terms:

course of action
end state
Military DecisionMaking Process

Related Terms:

Commander’s visualization
Commander's Critical Information Requirements
decisive point
Essential Element of Friendly Information
lines of effort
mission orders
planning guidance


CALL Homepage >> Thesaurus Last Updated: Sept 17, 2008