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Integrated Decision Making in the United States Marine Corps 

Meredith Brown, Shell & Retired Major United States Marine Corps
February 2014 (SDP Webinar - Invited Talk)

The United States Marine Corps has found great success in integrating its decision-making and planning processes while simultaneously embedding it in leadership philosophy in its officers and enlisted personnel. This integrated approach is effective in efficient decision-making and execution on the strategic, operational, and tactical levels. Marines face uncertainty in their missions on a daily basis whether it is in assisting victims of natural disasters, conquering our nation’s foes, or making decisions about manpower/readiness.
There are three different processes used to align the decisions to meet the complexity of the conditions. For strategic decisions a deliberate approach is applied using the Marine Corps Planning Process. In operational level decisions when a commander must begin executing his mission within six hours the Rapid Response Planning Process is utilized. On the tactical level where uncertainty is great and time constraints are high, the Observe-Orient-Decide-Act loop is exercised. These processes can nest within one another thus providing Marines flexibility in reviewing and adjusting decisions as uncertainties are realized.
Marines at all levels learn these processes in their initial training, which is sustained throughout their careers. Marines use these processes regularly enough to make them second nature in their professional and personal lives.

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Keywords: framing framestruc, project execution projexec, organizational capability orgcap, military, government, decision quality decqual, culture cultr

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