Joint Special Operations Command Lessons.

Jefferies Jiang
1 min readNov 20, 2021

According to McChrystal, the JSOC embraced a methodology of “radical openness” that democratised information sharing by fast spreading information not just up but across the chain of command to build a “shared awareness.” He offered daily 90-minute remote video briefings for anyone in the command — 7,500 people across the world. The briefings got frontline personnel, as well as leaders, on the same page about operations, information, and difficulties swiftly and effectively.

From there, McChrystal delegated decision-making authority to people who were well-informed and close to the problem, giving them the power and responsibility to address it.

The end result was JSOC got both faster and more precise as a group. When McChrystal took leadership of the JSOC in October 2003, forces were undertaking four operations per month. Forces were executing 300 raids each month by the end of August 2006.

This concept is referred to by McChrystal as “empowered execution,” in which well-informed judgments are made and pushed down the chain of command. He goes on to say that battles are won on the front lines by privates and sergeants, not by generals. If forces wait for information to travel all the way up the chain of command to the person in charge, the decision could be wrong, outdated, or ill-informed by the time it reaches the frontline force again, he says. By giving those forces more power,