Command and Control in the Peruvian Army: Methods, Analysis and the Innovative Method Awqa Humalliq

This article was initially published in the Revista Seguridad y Poder Terrestre
Vol. 2 No. 4 (2023): October to December


The concept of command and control in the Armed Forces (Armed Forces) is widely used, although not necessarily known by all. It implies the exercise of authority and direction by a military leader over his subordinates. In addition, within this sphere, there are different command and control methods, such as Mission Type Command and Detailed Control. These have their roots in the Prussian concepts known as Auftragstaktik and Befehlstaktik, respectively. In this sense, Mission Type Command is characterized by granting autonomy to subordinates to make decisions in the field, based on general objectives and the commander’s intent. On the other hand, Detailed Control entails close supervision and the issuance of precise orders for task execution. The most widely accepted method is Mission Type Command, which was adopted by both the United States Army (US) and the Peruvian Army (PE). However, a careful analysis allows identifying advantages and disadvantages of each method, which depend on several factors. Finally, the innovative method of command and control Awqa Humalliq, which means Warrior Leader, is proposed. It is intended to highlight the importance of the EP to develop its own doctrine, considering the particularities and unique characteristics of the Peruvian soldier.

Keywords: Command and Control, Mission Type Command, Detailed Control.


Command and control is a concept that has been widely used by military commanders throughout history. This definition has played a fundamental role in the planning, preparation, execution and evaluation of military operations, as well as in instruction, training and administrative activities. However, its effective application is conditioned by a number of diverse factors.

This article initially aims to address an essential issue through an analysis of two command and control methods: Mission Type Command and Detailed Control. The purpose is not only to facilitate a clear understanding of these methods, but to identify their advantages and disadvantages in order to provide a complete perspective on their applicability. To achieve this goal and provide the reader with a solid theoretical context, a thorough review of key concepts was conducted, exploring their historical evolution and analyzing the etymological implications of the translation of mission command. Subsequently, a comprehensive interpretation of the information was carried out, addressing various aspects, such as applicability in linear and nonlinear operations. In this way, it was justified that Mission Type Command does not necessarily offer superior advantages in all command and control exercise contexts. In this process, both advantages and disadvantages of both methods were identified, considering a variety of factors.

The second objective of the paper was to propose a command and control method specifically designed for EP, which is based on an understanding of the aforementioned methods, along with a thorough analysis of their advantages and disadvantages. This method represents an effort to optimize effectiveness and efficiency in the Peruvian military. Finally, the conclusions of the research are presented.

Command and Control

The concept of command and control is widely used in the military and has been exercised, throughout history, by all commanders. According to Alberts and Hayes,[1] the functions of this concept apply not only to the military, but also to private companies.

Command and control involves exercising the authority and direction of a commander, duly appointed, over a force for the accomplishment of the mission.[2] In other words, it is a way of managing and directing operations, where the military commander makes decisions, transmits orders and supervises their execution with the objective of accomplishing an assigned mission. This process involves the coordinated use of resources such as personnel, equipment, weaponry and logistics in general. In this sense, it is imperative to examine the concepts of “command” and “control”.

With respect to the meaning of command, this refers to the authority that the commander legally exercises over his subordinates by virtue of his rank or position.[3] In other words, it is legal and is based on the hierarchical structure and the rules established by the armed institutions. It also includes responsibility for the effective use of available resources, as well as responsibility for the health, welfare, morale and discipline of assigned personnel.[4] However, it is essential not to confuse command with leadership. Although the two definitions are closely related, command is linked to authority and “leadership is earned through trust, respect, experience and competence”.[5]

It is important to note that, in the exercise of command, decision making is critical, as these decisions will translate into orders to carry out military operations. In this sense, the responsibility falls on the commander of a force, regardless of its size.

In relation to control, it is the regulation of the forces and systems operating on the battlefield in order to fulfill the commander’s intent. It also involves collecting, processing, displaying, storing and disseminating relevant information that facilitates a broad conception of the operating environment.[6] On the other hand, it is important to note that the absence of control can lead to confusion, disorder, disorganization and, consequently, to the loss of direction of operations.

Poor control has significant consequences. For example, it can result in a lack of coordination of actions and decisions, leading to disorganized execution. Lack of effective communication can lead to decisions based on incomplete information or, in some cases, hasty decisions. On the other hand, it is crucial that control be flexible to adapt to new situations and changing challenges. Too much restrictive control can have a negative impact on subordinate personnel, as they must make decisions at their respective levels. For these reasons, it becomes evident that effective command is unattainable without an efficient control system.

Considering that the commander has the authority and responsibility to make decisions, it is he who exercises control to direct operations and adjust them as conditions require.[7] Therefore, the commander plays a key role in the exercise of command and control. It is important to note that the means of communication facilitate this process. From a more general perspective, commanders cannot exercise command and control individually. Even at the lowest levels, commanders need support to exercise command and control. Therefore, each commander has a command and control system that provides that support (Figure 1).[8]

Figure 1 Command and Control

Methods of Exercising Command and Control

At this point in the study, it is relevant to clarify that U.S. Army manuals and some texts reviewed for this research refer to Mission Type Command as a method, concept, philosophy or function of warfare. On the other hand, the EP refers to Mission Type Command as a philosophy or function of warfighting. In this context, considering that the definition of command and control has evolved over time, philosophy can be understood as a set of doctrines[9] and method as the way of acting or proceeding.[10]

Henceforth, it will be considered that the philosophy of command and control establishes the fundamental values and principles that should guide the soldier’s life, while the concept of method, in the military field focuses on how to apply those values and principles.

Throughout history, military leaders have used variants of command and control,[11] or specific methodologies.[12] Consequently, command and control can be exercised through the application of different methods that fit the particular situation, such as the means of communication available, the time available and even the personality of the commander. In this context, decision making is considered the culminating phase of this process.

Along the same lines, the fundamental purpose of command and control has remained constant, but there have been significant changes in the way this function has been conceived and executed over time.[13] At present, two methods of command and control can be identified in the Armed Forces: Mission Type Command and Detailed Control. Both have their roots in the concepts of “Auftragstaktik” which means “directive control” and “Befehlstaktik” which means “control by detailed order”.[14] These differ “mainly” by the degree of centralization of command. Auftragstaktik is characterized as having minimal control and being based on mission precision. This approach has been observed in the Chinese and Soviet Army. On the other hand, the Befehlstaktik emphasizes a centralized command and places emphasis on the accuracy of the orders given. This method has been used by the Israeli and German Army during World War II.[15]

Mission-type command has its roots in the German concept of Auftragstaktik.[16] It was not an idea introduced into German military thinking by decree, for far from being simple or quick, its adoption was a difficult and lengthy process.[17] Likewise, its origin dates back to the 19th century as a result of the analysis carried out by the Prussians, after their defeats against France, who identified that the French had gained a significant advantage thanks to the rapid communication of Napoleon’s intentions. This allowed subordinates the freedom to exercise initiative effectively, which puzzled the Prussians, which is why they incorporated this perspective into their doctrine: “If the execution of an order was impossible, an officer should try to act in accordance with the intention behind it”.[18] Thus, the Prussians modified their doctrine, moving away from strict obedience to orders and accepting the mistakes of subordinates in undertaking risky actions. This highlights the importance of superiors’ trust in subordinates.

In the U.S. Army, the concept of the Mission Type Command was born at the beginning of the last century and evolved in its doctrine. In 1905, the first combined arms manual reads: “An order must not violate the subordinate’s field. It must contain everything beyond the independent authority of the subaltern, but nothing more. If the transmission of orders involves significant time, during which the situation may change, detailed instructions should be avoided”.[19] It is understood that orders provided by a commander should not interfere or conflict with the subordinate commander’s responsibilities and decisions in his own area of operations.

From the analysis of doctrinal evolution, a 1914 text is extracted from various U.S. Army documents that states: “Officers and soldiers of all ranks and grades are accorded an unquestioned level of independence in the execution of assigned tasks and are expected to demonstrate the initiative necessary to deal with various situations as they arise. Everyone, from the highest commander to the lowest private, must always keep in mind that failure to take the necessary action and overlook opportunities will merit more severe censure than making a wrong decision regarding the means.[20]

Another text from the same year emphasizes decision making in the absence of orders and understanding of the commander’s intent: “Commanders of subordinate units cannot plead an absence of orders or lack of orders as an excuse for inactivity in a situation where action […] If the subordinate commander knows what the general plan is (the objective in view) a lack of initiative on his part is inexcusable”.[21]

In both 1939 and 1941 manuals the writings: “To overlook opportunities that present themselves will merit more severe censure than to make a wrong decision” and “a subordinate unit cannot plead an absence of orders or failure to receive orders as an excuse for inactivity in a situation if action on its part is essential” stand out.[22]

Years later, in the 1949 operations manual, initiative stands out by stating, “Established rules and methods should be avoided. These limit the imagination and initiative essential in the successful conduct of war”.[23] By way of example, one can mention what happened in World War I and the concept of “trench warfare”. The tactics used at that time were rooted in traditional and rigid procedures that were not adapted to the conditions of modern warfare. Commanders followed strict patterns of advance and attack, which limited their ability to imagine new ways of dealing with warfare. As a consequence, numerous lives were lost.

The Mission Type Command concept was developed in U.S. manuals published in 1954, 1962, 1968, 1976, 1982, 1986, 1993, 2001 and 2003. It was in the latter year that the concept was established as part of official U.S. Army doctrine to the present day, establishing itself as the preferred concept of command and control.[24] Thus, Mission Type Command is defined as the Army’s approach to command and control that empowers subordinates to make decentralized decisions and execution appropriate to the situation.[25]

Moreover, as Finney and Klug state: “First and foremost, Mission-type Command is a leadership philosophy. It is a mindset for leading a team in a way that facilitates followers exercising initiative within their leader’s intent. More specifically, it requires leaders to provide a vision of what they ultimately want to accomplish along with a minimum level of instruction that dictates the how”.[26] In other words, it is a philosophy because it is geared toward empowering subordinate commanders by giving them clear objectives and allowing them to make creative decisions to achieve them. However, Mission-type Command does not mean that subordinates have total freedom, but rather it allows them to act within the parameters of the mission and the commander’s intent, promoting disciplined initiative.[27]

Additionally, Mission-type Command requires that principles such as: competence, mutual trust, shared understanding, commander’s intent, mission-type orders, disciplined initiative, and risk acceptance be met.[28] While all are important, clear and concise commander’s intent drives the Mission-type Command process. This, in turn, takes place in an environment where the subordinate commander enjoys a high degree of autonomy and receives a limited level of detailed instructions (Figure 2).

Figure 2 Mission Type Command from the Point of View of the Subordinate Commander’s Level of Autonomy and Level of Detail of Orders

Source: Own elaboration

As can be understood, the U.S. Army adopted the Mission Type Command as a command and control methodology.

In the EP, the concept of “mission command” is defined for the first time in the 2015[29] Land Operations Planning Manual. Subsequently, the 2019 Fundamental Manual 6-0 Mission Command emphasizes that “to function effectively and have a greater likelihood of successful mission accomplishment, the commander, with the assistance of his staff, exercises mission command throughout the course of military operations and actions”.[30] Therefore, the so-called “mission command” is the command and control methodology adopted by the EP.

Regarding the Befehlstaktik there is not much research, however, it would come to be the “other side of the coin” of the Mission Type Command. The essence of this method is that the commander issues detailed orders, leaving little freedom for subordinate commanders to maneuver.[31] As Eisel points out: “Subordinate commanders have little or no room for flexibility.”[32]

Befehlstaktik is a German term meaning “order-based tactics”.[33] In this method, all units move and fight according to plan. In this sense, the key to victory is not to seize the opportunity, but to impose on the enemy a fierce attack using centralized command.[34]

Consequently, Befehlstaktik, in contrast to Auftragstaktik, was a method employed even by the Soviets. With it, orders specified who, what, when, where, and how a task was to be carried out. As a result, commanders exercised detailed supervision over their subordinates to ensure precise alignment between the plan and its execution.[35] This method is restrictive in that the chain of command is informed as to why, when and, most importantly, how the operation will be carried out.[36] Here, the highlight lies in the fact that the orders specify the “how”, i.e., they reduce the decision-making capacity of the subordinate commander (Figure 3).

Figure 3 Detailed Control from the Point of View of the Subordinate Commander’s Level of Autonomy and Level of Detail of the Orders

Source: Own elaboration

Mission Command?, Mission Command? or Mission Type Command?

It is convenient to consider the most accurate translation of “mission command”. In most Spanish texts the term “mando tipo misión” is used. However, in EP doctrine the term “mission command” is used, as stated in the 2018 Fundamental Manual Mission Command.[37]

The discussion on the definition of the words “command” and “command” was resolved in Legislative Decree No. 1268-2016. Although it refers to matters of the National Police of Peru (PNP), the author believes that the definitions are consistent. Command allows a superior to address a subordinate by virtue of his position and hierarchy to give general orders, as long as they do not interfere with the subordinate’s mission or function. Command is the authority of the superior to give orders in the performance of an assigned position.[38] While command enables general instructions and is based on hierarchy and seniority, command focuses on specific instructions and relates to responsibilities assigned to specific positions.

With both definitions in mind, it is clear that the term to be used is “command”. Now, “mission command” or “mission-type command”? Semantically, both phrases can be understood as similar, but there is a slight difference in how the ideas are structured and expressed.

The phrase “mission command” suggests that the command is directly associated or linked to a specific mission. The primary focus is on the mission itself, and the command is seen as integral to ensuring the successful execution of a particular mission.

In contrast, the phrase “mission-type command” emphasizes more the method or type of command employed, which is similar or akin to the concept of “mission” in the sense of delegation and autonomy in decision making. The term “mission type” emphasizes how command is exercised, suggesting that the approach to decision making and delegation of authority is similar to that used in a specific mission.

The semantic difference lies in the focused perspective. If the primary focus is on the command associated with a specific mission, it would be “mission command”. If you want to highlight the type of command that resembles how a mission would be handled, it would be “Mission Type Command”.

Considering that you want to highlight a decentralized command approach, “Mission Type Command” would be most appropriate, as it suggests delegation of authority and autonomy in decision making by subordinates.

Analysis: Mission-type Command or Detailed Control?

The objective of this study is to examine the Mission-type Command and Detailed Control approaches in order to understand and evaluate how these two methods differ in terms of delegation of authority, decision making, coordination, and effectiveness in execution.

In Mission Type Command, the commander is responsible for communicating to subordinates his intentions and the details necessary to facilitate coordinations, but does not go into detail on how they are to carry out the mission. He expects them to develop their knowledge, familiarity with the terrain, and experience, as long as they stay within the intent.[39] In other words, subordinate commanders have detailed knowledge of the reality on the ground, giving them a thorough understanding of their men, weaponry, supplies, and the limitations imposed by the geographic area, weather conditions, and the enemy. This information allows them to make informed decisions and adapt to changing circumstances to achieve success.

In the planning process, commanders are ideally assigned to specific tasks taking into account their knowledge, training, experience and initiative, in order to ensure good performance. This knowledge is acquired through training and specialization schools, experience in similar missions and initiative that could be innate or developed. In this sense, it is logically important that the commander knows and trusts his subordinate commanders.

A subordinate commander has the ability to make sound decisions because he is an authority in his area of responsibility. This is due to his knowledge, experience and ability to meet the challenges that the situation presents.

It should be noted that the Mission Type Command approach goes beyond simply issuing orders and expecting results. It is a mistake to assume that the subordinate commander will carry out orders without taking into account that he requires intelligence, supplies, communications and sufficient forces to act autonomously, using the combined arms concept. The subordinate commander will be able to make better decisions as he has intelligence or information provided by the higher echelon or that he can obtain through his own means of search (Figure 4).

Figure 4 Command and control knowledge, training, experience and initiative

Source: Own elaboration

On the other hand, Detailed Control is less adaptable in changing situations. However, depending on the context, it has advantages. When orders are specific, clarity in execution is expected. In addition, it facilitates coordination between subordinate commanders. Likewise, in Detailed Control, strict obedience can play an important role to the benefit of the operation. Strict control of execution is needed in the case of missions where time is of the essence. Clear and direct orders will facilitate rapid execution. Finally, execution will be supported by standardized procedures. This can be useful when predictable responses are required. Decisions will not be made in the field, but at higher levels to be transmitted to subordinate commanders. This can be efficient in specific scenarios.

In equal measure, it is essential to highlight that nonlinear operations are becoming increasingly important in new warfare contexts. This highlights the need to examine these issues considering both linear and nonlinear operations. In linear operations, maneuver units generally operate in contiguous areas, while in nonlinear operations they operate in noncontiguous areas.[40]

In linear operations, “each integrated weapons force directs and applies its combat power on enemy forces in conjunction with adjacent units”.[41] On the other hand, in non-linear operations the scenarios are less predictable and undergo significant changes, as “an adversary offers different fronts of action for maneuver”.[42]

Based on the above, it is understandable that in linear operations predefined procedures are followed for specific objectives, which could represent a disadvantage for the Mission Type Command. In this context, Detailed Control plays a key role in ensuring compliance with orders and allowing timely corrections. In contrast, in non-linear operations, where the situation is unpredictable, Mission Type Command allows for adaptability and leveraging the knowledge of subordinate commanders. However, Detailed Control, by requiring higher approvals, may limit initiative and opportunities for action in these operations (Figure 5).

Figure 5 Mission Type Command and Detailed Control in Linear and Non-Linear Operations

Source: Own elaboration

In Mission Type Command, subordinate commanders devote a significant portion of their resources to reconnaissance and prioritize opportunity rather than concentrating forces on attacks in depth. This requires subordinate commanders to be proficient in a variety of areas, such as navigation, communications and reconnaissance, as well as having the ability to react quickly and take advantage of opportunities. Additionally, trust and communication between the commander and his subordinates are crucial, although this subjective aspect sometimes does not produce optimal results in practice.[43]

It is also essential to note that Mission Type Command can be misunderstood by those unfamiliar with this philosophy. This method may be misinterpreted to consist of the commander issuing orders to subordinate commanders and the subordinate commanders executing them without giving an account until after they are carried out. However, Mission Type Command is a method of command and control that is not disconnected. Therefore, it is vital to have a secure and reliable communications system and detailed planning.

According to the analysis performed, both methods have advantages and disadvantages that depend on several factors. For this reason, it is important to make a comparison between them (Table 1).

Table 1 Advantages and Disadvantages of Mission Type Command and Detailed Control

Factors Mission Type Command Detailed Control
Advantages Disadvantages Advantages Disadvantages
Decision making Subordinate commanders:

– Enjoy greater empowerment and autonomy.

– They make decisions based on information obtained in the field.

– Decision-making may take unnecessary risks.

– They may deviate from the objective outlined by the higher echelon.

– The commander has greater control over subordinate commanders.

– Compliance with the operation’s directives is ensured.

– Less adaptability to changing situations.

– The experience and initiative of subordinate commanders is not exploited.

Flexibility Greater flexibility to adapt to changes. Difficult centralized coordination. Less chance of making mistakes following the operation guideline. Reaction to changing situations is slow.
Initiative Promotes the initiative of the subordinate commander. The subordinate commander may make decisions that are not aligned with the mission purpose. It prevents unauthorized decisions from being made. It reduces the creativity of the subordinate commander.
Subordinate commander experience The subordinate commander uses his experience to the maximum to make decisions. Subordinate commanders are not always experienced, so there are risks in decision making. Less probability of erroneous decisions due to lack of experience. Limits the adoption of new solutions based on experience.
Linear operations Allows for greater focus in predictable situations. Because of the lack of detailed direction, you may have difficulty dealing with unexpected situations. Increased ability to maintain consistency in the established course of action. In changing situations, effectiveness may decrease.
Non-linear operations Greater flexibility to face complex situations. It requires adapting quickly and permanently to changing situations. Reduced risk of uncontrolled deviations in the execution of the operation. Slowness in decision making.

Source: Own elaboration

Proposed Command and Control Method for the Peruvian Army: Awqa Humalliq

The following doctrinal proposal is presented as an approach open to possible improvements and adjustments with the objective of encouraging innovation and constructive debate to develop a more effective doctrine in accordance with the needs of the EP.

From the analysis of Mission Type Command and Detailed Control, it can be concluded that both methods can be effective. The effectiveness of each depends on the nature of the operation and the ability of commanders to apply the most appropriate method, depending on the circumstances. In this sense, it is stated that the commander has the ability to choose, according to the specific situation, factors such as his own personality, the competencies and personalities of subordinates, the restrictions imposed by the higher echelon in terms of risk-taking, the relevance of the mission within the context of the campaign, the logistical situation, the communication capacity, the level of modernization, the enemy’s doctrine, among other relevant aspects. It is essential to take into account what Leonhard pointed out: “The distinctive characteristic of maneuver warfare is not the method of command and control, but rather its vision on how to defeat”.[44]

It is relevant to consider the words of General Carlos Dellepiane, who stressed that the war doctrine of an army must be based on its own military history. According to his words: “We know that the Doctrine of War must be something intimate to each army, founded exclusively and restrictively on its own. Whoever would like to apply to his own the doctrine created for the use of another people, will soon see his camps full of insolent and mocking enemy soldiers, will see his women humiliated, his flag to the ground”.[45]

This excerpt highlights the importance of each army developing its own military doctrine, taking into account its history and specific needs. It warns about the risks of adopting another country’s doctrine, as this could have negative consequences for the security and success of military operations.

In this regard, it is imperative to keep in mind that the EP has a military lineage that dates back to ancient pre-Hispanic cultures, which were recognized for their battle-hardened character. This spans from the Chavin, Mochica, Wari and Chimu civilizations to the height of military organization in the Inca Empire.[46]

The method of command and control, adopted by the EP, should not be considered simply as a set of specific procedures or techniques, but as a unique and exclusive philosophy based on fundamental values such as discipline, integrity, dedication to service and commitment to excellence.[47] It is rooted in deep principles that are inculcated from the time of training as a cadet in the Military School, “becoming habits and constituting indissoluble elements of the military essence”.[48]

Awqa Humalliq, which means “Warrior Leader” in Quechua, is a command and control philosophy that highlights the characteristics of the Peruvian soldier and his warrior lineage, as Dellepiane mentioned: “We must not forget that the war aptitudes that characterize the Peruvian soldier are excellent, so much so that they place him far above the soldiers of any other people; sober, resistant, very disciplined, he only needs an energetic command that knows how to lead him”.[49]

The innate aptitudes of Peruvian soldiers, described above, require unique military instruction. In this sense, it is crucial to understand that “courage and discipline, instilled by military instruction and the desire for victory are above any military technology”.[50] According to the author, in any circumstance, the motto that must govern is “win or die.”

Awqa Humalliq focuses on the Manual of Professional Ethics for Military Personnel of the Armed Forces, taking into account the first three ethical-moral requirements: “honesty, truthfulness and industriousness, which are inspired by the values of the Inca Empire: Ama Sua (do not steal), Ama Lulla (do not lie) and Ama Quella (do not be idle)”.[51] Following this philosophy as a basis, and considering the particularities of the PE, the pillars of this new command and control method are proposed, which will undoubtedly require evaluation:

1. Courage as a Fundamental Pillar. Courage is the “superior form of dedication that gives sufficient courage to fulfill our mission, whatever the risks involved”.[52] All military actions and decisions are based on courage; consequently, leaders must foster an environment in which courage is valued and rewarded and where soldiers feel inspired to act with courage at all times.

2. Honor and Duty in Conduct. Soldiers must understand that their honor is at stake in every action they take and that doing their duty honorably is an unwavering obligation. In this sense, “this value implies the sustenance of solid principles and intelligent strength, for which we must fear nothing and no one.[53]

3. “Defeat or Die”. This becomes the central motto of this new method. Soldiers are expected to adopt it as a constant reminder of their commitment to success and overcoming challenges in all circumstances. This motto is inspired by a historical moment in which General La Mar bravely responded: “Give tomorrow the battle, and win or die”, during a conversation with General Sucre, one day before December 9, 1824, when the decisive Battle of Ayacucho took place and the freedom of America was secured.[54]

4. Inspirational Leadership. In this method, military leaders play a fundamental role. They must lead by example, showing courage, honor and a strong sense of duty. It is essential that they inspire their subordinates through their conduct and decision making. This is in line with the code of ethics of the Armed Forces, which states that “the primary method of leadership shall be leading by example”.[55]

5. Comprehensive Education and Training. Constant and rigorous preparation becomes a key element. Soldiers must be physically and mentally prepared to face any situation. “Education and training represent an organization’s most powerful message when it comes to leader development.[56]

6. Emphasis on Loyalty. “In military life to be loyal means not to fail in the commitment of friendship, respect and recognition to people or institutions”.[57] Loyalty to the military institution and to fellow soldiers is fundamental. It is understood that unity and cooperation are essential to achieve success both in combat and in all missions.

7. Respect for Military History. This method promotes respect for military history and seeks to maintain and transmit the legacy of Peruvian warriors of the past. In this sense, the study of military history is fundamental for combatants, as Salamanca emphasizes,[58] as it allows them to learn from past mistakes and successes, understand the decisions of military leaders, and honor the courage and sacrifice of those who served in the past, which fosters patriotism.

8. Integrity. This is a paramount value in this new method. Soldiers are expected to act with integrity in all their interactions and decision making, and lying is considered unacceptable. “In military life, a person of integrity inspires respect and trust”.[59]

In accordance with the above, the Awqa Humalliq method seeks to strengthen the identity, motivation and cohesion of the members of the EP. It focuses on enhancing military history and mystique, as Simch points out: “Military mystique is the collective attitude of haughtiness, defense and devotion to the emblematic values of the military organization and its institutional role, manifested and demonstrated by each of its members in all professional activities. Without this mystique, a combat force runs the risk of disfiguring itself and entering into a rapid process of losing its distinctiveness”.[60] It also has advantages over the Mission Type Command, which are shown in Table 2.

Table 2 Table of Comparison of Various Aspects between the Awqa Humalliq and the Mission Type Command.

Appearance Awqa Humalliq Command Mission Type
Core values Courage, honor, duty Focus on communicating intentions
Slogan “Defeat or die.” Based on the commander’s intention
Leadership Inspirational, values-based Communication of intentions as the basis of leadership
Training Integral, focused on courage and bravery Training focused on tactical coordination
Emphasis on Courage and bravery as pillars Tactical autonomy and tactical coordination
Flexibility Adaptability to unexpected situations Focus on the initial mission and its fulfillment.
Mission Mission based on the fulfillment of military duty and values Mission focused on the execution of the commander’s intention

Source: Own elaboration

In practice, the subordinate commander, following the Awqa Humalliq philosophy, exercises his authority and direction effectively by employing command and control methods in an innovative way. This involves an evolution that optimizes the best of traditional methods, such as Mission Type Command or Detailed Control, without simply combining them.

In the context of Awqa Humalliq, when an operation is particularly complex and requires taking full advantage of the experience and initiative of subordinate commanders, they are given greater autonomy and reduced detail in orders. However, if the level of risk increases during the conduct of operations, the commander will issue precise orders, limiting the subordinate commanders’ freedom of action until the end of the operation.

When an operation presents an uncomplicated execution, the subordinate commander’s experience may not be the primary concern, justifying the use of Detailed Control. As the execution progresses and relevant information is reduced, detailed orders may decrease. At this stage, the subordinate commander will take full advantage of his level of training and initiative in applying the Mission Type Command approach (Figure 6).

This is an example of the dynamism of operations and the flexibility to adapt to the best method of command and control, depending on the particular situation.

Figure 6: Operations Dynamism and Flexibility

Dynamism of Operations and Flexibility in the Use of Mission Type Command and Detailed Control

Source: Own elaboration


Command and control, throughout its evolution, proved to be an essential tool for the efficient management of military and organizational operations. The constant search for a balance between decision-making authority and coordinated execution resulted in methods adapted to changing needs and challenges. This development reflects the importance of adapting to specific circumstances and leveraging lessons learned to achieve effective command and control to enable informed decision making and successful execution of operations.

Mission-type command is the most preferred method of command and control, however, its effectiveness depends on the subordinate commander’s level of experience, training and capacity for initiative. Therefore, in practice, Detailed Control becomes more relevant. The choice between Mission Type Command and Detailed Control is based on the specific situation and the ability of subordinates to make informed decisions consistent with the mission objective.

It is important to adopt a command and control philosophy that fits the organizational culture and the specific challenges of the EP. In this context, the proposed Awqa Humalliq method could offer greater flexibility in the exercise of authority and direction. Therefore, it is advisable to introduce this methodology from the initial levels of EP instruction.

Finally, Awqa Humalliq is not limited to being just a method; it is an integral philosophy of command and control adopted by the EP. It is based on courage as a central pillar and promotes core values such as ethics, honor and duty. It also inspires leaders to foster courage in their subordinates and to create an environment that values and rewards it. It is not simply a matter of combining traditional methods, but of adopting a sound new approach that guides military actions with integrity and courage in all situations.


  1. Alberts D, Hayes R. Understanding Command and Control. Austria: Ccrp Publication Series; 2006.
  2. Ejercito del Peru. ME 1-134 Planeamiento de Operaciones Terrestres. (Lima: 2015), 2-13.
  3. Department of the Army. ADP 6-0 Mission Command, command and control of Army Forces. (Washington: 2019), 2-1.
  4. Ibid., 2-1.
  5. Kiyosaki R. 8 Lessons in Military Leadership for Entrepreneurs: How Military Values and Experience Can Shape Business and Life. (Estados Unidos: Plata Publishing, 2015).
  6. Department of the Army. FM 6-0 Mission Command: command and control of Army Forces (Washington: 2003), 3-1.
  7. Department of the Army. ADP 6-0, 3-1.
  8. Ibid., 4-1.
  9. Real Academia Española. Filosofía. 34.ª ed. Real Academia Española (Madrid: RAE, 2005), 1ía (Accessed October 3, 2023).
  10. Real Academia Española. Método. 34.ª ed. Real Academia Española (Madrid: RAE, 2005), 1étodo (Accessed 17, 2023).
  11. Department of the Army. FM 6-0 Mission Command: command and control of Army Forces (Washington: 2003), 1-14.
  12. Finney N, Klug J. Mission Command in the 21st Century. Empowering to win in a complex world. Fort Leavenworth (Kansas: The Army Press), 1
  13. Alberts D, Hayes R.,31.
  14. Leonhard R. The art of maneuver: Maneuver-Warfare Theory and Airland Battle (New York: Ballantine Books, 1991).
  15. Gloffka A. ¿Un Waterloo del siglo XXI? Fomentar la libertad de acción frente a la incertidumbre. Military Review (May – August 2014), 66. (Accessed August 13, 2023).
  16. Department of the Army. ADP 6-0. Op. cit., p. vii.
  17. Widder W. Auftragstaktik and Innere Führung: Trademarks of German Leadership. Military Review (September – October 2002), 3 (Accessed August 13, 2023).
  18. Sharpe J, Creviston T. Understanding mission command. U.S. Army. (2015), (Accessed August 13, 2023).
  19. Ancker C. La evolución del mando tipo misión en la doctrina del Ejército de EUA, desde 1905 hasta el presente. Military Review (March – April 2013), 65 (Accessed August 13, 2023).
  20. Ibid., 66.
  21. Ibid.
  22. Ibid.
  23. Ibid., 67.
  24. Ibid., 72.
  25. Department of the Army. ADP 6-0, 1-3.
  26. Finney N, Klug J., vii.
  27. Ibid., x.
  28. Department of the Army. ADP 6-0,1-7.
  29. Ejercito del Peru. ME 1-134, 2-8.
  30. Ejercito del Peru. MF 6-0 Comando de misión, (Lima: 2018), 2.
  31. Leonhard R.,121.
  32. Eisel G. Befehlstaktik and The Red Army Experience: Are There Lessons for Us? (EE. UU: School of Advanced Military Studies United States Army Command and General Staff College, 1992), 17
  33. Sloan G. Military Doctrine, Command Philosophy and the Generation of Fighting Power: Genesis and Theory. International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944), vol. 88, no. 2, (2012), 243–63 (Accessed October 1, 2023).
  34. Leonhard R.,122.
  35. Eisel G.,17.
  36. Sloan G., 46.
  37. Ejercito del Peru. MF 6-0, VII.
  38. Decreto Legislativo que regula el régimen disciplinario de la Policía Nacional del Perú. Decreto Legislativo N° 1268/2016 del 16 de diciembre. Diario Oficial del Bicentenario El Peruano, N° 13902 (December 19, 2017).
  39. Leonhard R., 120.
  40. Ejercito del Peru. ME 1-13 Operaciones. Lima: 2015., 4-12 – 4-13.
  41. Ibid., 4-13.
  42. Ibid., 4-12.
  43. Ibid., 123.
  44. Ibid., 124.
  45. Dellepiane C. Historia Militar del Perú, Tomo Primero (Lima: Ministerio de Guerra, Biblioteca Militar del Perú, 1977).
  46. Ejercito del Peru. MD 1-0, Ejército del Perú (Lima: 2019), 1.
  47. Ibid., 38 – 39.
  48. Ibid., 38.
  49. Dellepiane C., 123.
  50. Jiménez L. Maquiavelo, la guerra y el “soldado ciudadano”. Revista filosófica Open Insight, Querétaro, v. 9, n. 15, p. 125-145, (June 2018), (Accessed October 7, 2023).
  51. Ministerio de Defensa del Peru. Manual de Ética Profesional del Personal Militar de las Fuerzas Armadas del Perú (Lima: 200).
  52. Ibid., 21.
  53. Ibid., 15.
  54. Ricardo Palma, “Pan, queso y raspadura”, En Tradiciones peruanas. Segunda serie. Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes, (2000),–0/html/ff16c636-82b1-11df-acc7-002185ce6064_6.html#I_49.
  55. Ministerio de Defensa del Peru, 8.
  56. Sullivan G. Hope Is Not a Method: What Business Leaders Can Learn from America’s Army. Reino Unido, Crown: 2010.
  57. Ministerio de Defensa del Peru, 10.
  58. Salamanca A. Historia Militar: su importancia. Boletín de Historia Militar [Internet], (Febraury 12, 2020), (Accessed October 7, 2023).
  59. Ministerio de Defensa del Peru, 11.
  60. Simch J. O caráter dos soldados (Brasil: Biblioteca do Exército Editora, 2001).


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The ideas contained in this analysis are the sole responsibility of the author, without necessarily reflecting the thoughts of the CEEEP or the Peruvian Army.

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