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Rule Of Three.

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  • #16
    Originally posted by the ace View Post
    Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

    I can still remember Princess Anne attending a Scotland v. England rugby match in a tartan suit, and singing, "Flower of Scotland," at the start of the game. The next day, a newspaper cartoon had the Queen on the 'phone with the caption;

    "Anne, I can live with you wearing the tartan, I can accept you singing , 'The Flower,' but I draw the line at, 'If you hate the f**ing English, clap yer hauns.'" Half of Scotland was on the floor over that one.


    It also works well when two outrageous things are contrasted with something trivial;

    Yes, you wrecked the car, and demolished the front wall, BUT DON'T DRINK MILK FROM THE CARTON !!!

    It's more of a guideline than a rule, though, as sometimes the impression is given of trying too hard.
    Wack tac mac hey.
    Regards.
    Grishnak.

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    • #17
      (aim for center mass)

      Isn't the "rule of three" one of the options on the selector switch of an M-60?
      ARRRR! International Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19th
      IN MARE IN COELO

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Jose50 View Post
        Isn't the "rule of three" one of the options on the selector switch of an M-60?
        It can be anything you want when you consider the lack of context in the OP. I understood the rule of 3 to be that when one celebrity dies two others will follow in quick succession. So far I've seen little to dissuade me from that impression.
        Hyperwar: World War II on the World Wide Web
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        The best place in the world to "work".

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        • #19
          Thats way right field but just within the paradigm.
          Wack tac mac hey.
          Regards.
          Grishnak.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by grishnak View Post
            Any opinions on the "Rule Of Three" ?
            From the USMC Infantry side of the house....the rule of three is pretty solid.

            One Marine directly leads three Marines; Chain of Command.

            Fireteam Leader directly leads three Marines
            Squad Leader directly leads three Fireteam Leaders
            Platoon commander directly leads three Squad Leaders
            Company Commander directly leads three Platoon Commanders
            Battalion Commander directly leads three Company Commanders
            Regimental Commander directly leads three Battalion Commanders
            ............................

            If you try to lead more than three people, generally you run into problems.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Jose50 View Post
              Isn't the "rule of three" one of the options on the selector switch of an M-60?
              The M-60 was either rapid fire or safe.

              The M16-A1 had three positions....

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Nichols View Post
                ............................

                If you try to lead more than three people, generally you run into problems.
                Does that mean that the disciples were divided in three sections each with a senior disciple as section leader?
                Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by MarkV View Post
                  Does that mean that the disciples were divided in three sections each with a senior disciple as section leader?
                  Obviously not.....or you would be Catholic..

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Nichols View Post
                    From the USMC Infantry side of the house....the rule of three is pretty solid.

                    One Marine directly leads three Marines; Chain of Command.

                    Fireteam Leader directly leads three Marines
                    Squad Leader directly leads three Fireteam Leaders
                    Platoon commander directly leads three Squad Leaders
                    Company Commander directly leads three Platoon Commanders
                    Battalion Commander directly leads three Company Commanders
                    Regimental Commander directly leads three Battalion Commanders
                    ............................

                    If you try to lead more than three people, generally you run into problems.
                    That sounds good, but starts to fall apart at pretty low levels- for example, the platoon leader directly leads 3 squad leaders and the platoon sergeant, plus he might have a machine gun squad attached (and does have an organic weapons squad in the US Army). The company commander has the company XO, the first sergeant, the weapons platoon leader, and the company gunny in addition to three platoon leaders. The battalion commander has an XO, a sergeant major, a weapons company commander, and a headquarters and service company commander. The list goes on and on.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by 82redleg View Post
                      That sounds good, but starts to fall apart at pretty low levels- for example, the platoon leader directly leads 3 squad leaders and the platoon sergeant, plus he might have a machine gun squad attached (and does have an organic weapons squad in the US Army). The company commander has the company XO, the first sergeant, the weapons platoon leader, and the company gunny in addition to three platoon leaders. The battalion commander has an XO, a sergeant major, a weapons company commander, and a headquarters and service company commander. The list goes on and on.
                      It really doesn't start to fall apart. I'm specifically talking about the combat power chain of command.

                      As much as I hate to admit it, the Platoon Sergeant and the other roles that you mentioned are all advisory roles. They are not in command of a unit. Weapons Company Commander, all of his troops are tasked out. You wont see that company assaulting an objective. You will see them supporting the assault.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Nichols View Post
                        It really doesn't start to fall apart. I'm specifically talking about the combat power chain of command.

                        As much as I hate to admit it, the Platoon Sergeant and the other roles that you mentioned are all advisory roles. They are not in command of a unit. Weapons Company Commander, all of his troops are tasked out. You wont see that company assaulting an objective. You will see them supporting the assault.
                        Weapons platoon may task out its machine guns and SMAWs, but it should keep control of its mortars, no?

                        Weapons company CAATs and mortars should generally be controlled by the WPNS CO for the battalion, not parceled out to the rifle companies.

                        At the regimental level, you'll have an artillery battalion, potentially a LAR company, tank company, etc.

                        At that's not including the sustainment and other combat support elements. You're idea that it if a unit isn't leading an assault means that it doesn't count in the commander's span of control is simplistic and doesn't work out in the real worlds.

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                        • #27
                          Remember what the title of the thread is; Rule of Three

                          Originally posted by 82redleg View Post
                          Weapons platoon may task out its machine guns and SMAWs, but it should keep control of its mortars, no?
                          No, the mission is going to determine where the 60s go. Many times the various line platoons that I was in would have them in direct support. They traveled with us because many of their missions are direct lay.

                          Hell, we even took the 60s with us once when I was in a Small boat Company.

                          Originally posted by 82redleg View Post
                          Weapons company CAATs and mortars should generally be controlled by the WPNS CO for the battalion, not parceled out to the rifle companies.
                          Again the mission is going to determine who goes where. When I was a 81s Section leader there were times that we would do direct support to a line company, sometimes both sections, sometimes one section.


                          Originally posted by 82redleg View Post
                          At the regimental level, you'll have an artillery battalion, potentially a LAR company, tank company, etc.
                          And your point is?


                          Originally posted by 82redleg View Post
                          You're idea that it if a unit isn't leading an assault means that it doesn't count in the commander's span of control is simplistic and doesn't work out in the real worlds.
                          It's not my idea, the rule of three has been driving the Marine Rifle Squad since 1943.

                          You have determined that it is a simplistic rule, my response to that is no kidding, that is the point and that is why it is so successful.

                          The marines, on the other hand, have pushed out decision-making authority while retaining a simple hierarchical structure designed to keep everyone's job manageable. In a nutshell, the rule is this: each marine has three things to worry about. In terms of organizational structure, the "rule of three" means a corporal has a three-person fire team; a sergeant has a squad of three fire teams; a lieutenant and a staff sergeant have a platoon of three squads; and so on, up to generals.

                          The functional version of the rule dictates that a person should limit his or her attention to three tasks or goals. When applied to strategizing, the rule prescribes boiling a world of infinite possibilities down to three alternative courses of action. Anything more, and a marine can become overextended and confused. The marines experimented with a rule of four and found that effectiveness plummeted.

                          https://www.inc.com/magazine/19980401/906.html

                          It's all about decision making, more that three and your OODA loop gets too slow.

                          Granted, you can now come back with the article is dated or numerous other reasons.

                          Some food for thought:

                          https://www.mca-marines.org/gazette/.../decision-time

                          The Corps just spent $6.3 million to get this capability to all 24 Infantry Battalions. Notice 24 is dividable by 3....8 Infantry Regiments;

                          1st Marines, Pendleton
                          2nd Marines, Lejeune
                          3rd Marines, Hawaii
                          4th Marines, Okinawa
                          5th Marines, Pendleton
                          6th Marines, Lejeune
                          7th Marines, 29 Palms
                          8th Marines, Lejeune

                          The battalions are getting 3 Company kits and 1 COC kit. No kits for WPNs or H&S.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Nichols View Post
                            ... It's not my idea, the rule of three has been driving the Marine Rifle Squad since 1943.
                            ... It's all about decision making, more that three and your OODA loop gets too slow.
                            ... The Corps just spent $6.3 million to get this capability to all 24 Infantry Battalions. Notice 24 is dividable by 3....8 Infantry Regiments;
                            It works at the squad level, it's nearly meaningless at the division level, regardless of the article you posted.

                            OODA loop is a great theory, but it has limitations- its based on an individual fighter pilot. Plenty of military units have been effective with 4-6 subordinates, especially when you start talking about battalions and above with staffs.

                            Yeah, 24 is divisible by 3, but 8 isn't. Yet you have 3 divisions. And what about MEUs and MEBs? They have three subordinates, but only the ACE and GCE can be called operational, the LCE is solely about support.

                            A "rule of threes" is a great little memory aid for simplicity, but it doesn't work out in practice.

                            During Desert Storm, 1st Marine Division had four regimental task forces and a battalion task force (TF Shepherd/1st LAI)- 5 direct subordinates. TF Papa Bear (1st Marine Regiment) had 2 infantry battalions and a tank battalion, TF Taro (3rd Marine Regiment) had 3 infantry battalions, TF Grizzly (4th Marines) had only 2 infantry battalions, and TF Ripper (7th Marines) had 2 infantry battalions and a tank battalion. 2nd Marine Division had two regimental task forces, an army brigade, a LAI battalion, and two tank battalions- 6 direct subordinates. 6th Marines had 4 infantry battalions and a battalion-sized breach task force; 8th Marines had 2 infantry battalions and a battalion-sized breach task force, and a LAI company.
                            http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/usmchist/gulf.txt

                            During OIF 1, I MEF had two MEUs, 1st Marine Division, 3rd Marine Air Wing, I MEF Engineer Group, 2nd MEB, and 1st (UK) Armoured Division. 1st Marine Division had three infantry regiments, but 1st Marines had three infantry battalions and a LAR battalion; 5th Marines had three infantry battalions, a tank battalion and a LAR battalion; and 7th Marines had three infantry battalions, a tank battalion and a LAR battalion.

                            A simplistic "rule of threes" just doesn't work throughout the echelons.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by 82redleg View Post
                              It works at the squad level, it's nearly meaningless at the division level, regardless of the article you posted.
                              The article was only for your reference since you obvious don't accept first hand experience.


                              Originally posted by 82redleg View Post
                              OODA loop is a great theory, but it has limitations- its based on an individual fighter pilot. Plenty of military units have been effective with 4-6 subordinates, especially when you start talking about battalions and above with staffs.
                              You need to understand decision making from a Marine perspective.

                              Originally posted by 82redleg View Post
                              Yeah, 24 is divisible by 3, but 8 isn't. Yet you have 3 divisions. And what about MEUs and MEBs? They have three subordinates, but only the ACE and GCE can be called operational, the LCE is solely about support.
                              They cased the 9th Marines colors. No, we actually have 4 divisions.

                              Originally posted by 82redleg View Post
                              A "rule of threes" is a great little memory aid for simplicity, but it doesn't work out in practice.
                              Yet somehow it manages to work out in the Corps.


                              Originally posted by 82redleg View Post
                              A simplistic "rule of threes" just doesn't work throughout the echelons.
                              Again......Yet it manages to work in the Corps.

                              The title of the thread was Rule of Three. I answered, with correct information and no matter how deep you want to go into the rabbit hole...the answer is still the same; it works in the Corps.

                              So what is your point?

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Nichols View Post
                                The article was only for your reference since you obvious don't accept first hand experience.
                                I read the article- and proved that it over-simplified reality

                                Originally posted by Nichols View Post
                                You need to understand decision making from a Marine perspective.
                                What? Decisionmaking is decisionmaking, and the OODA loop theory works well in an individual but falls apart at large organizations with staffs and bureaucracies.

                                Originally posted by Nichols View Post
                                They cased the 9th Marines colors. No, we actually have 4 divisions.
                                9th Marines inactivated in 1994. And added the three battalions of the 9th Marines (with the regimental headquarters) from 2007-2014, so a few years ago there would have been 27 battalions in 8 regiments- again violating your supposed rule.

                                We're clearly talking about active duty and not USMCR, since you listed 24 battalions and 8 regiments, which is why I noted the disparity between 8 regiments and 3 divisions. If you'd been including the USMCR, then the numbers would be 33 (24 active and 9 reserve), 11 (8 active and 3 reserve), and 4 (3 active and 1 reserve).

                                Originally posted by Nichols View Post
                                Yet somehow it manages to work out in the Corps.

                                Again......Yet it manages to work in the Corps.
                                Except when it doesn't, as I showed in both normal peacetime organizations and during employment in conflict. Like I said, a cute little memory aid from the perspective of the squad level- meaningless at larger organizations.


                                Originally posted by Nichols View Post
                                The title of the thread was Rule of Three. I answered, with correct information and no matter how deep you want to go into the rabbit hole...the answer is still the same; it works in the Corps.

                                So what is your point?
                                That your "rule" is not really a "rule".

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