Improvisation and the Military [Part 2]


The military works with a few people in command, they are making decisions (orders).   The orders are then given to a large group of other people who execute the directives.  This system is called Command-and-control.

Command and control, or C2, can be defined as the exercise of authority and direction by a properly designated commanding officer over assigned and attached forces in the accomplishment of the mission.  (Wiki)

There is one exception to this in the military...and it is in an unlikely place:  The Marines.

The Marines do not have a specific domain of operation.  The Army has the land,  The Navy had the sea.  The Air force has the sky.  But the Marines are expected to operate where they are needed.

I worked with a group of Marine commanders a few years ago and we talked about how the Marines are taught to be effective without a command and control system.

The system may sound familiar to improvisers.  The recruits are trained in many techniques (skills).  They must become proficient in many different aspects of warfare from hand-to-hand combat to cartography.  When they are in the field,  instead of given a precise sequence of commands, they are given a target (an objective) and told to proceed as they see fit to achieve the desired outcome.

The improviser must study different techniques from storytelling to stage skills.  Their target: to work together to build something on stage from scratch that is worth the audiences time (entertaining).

The next time you're on stage....remember, you are part of the proud and the few!  Act according.