“A leader’s success depends on how he motivates and directs his troops towards the attainment of the vision and the accomplishment of the mission.” — BGen Ramiro Manuel Rey
The five-month-long battle of our government forces against the ISIS-Maute Terrorist Group was one of the longest and hardest Urban Warfare documented since World War II.
The presence of trapped civilians and hostages, the enemy’s sophisticated propaganda, the presence of foreign terrorists, and an unforgiving operational environment made it an uphill battle.
All throughout the battle, government leadership put a premium on saving human lives, which lengthened the execution of operations.
The Army proactively made it known to civilians that each and every life was valuable, and none would be sacrificed during our conduct of operations.
In view of these steep challenges, the passion, empathy, and dedication of Army leadership cascaded from the top down to the last foot soldier. This became a game-changer and enabled our troops to make maximum use of our resources and motivated them to improvise innovations, which led to our triumph over the forces of a fanatic, vicious, and cruel enemy.
The leaders’ ability to inspire and to share in the hardships of the troops made everyone give their best effort from the rear all the way to the frontlines. In the face of capability challenges, Army leadership became the most important element of combat power in our campaign. There is always strength in unity.
Leadership steered the government forces during the darkest days of the crisis. We discovered that our least expensive resource was also our most valuable one.
What is leadership then? It is a question that has always been asked ever since the dawn of civilization. In the end, the question would have to be answered by the results of a particular effort in a given situation. Once again, this principle proved true in the Battle of Marawi. In the following chapters, the narratives of this book from the participants of the campaign are documented for this and all generations of Filipinos to come.
(This entry is part of Book 1: Leading from the Heart.)