Trick question: What is this?
You probably think this is some variation of Boyd's OODA loop.
That's at least what I expect you to think. Anyway, it's not. It is rather the Lawson Command-Control Cycle as described by Wayne D. Hughes Jr. in his book about naval tactics.
I was astonished I didn't bring this up before (there were no search hits for "Lawson" on this blog). The reason for the delay is probably that till today I cannot prove which was first - Lawson's or Boyd's. Lawson's is really old, from 1977.
Hughes claims that a Dr. Geoffrey Coyle established a similar paradigm and "Russians produced an equivalent C2 model as early as the 1960's" (1964)*.
Boyd's actual OODA Loop, according to the only sketch of it he ever showed**:
Hughes also illustrated Lawson's evolved model, from 1985 or earlier:
(The graphics should enlarge to a readable size if you click on them.)
Interestingly, Hughes writes a lot about the extreme lethality of naval combat; similar to tank combat this is a lot about who gets to fire the first well-done salvo. The command control cycle in figure 2 as well as OODA, Russian and Coyle stuff have a very different interpretation if looked at from such an angle. Suddenly, it's not about doing your second action while the enemy still reacts to your first as it is in the typical OODA interpretation: It is rather about who is fastest in preparing the first well-done salvo. For the fight basically ends with that one, leaving only mopping up left to do. Well, that is how Hughes makes modern naval combat sound like.
Tank developers try to enable early detection of a hostile and to squeeze the entire engagement sequence till the first aimed shot including identification, communication, turret movement etc. into as few seconds as possible. Later on, tank platoon and company leaders attempt to exploit this hardware potential with training.
The semi-messianic stuff about Boyd including quasi-apostles etc. has always irritated me. I have not really found anything truly impressive thoughts of Boyd . He was certainly a great fighter pilot (about 5% are great, and the more experienced ones can exploit their aircraft fully). On the intellectual side, I stick to my suspicion that he was more a marketing and charisma genius than a great inventor - rather Steve Jobs-like.
There are some people on this world with the astonishing talent of building fame, career and often even wealth on the exploitation of only a handful of real ideas - and at times these aren't even theirs. It's a particularly visible phenomenon among politicians and managers.
Often times I've read or had an idea and thought; someone really talented would make a career out of promoting this.
I really believe that this is how the world works; the really famous things aren't necessarily famous because they are outstanding, but because they were promoted well. One should take this into account when one delves into military or other theories.
I was too lazy to set up the scanner, so you got some hand-crafted MS Word art here. That's why the graphics are so irregular. Don't blame Hughes.
*: Abchuck, V.G. et al. Vyendenue v. Teoriu Vyraborki Reshenii (Introduction to Decision Making Theory). Moscow: Voyenizdat, 1972 (revision of a work from 1964)
Ivanov, D.A., V.P. Savel'yev, and P.V.Shemanskiy. Osnovy Upraleniya Voyskami v Boyu (Fundamentals of Troop Control at the Tactical Level). Moscow: Voyenizdat. Translation, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Offic, 1983 (original work from 1971).
**: According to Chet Richards.
**: According to Chet Richards.