Troop Leading Procedures
Step 1. Receive the Mission - Upon mission receipt leaders immediately begin analyzing the mission using the factors of METT-TC. During mission analysis leaders must answer the following METT-TC questions. What is the Mission? What is known about the Enemy? How will Terrain and Weather impact the operation? What Troops/Personnel and Equipment are available for the mission? How much TIME is available? How do Civil considerations impact how the operation is planned?
Step 2. Issue Warning Order - Information gained from the METT-TC analysis is abbreviated and provided as initial instructions to subordinates by issuing a Warning Order (WARNO). The WARNO contains enough information to allow subordinates to begin mission preparations and any necessary movement to support the operation and timeline. Groups must establish Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that dictate the actions taken upon receipt of a WARNO to include the distribution of supplies such as ammunition, rations, water, and key equipment. In addition the WARNO provides guidance for the conduct of communication rehearsals and maintenance of key equipment. Leaders continually update subordinates when new mission information is received by issuing subsequent WARNOs. There is no standardization for a WARNO format but at a minimum they should include the following key areas: mission and nature of the operation; who is participating in the operation: and the initial timeline. The initial timeline includes the time and place for follow-on coordination meetings, orders briefs, rehearsals and the time of the operation.
Step 3. Make a Tentative Plan - Leaders develop their tentative plan based on the knowledge gained from Step 1's METT-TC analysis. The tentative plan is also continuously updated as new information is received about the mission, the enemy, friendly forces and equipment available. The leader combines the facts gained from the METT-TC analysis with assumptions made for unknown variables to formulate a course of action (COA) on how he plans to accomplish the mission. Leaders must develop multiple COAs to create discussion on how the mission can be accomplished with different solutions and different viewpoints. Each COA is analyzed based on each COAs strengths and weaknesses and then compared to each other. The best COA is chosen to become the tentative plan. The tentative plan is the start point for coordination, movement instructions, reconnaissance and element task organization (assault, support, security). As new information becomes available the leader continuous to update and
refine the plan.
Step 4. Start Necessary Movement - During this step subordinate leaders initiate necessary movement and activities to prepare personnel, weapons and equipment for the mission. Priorities of work are established to ensure all key activities are accomplished to include feeding, weapons/equipment maintenance, and Battle Drill/SOP rehearsals required for the mission. This step normally begins upon receipt of the WARNO. Elements can also begin movement to locations that better support the mission timeline.
Step 5. Reconnoiter - Based on the time available leaders make the decision on what type of reconnaissance to use. If time permits the leader should personally conduct a visual reconnaissance of the area of operation to verify the terrain analysis, confirm the routes, time critical movements in order to gain critical information needed to adjust the current plan. If time is limited the decision is made to conduct a map reconnaissance.
Step 6. Complete the Plan - The leader completes the plan based on the reconnaissance and any information updates received about the mission and the situation. The current plan should be compared to the original mission received in Step 1 to ensure the plan still meets mission requirements.
Step 7. Issue the Complete Order - To assist subordinate understanding of the mission leaders always issue the order within sight of the objective or on the defensive terrain. If access to the terrain is not feasible, the use of a terrain model or sketch is used. Leaders must ensure subordinates understand the following key elements of the operation: the mission, the leader's intent, the concept of the operation, and their assigned tasks. To confirm mission understanding leaders conduct brief back rehearsals with subordinates that require them to repeat key elements of the operation on the terrain model or sketch. Leaders also conduct a final brief back rehearsal with subordinates prior to execution to verify mission understanding.
Step 8. Supervise - Finally, leaders supervise mission preparation by conducting rehearsals and inspections. Leaders use rehearsals to practice essential tasks, reveal weaknesses or problems in the plan, coordinate subordinate element actions, and improve understanding of the operation. Rehearsals should focus on subordinate leader brief backs that show understanding of how planned actions are sequenced and their dependencies for mission success. All rehearsals are to be conducted on terrain that resembles the area of operation and if possible during similar light conditions. As discussed earlier, groups begin rehearsals of battle drills and SOPs upon mission receipt. Rehearsals become mission specific once the final plan is issued. Once the plan is issued subordinate elements only rehearse mission specific tasks. During rehearsals elements at minimum rehearse actions on the objective. If time permits the group rehearses how to assault a trench, bunker, or building, how to breach wire obstacles, and actions on enemy contact. Finally, during Step 8 all leaders must supervise final inspections. Final inspections confirm correction of deficiencies that were identified during earlier inspections. Final inspections conducted prior to mission execution include thorough inspections of weapons/ammunition, uniforms/equipment, mission-essential equipment, individual understanding of the mission and their specific responsibilities, communication systems, rations/water and camouflage.