Corporal's Course (Tactical Planning)

The Troop Leading Steps are

Begin planning
Arrange for reconnaissance and coordination
Make reconnaissance and coordination
Complete the planning
Issue the order

BAMCIS overview

The troop leading steps are meant to aid leaders in making tactically sound decisions, formulating plans, coherently communicating those plans, and Turing those decisions into action.

The receipt of a mission

Triggers the troop leading steps

Warning order is

An abbreviated set of instructions to inform of an impending action

The purpose of the estimate of the situation is

to collect and analyze relevant information for developing, within the time limits and available information, the most effective solution to a problem.

estimate of the situation

normally used in solving tactical problems, it is applicable to other military activities. It's as thorough as time and circumstances permit.

estimate of the situation

are revised continuously as factors affecting the operation change, as new facts are recognized, as assumptions are replaced by facts or rendered invalid, or as changes to the mission are received or indicated.

estimate of the situation

Detailed analysis conducted before mission execution will increase the speed and accuracy of decisions as the situation changes at the point of friction.

provides a logical sequence for analyzing all relevant factors

METT-T analysis


Terrain and Weather
Troops and Fire Support
Time, Space and Logistics

The first step in the estimate is

mission analysis

mission analysis is

the means for the unit leader to gain an understanding of the mission

When doing task analysis

The unit leader must identify and understand all that is required for the successful accomplishment of the mission. This includes tasks received in the unit's task statement and coordinating instructions from the higher commander's operations order.


These are restrictions on the freedom of action of the friendly force; these prohibit the commander from doing something specific. Tactical control measures, rules of engagement (ROE), and the statements, "Be prepared to...," "Not earlier than...," "On or

Enemny analysis is conduted to

not only know what assets the enemy has, but also to understand what the enemy is doing.

Enemy anaysis questions

What is the enemy trying to accomplish?
How will the enemy use each available element of combat power?

Enemy anaysis input comes from

many sources including enemy doctrine, current enemy activities indicated in higher's order, units that have previously operated in the area, and the unit's intelligence section.

The information used to analyze the enemy situation includes

composition, disposition, and strength
capabilities and limitations



SALTUE is used when

developing and organizing composistion, disposition, and strength (analyzing the enemy situation)

DRAW-D serves as

a reminder of the minimum factors to be considered for the enemy analysis of their cpablilties and limitations



When analyzing the enemny's capabilities and limitations you should ask these questions:

What can the enemy do?
How will the enemy use each available element of combat power?

When analyzing the enemny's capabilities and limitations you analyze

the enemy's ability or inability to conduct various operations against your unit under any reasonably foreseeable situation.

The estimate of the situation of terrain and weather must

always be conducted from the friendly and enemy perspectives.

Terrain Analysis analyzes

the connection between the terrain and tactics while considering the military aspects of terrain.

These aspects are identified in the acronym OCOKA.

Terrain Analysis


Observation and Fields of Fire
Cover and Concealment
Key Terrain
Avenues of Approach

Observation and Fields of Fire-COKA

Observation is the ability to see friendly and enemy forces and key aspects of the terrain to judge strength, prevent surprise, and respond to threats.
Field of fire is an area with a direct line of sight that weapons may cover/fire upon effectively from

O-Cover and Concealment-OKA

Cover is protection against enemy fire, both direct and from shelling.
Concealment is protection from enemy observation and surveillance, including features that protect both horizontally and vertically.


Obstacles are natural or manmade terrain features that prevent, restrict, divert, or delay military movement.

OCO-Key Terrain-A

Key terrain is any ground that must be controlled to achieve military success.

OCOK-Avenues of Approach

Avenue of approach is any relatively unobstructed ground route that leads to an objective or key terrain.

Weather Analysis is when

The leader determines how the weather will affect visibility, mobility, and survivability of friendly and enemy units by considering the military aspects of weather.

For visibility

The leader identifies conclusions about visibility factors such as light data (begin morning nautical twilight [BMNT], sunrise [SR], sunset [SS], end evening nautical twilight [EENT], moonrise [MR], moonset [MS], and percentage of illumination), fog, and

Winds of sufficient speed can

reduce the combat effectiveness of a force as the result of blowing dust, smoke, sand, or precipitation. Windblown sand, dust, rain, or snow can reduce the effectiveness of radar and other communication systems. Strong winds can also limit aviation operat

Precipitation affects

soil trafficability, visibility, and the functioning of many electro-optical systems.

Cloud Cover affects

ground operations by limiting illumination and the solar heating of targets. Heavy cloud cover can degrade many target acquisition systems, infrared-guided munitions, and general aviation operations.

Extremes of temperature and humidity reduce

personnel and equipment capabilities and may require the use of special shelter or equipment.

Civil considerations (human terrain) include

the influences of man-made infrastructure; civilian institutions; and the attitudes and activities of civilian leaders, populations, and organizations within an AO, with regard to the conduct of military operations.


Key civilian areas are localities or aspects of the terrain within an AO that have significance to the local populace.

Analyzing a structure involves

determining how its location, functions, and capabilities can support operations.

Capabilities can refer to

the ability of local authorities�those of the host nation or some other body�to provide a populace with key functions or services.

Organizations are

nonmilitary groups or institutions in the AO. They influence and interact with the populace and each other.

People is a general term describing

all nonmilitary personnel that military forces encounter in the AO. This includes those personnel outside the AO whose actions, opinions, or political influence can affect the mission.

Events are

routine, cyclical, planned, or spontaneous activities that significantly affect organizations, people, and military operations.

Troops and Fire Support Avaliable (Estimate of the Situation)

Fire and support avaliable
Attachments and detachments
Higher and adjacent units

For organic you

identify the capabilities and limitations of the assets your organic unit will bring to bear on the enemy during the conduct of the mission.

For fire and support avaliable

Identify locations, azimuths of fire, contact information, employment (general support [GS], direct support [DS], or attached [(ATT]), and any priority of fires of indirect fire support agencies.
In addition, identify any available air assets. What weapon

For attachments and detachments you identify

Assets (if any) that will detach from your unit
Units or assets that have been attached to your unit
How will this affect your ability to achieve mission success?

For higher and adjacent units you identify

higher and adjacent units' schemes of maneuver and what influence they will have on your scheme of maneuver. Consider their effect on the following:
�Geometries of fire
�Contingency plans

Time, space, and logistics (Estimate of the Situation) is

the ability to appreciate the aspects and effects of time and space is one of the most important qualities in a leader. A leader must be able to identify resource shortfalls and have a plan to rectify them.

Time is

A solid understanding of time required versus time available is vital to all operations; it drives planning and execution. The unit leader gets an indication of time available from the commander.
�The amount of time a unit has to prepare for an operation

Space is

A leader must know and understand the area of operations (AO).
�Identify tactical control measures (TCM) and fire support coordination measures (FSCM) within your AO as applicable.
�Consider the geometry of fires and develop a plan to de-conflict convergi

Logistics is

Logistics sustain operations. Without appropriate logistical planning, units will reach their culminating point before ever reaching a decisive point. A leader must be able to identify:
�Required resources to accomplish the mission from crossing the LD th

Technique in the five paragraph order

Clarity, simplicity, and timeliness are essentials of an operation order. Clear, concise sentences are most easily understood.
�In the interest of simplicity, commanders and leaders at each echelon should closely evaluate and issue only those facts receiv

Technique in the five paragraph order

Use of the standard five-paragraph order format:
�Promotes clarity and brevity
�Presents information and instruction in a logical, easily assimilated manner
�Serves as a checklist to help ensure that no important information has been overlooked

Supervise in the five paragraph order

Supervision is continuous and occurs throughout the entire combat orders process.
�The unit leader for that mission is ultimately responsible and accountable for mission accomplishment.
�"Inspect what you expect.

Purpose of combat orders

The essential purpose of the combat order is to convey a mission and a plan to accomplish that mission.
All combat orders are derived from the five-paragraph order which is structured to meet the needs of a small unit leader. The five-paragraph order is:

As an NCO, you will primarily use three
types of combat orders:

Warning Order
Operation Order
Fragmentary Order

Warning Order

A warning order is a preliminary notice of an impending order or action. A warning order is:
�Issued by the leader upon receipt of an order from higher. It is issued at the outset of the troop leading steps (i.e., the "B" in BAMCIS) to allow subordinate l

Operation Order

An operation order is a directive issued by a leader to subordinate leaders for the purpose of coordinating execution of an operation.
�Operation orders are used by leaders at every level and can be issued orally or in writing.
�Small unit operation order

Fragmentary Order

A fragmentary order, or frag-o, is an abbreviated form of an operation order, usually issued on a daily basis, eliminating the need to restate information contained in a base operation order. A frag-o is issued after an operation order to change or modify

Speed Over Technique

According to MCDP 5, Planning, "The more urgent the situation, the greater need for brevity and simplicity."
�Ensure that your orders reach your Marines in time to affect their actions.
�Orders must be executed in a timely manner. General Patton observed,

Transfer of Information

Team leaders must generate an order primarily from the information provided by the squad leader's order.
�While some items transfer directly (e.g., orientation), other elements need to be modified to make them relevant to a particular team.
�For example,

The essential purpose of the combat order is to:

convey a mission and a plan to accomplish taht mission

Upon receiot of a new mission, the leader should issue a(n)

warning order to allow his Marines to begin preperations as the leader continues the troop leading steps. The leader will then issu a(n) operation order, to coordinate execution of the plan to accomplish the mission. Subsequently, a(n) fragmentary order,


1. Situation
2. Mission
3. Execution
4. Administration and Logistics
5. Command and Signal

One of the Principles of War is "Simplicity.

�A short, simple order that efficiently conveys your will is superior to a lengthy, complicated order that invites ambiguity.
�Do not allow your decision to become lost in a series of paragraphs, subparagraphs, alpha-numerics, and acronyms.
�As it clearly

The orientation is a general overview that serves two purposes.

�To define and describe the battlespace where the unit will operate. Much of this information comes from the analysis of terrain and weather gleaned from the leader's estimate of the situation.
�To orient Marines to the medium by which the order will be i

Enemy Situation

This subparagraph of SituationMEAC provides information concerning the enemy's composition, estimated strengths, identification, disposition, current location, anticipated movement, and capabilities, along with an assessment of intentions.
If you are a fi

Friendly Situation

This subparagraph of SituationMEAC provides information concerning friendly forces that should directly affect the actions of your Marines. These forces include those whose presence on a flank or other adjacent area is of interest. Include information on


This subparagraph of SituationMEAC identifies any unit that a higher command has attached to your unit or direction to detach a part of your unit to some other function. Attached personnel must be included in your administrative reports and supported with


A mission statement is composed of two parts: a task and its purpose.
�This mission statement must include the answers to the "5 W's": Who, What, When, Where, and Why.
�The "Why" provides the purpose and is the most important part of the statement because


The execution paragraph contains the leader's plan for accomplishing the unit's mission. It includes four main subparagraphs.

4 main subparagraphs of execution:

Commander's Intent
Concept of Operations
Coordinating Instructions

Commander's Intent (subparagraph of SMExecutionAC)

Commander's intent is a clear, concise statement of what the unit must do and the conditions the unit must meet to succeed; it is a vision provided to subordinates that enables them to act in a changing environment and in the absence of additional orders.

Concept of Operations (subparagraph of SMExecutionAC)

The concept of the operations describes how the leader visualizes the execution of the operation from beginning to end. The two components within this subparagraph of SMExecutionAC are:
Scheme of maneuver and Fire support plan.

The two components within the Concept of Operations subparagraph of SMExecutionAC are:

�Scheme of maneuver - Describes the plan by which the unit leader has decided to exploit the enemy's key weakness. This plan should be:
-Anonymous - To prevent the potential for subordinate leaders to isolate their attention to solely their role rather th

Tasks (subparagraph of SMExecutionAC)

A leader provides specific direction to each subordinate unit in this subparagraph.
�Subordinate leaders use their task from higher as the primary input for their mission analysis when they are conducting their estimate of the situation.
�A tasking statem

Coordinating Instructions (subparagraph of SMExecutionAC)

Any instructions that are not included in tasks and that pertain to two or more subordinate units are included in this subparagraph.
�List the details of coordination and control applicable to two or more units.
�Some items may include:

SMEAdministaration and logisticsC

In this paragraph, the unit leader identifies the administrative and logistical information necessary for the operation to be successful. Within this paragraph, provide information to your unit specifying the required information addressing:
�Beans (chow

There are two subparagraphs in Paragraph IV SMEAdministaration and logisticsC:

The unit leader will explain the plan for all administrative issues in this subparagraph that are not covered in SOPs. The leader will specify locations and points of contact for all wounded in action (WIA), killed in action (KIA), and ene

SMEACommand and signal

This paragraph concentrates on the unit commander's plan for command and control during the operation. There are two subparagraphs in this section: signal and command.

There are two subparagraphs in this section of SMEACommand and signal.

1. Signal
This subparagraph clarifies the signal plan.
Using what is available and considering the desired effect, signals should be:
�Original - This avoids confusion with other signals.
�Appropriate - This is the ability to convey the desired action to

Characteristics of Effective Combat Orders

Authoritative Expression
Use of the affirmative form
Avoidance of qualified qualified directives
Recognition of subordinate leader's prerogative


The order must be thoroughly understandable. To achieve clarity:
�Use doctrinally established military terminology and symbols that clearly convey identical meaning to all subordinate elements that receive the order.
�Train your Marines to recognize doctr


The order should contain all the information and instruction necessary to coordinate and execute the operation. The order must:
�Convey the purpose or intent of the leader so that subordinates and subordinate leaders will be able to accomplish their missi


In the disorder of combat, simplicity is strength. Avoid unnecessary detail, but clarity and completeness should not be sacrificed in the interest of brevity.
�Communicate key ideas in concise phrases.
�Avoid adjectives and adverbs.
�Issue single-sentence

Authoritative Expression

The order reflects the commander's intention and will.
�Indecisive, vague, and ambiguous language indicate indecision and lead to uncertainty and lack of confidence by subordinates.
�Effective leaders tell subordinates in direct and unmistakable terms exa

Use of the Affirmative Form

In the interest of simplicity and clarity, the affirmative form of expression is used throughout all combat orders.
�Phrasing such as, "the assault section will not accompany the company" is improper for two reasons: first, the intent of the order depends

Avoidance of Qualified Directives

Limit information to what is necessary. Ensure your words have meaning.
�Avoid meaningless expressions and clich�s such as "attack vigorously" and self-evident information like "avoid casualties."
�Remove expressions such as "try to hold" and "as far as p

Recognition of Subordinate Leader's Prerogative

Issue mission type orders. Orders should not limit the initiative of subordinate leaders.
�Mission orders assign what must be done without saying how it will be done.
�Assume competence; train yourself and your Marines to operate with mission orders.


Timely issuance of orders allows subordinate leaders sufficient time for planning and preparation.
�Timely orders help generate tempo.
�Concurrent planning saves time.

A terrain model is

a scaled-down model of the battlespace that the unit leader uses while issuing an order. An effective terrain model will allow your Marines to visualize:
�The battlespace in which they will be operating
�The enemy they are engaging
�The scheme of maneuver

Shorthand is a method of

abbreviating orders that makes quickly recording key information relatively easy.
�Use common shorthand abbreviations or develop your own system.
�All that matters is that you understand your shorthand and that you can effectively communicate it to others

Command presence is the demonstration of

confidence, assertiveness, expertise, and overall leadership capability. Establishing command presence helps to establish confidence in your plan and in you as a leader.

Take Charge (Command Presence under Combat Orders)

Never permit sleeping, talking, eating, or any other distraction during your order.
�Ensure that key personnel are present before beginning the order, and position your subordinate leaders.
�Require note-taking among order recipients. When issuing an orde

Know Your Order (Command Presence under Combat Orders)

In issuing your order, you are ordering your Marines to execute your scheme of maneuver.
�While they will execute because they are good Marines, you must sell your Marines to not just execute the plan, but also to believe in the plan.
�It is common to ref

Be Succinct (Command Presence under Combat Orders)

Keep orders short and to the point. Planning (MCDP 5) states, "Directives should be as clear, simple, and concise as each situation permits. Elaborateness and extreme detail are not generally characteristics of effective plans and orders.... Short sentenc

Interact with Recipients (Command Presence under Combat Orders)

Interact with the order recipients.
�While notes are often needed for referral, do not read your order.
�Focus on the Marines, for they are to be sent into harm's way to execute your decisions.
�You must present the order as if you have absolute confidenc

Deliver the Order (Combat Orders)

Writing and issuing good combat orders is as much art as it is science. Not only must you concisely convey your mission and your plan to accomplish the mission, but you must also inspire your Marines who will be evaluating your competence and confidence i

Active Voice and Direct Language (Deliver the Order under Combat Orders)

Use active voice and direct language that conveys confidence. In the disorder of combat, simplicity is strength. Avoid vague terms, qualifiers, or gratuitous phrases. Terms such as "conduct a rehearsal, if you can manage it," "attack vigorously," and "rad

Visual Aids (Deliver the Order under Combat Orders)

A terrain model is generally the best means by which to issue an order to your Marines.
�If it is not possible to construct a terrain model, then make use of any other available assets, like a sand table or whiteboard.
�It is most important to visually co

Questions (Deliver the Order under Combat Orders)

You will want the order recipients to be clear on the orientation, so allow them the opportunity to ask questions before you begin your actual order.
�Before briefing the situation, instruct the group to hold all their questions until the end of the order

When receiving a combat order, it is useful to develop shorthand writing skills. Who needs to be able to understand your shorthand?

Only you need to understand your own shorthand and be able to effectively communicate it to others.

What must be answered by a mission statement?

Who, what, when, where, and why with why being the most important.

In the disorder of combat, simplicity is strength. When issuing your order, avoid unnecessary detail. However, clarity and completeness should not be sacrificed in the interest of __________.


What is an advantage of issuing orders in a five-paragraph order format?

A standard format provides subordinates with a predictable, smooth flow of information from beginning to end.

Identify the subparagraph that is a clear, concise statement of the conditions the unit must meet to succeed. Understanding of this subparagraph, more than any other, allows us to exercise initiative in harmony with the leader's desires and to act in a ch

Commander's intent

When issuing a combat order to your Marines, establishing helps to establish confidence in your plan and in you as a leader.

command presence