Previously, I started this new mini-series on the six troop leading steps, abbreviated as BAMCIS.
Complete the Plan
Issue the Order
Over the course of this mini-series, the TDGs have been a successive continuation of the same exercise in which you go over the complete planning and execution of a squad-sized raid on an objective, while following the 6 troop leading steps listed above. In TDG 9, you made an rough plan of action and created a list of Requests For Information (RFIs) that you wanted answered for your final plan. In TDG 10, you planned and conducted your reconnaissance of the objective to answer your RFIs. If you sent your recon plan to me, I emailed you back your results, complete with imagery. And finally, in TDG 11, you used the information from your reconnaissance to finalize your attack plan and draft a 5-paragraph order. This brings us to the final and most important step in the troop leading process: Supervise.
You, as a leader of troops, are responsible for the ultimate success or failure of those troops. Therefore, it is your responsibility to ensure that any task you assign is understood and accomplished. You do this by supervising the task you have assigned and ensuring that every man knows what he is doing and why he is doing it.
One common tool for supervising is Pre-Combat Checks and Pre-Combat Inspections (PCCs and PCIs). PCCs involve checking your troops’ equipment and appearance before stepping off on a mission. Check to make sure that everyone has the required equipment, that it is packed correctly, and that all weapons are loaded and serviceable. It is important that you actually check your guys rather than taking their word for it that they have everything. Don’t just ask Larry if he has his nvg, have him pull it out and show it to you. Put your hands on Sean’s rifle and perform a functions check yourself to make sure it works. This isn’t micromanagement or distrust, it’s another means of redundancy to minimize human error to save lives.
PCIs involve asking your men questions about the operations order to make sure everyone understands what’s happening and how they fit into the big picture. Ask questions like “What is the casualty handling plan?” “Where is the objective rally point?” “What is the primary radio frequency?” Brent 0331 made an excellent comprehensive video about PCCs and PCIs that you should watch.
I want to thank everyone who participated in this exercise over the last few weeks. I was very impressed by some of the plans I received and I did my best to meet your level of effort in my responses. I still have a few submissions left to respond to, I should get them all done by the end of the week. Over the next few days I will be publishing some of the “homework” that I received along with my responses, so the rest of you can comment and discuss the plans that were submitted. The first one will go up later today.
Next week we go back to the normal TDG format. Due to the amount of time required for me to make this scenario (5 hours) and respond to each submission (1-2 hours), I won’t be able to continue the interactive format here for free. However, I may offer this sort of interactive mission planning exercise as an “online class” through email if there is enough interest.
And if you’d like more practice developing skills to be an effective small unit leader, come out to a Team Leader Class. The next one is July 10, see you out there.