Military tactical planning has been used formally for a long time by fighting and maneuver elements. This article is a combined overview of the ground combat units’ frameworks. Not all branches of our armed forces use all of this together in this format nor is the terminology exactly the same. Obviously the Army and Marine Corps, whom have organically most of the ground combat units, utilize significant amounts of these doctrines.
A Solid Foundation When Group Has To Combat Evil Doers
This planning is not all inclusive nor the be all to end all. However, it does provide a solid foundation and basis upon which to build when the time comes that your group has to field a force to combat evil doers.
You Will Be Able to Read About…
There is a goal in mind with this foundational framework. Described in written narrative format, you will be able to read in succinct fashion about:
- the six troop leading steps (key words acronym BAMCIS),
- the situation estimation analysis (key words acronym METT-TC),
- enemy forces reporting (key words acronym SALUTE),
- actions against the enemy (key words acronym DRAW-D),
- terrain tactical issues (key words acronym KOCOA),
- the five paragraph operations order (key words acronym O-SMEAC),
- friendly and enemy troops and fire support projections attempts (key words acronym POME),
- friendly and enemy forces status (key words acronym HAS), and
- organizational supply (key words acronym the 4 B’s).
Simplified to the Least Common Denominator For Brevity
This framework format in its narrative is simplified to the least common denominator for sake of brevity and ease of following. It is, however, even easier in utilization with the checklist format once familiarized with the concepts. Looking prospectively into the future, at some point there will probably be a need to field a party of like-minded and trained friends for mutually protective safety and security reasons. Because they will be heading out into “Indian” country, which exposure to hostile activity is a distinct possibility, you should take into consideration proper planning through a well thought out process to “cover your tails”, figuratively and literally, without any disrespect intended to our native American friends. We will state the framework and then provide some thought provoking questions for your consideration. Again, these are not all inclusive but simply ideas to get you in the right mindset and provide sample deliberative concepts.
Six Troop Leading Steps- BAMCIS
We begin with the six troop leading steps. Notice it says “leading”. It doesn’t say supervise, or manage, or direct, or administer. At its root is to lead. Supervision, management, mirection, and administration are all sub-components of leadership, no doubt. However, they are not replacements to lead!
Begin the Planning- B in BAMCIS
Step (Roman Numeral) I one is signified by the letter “B” in the key words acronym “BAMCIS”, for Begin the planning. By entering into this process, we have done just that; we began the plan. In planning, it is always, always, always good to have at least primary, secondary, and tertiary options for reasons to be illustrated shortly. For planning, we will follow the acronym METT-TC
Mission is Everything- M in METT-TC
Mission is everything. The number one goal of the United States Marine Corps is mission accomplishment. No matter what mission the Marines are ordered to execute on by the Commander in Chief, they will accomplish that mission come hell or high water. The number two goal in the Marine Corps is troop welfare. You cannot accomplish goal one without providing for goal two. Word to the wise. What is our objective? What is it we need to accomplish? These two questions should define and broadly encompass our Mission, Part A of the key words acronym “METT-TC”.
The Enemy is Unforgiving- E in METT-TC
The Enemy, Part B of the key words acronym “METT-TC”, is unforgiving. No plan survives first contact with the enemy. When your primary option in your plan doesn’t work or is no longer viable, you better have within reach secondary and tertiary options. You don’t need three separate plans. You do need flexibility with options for when Mr. Murphy makes his untimely appearance. What hostiles should we expect to encounter? Are we talking terrorists, criminals, gangs, zombies, aliens, foreign troops, rogue cops, or combinations thereof?
When we encounter these hostiles, are we to simply observe and gather intelligence on them from a distance? Are we to close with them and engage them? If we are compromised, what should we do? Did you see the movie or read the book Lone Survivor? When the Navy SEALs were compromised observing the Taliban by a local shephard, valuable time was lost figuring out what to do. Remember to have at least three options for all your contingencies.
A Mechanism to Report the Enemy/Whom We Encounter- SALUTE
Regardless of whether we are to gather intelligence or close with and destroy the enemy, we should have a mechanism to report whom we encountered. For this we use the six line key words acronym “SALUTE” to report the enemy. This acronym represents information to gather including Size, Activity, Location, Unit, Time, and Equipment.
What size group of the enemy were encountered? What activity was the enemy performing when observed/encountered? At what location did we observe/encounter the enemy? Was the enemy organized into a discernable unit? What time did you observe/encounter the enemy? Did the enemy carry any equipment? Did the enemy have any equipment on their vehicles, horseback, bicycles, et cetera?
Five Actions Against the Enemy– DRAW-D
When the enemy is encountered and we cannot simply observe them for intelligence gathering purposes but must take some sort of action against them, what are we to do? There are basically five actions against the enemy you can consider utilizing the key words acronym “DRAW-D”. Will we Defend against them? Will we Reinforce others allied with us against them? Can we Attack them? Will we Withdraw from them? Will we Delay them? No matter what, you should always defend yourselves and your group. You should never surrender. Some would add “while you have the means to resist”. I will simply state you should never surrender, otherwise you are assured to experience first hand torture, imprisonment, and probably a long painful death. I personally will fight until I die; you may decide to act otherwise.
Difference Between Surrender, Retreat, and Withdraw
There is a difference between surrender, retreat, and withdraw. Like surrender, you should never retreat. Some forces utilize the term ‘advance in the retrograde’ rather than retreat. Now is not the time to be politically correct throwing around acceptable terminology. You should never retreat. However, there are exceptions. What about in the assault if your squad sized patrol is being totally decimated and you have more casualties then you can tend to or carry? Perhaps retreating out of the beaten zone is a tactical consideration.
I know, I know, I know; if an ambush is properly set, the only way to survive is to aggressively assault through it. I know. However, that is typically encountered when professional armies meet professional armies on the field of battle. On our field here, those terms aren’t likely. Also, if you encounter overwhelming forces and have time to reach into your bag of options, perhaps withdrawing to fight another day isn’t such a bad idea after all when considering the other option could be facing annihilation.
Terrain and Weather- First “T” in METT-TC
Part C of the situation estimation analysis is Terrain and weather. It is the first “T” in the key words acronym of “METT-TC”. Weather prediction in any grid down situation will probably be strictly locally based on observable conditions. If lucky enough to have outside communications within our regional Area of Operations (AO), it should be at least possible to be warned a little ahead of time of incoming weather conditions based upon prevailing winds and the jet stream. Be it a torrential downpour, hail, snowstorm, flooding, whatever, it would be very nice to know ahead of time about any of these bad climatic situations.
After weather, terrain tactical considerations should be addressed using the key words acronym “KOCOA”. Ordinal i is “K” for Key terrain. What is the key terrain? Where is the military crest on this hill or that mountain? Where are the valleys? Ordinal ii is “O” for Observation and fields of fire. What is our expected fields of observation with the presenting terrain? How must we adjust our fields of fire to those local terrain features? How will we cover dead spots? Ordinal iii is “C” for Cover and concealment. Is fog typical to our prospective AO? If so, how can it obscure enemy movement? Conversely, would it be able to conceal our movements? Is there any natural cover to our enemy or for us?
Remember, cover stops incoming rounds and concealment hides us from sight. Ordinal iv is “O” for Obstacles. Are there any obstacles, natural or man made, to impede vehicle or foot traffic? What happens when we encounter a mine field or booby traps? I was always trained we either go through an enemy or obstacle, over an enemy or obstacle, or under an enemy or obstacle but never around an enemy or obstacle. Your training or current needs may be different. Ordinal v is “A” for Avenues of approach. What lanes of march can we utilize to reach our objective? What are the enroute and objective rally points? Where are the phase lines?
Tomorrow, we will continue going through the initial planning process using the METT-TC acronym.
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been part one of a two part entry for Round 79 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
- A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
- A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
- A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
- RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
- Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances.
Round 79 ends on November 30th, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.