Before you leave on any mission your team must be briefed on what is going on. Asking yourself a few simple questions will get everyone up to speed and allow your mission to flow smoothly. Above is a small cheat sheet with these questions on it. Feel free to print this off and take it in the field with you!
Mission and Commander’s Intent
- What is our mission?
- How does our mission fit into our commander’s big picture? This is critical to know so even if you fail your mission you can still help your commander accomplish his main objective.
Chain of Command and Unit Structure
- Squad leader – The squad leader is focused on the mission. He reports progress to his superiors, and initiates all battle drills and actions on the objective. If he dies who will take his place? This needs to be answered all the way down to the last man.
- Fire Team leader – The team leader is focused on his fire team. He insures that they are in the right place at the right time, performing the proper task. He reports to the squad leader on the condition of his team and their ammunition supply.
- Special teams – Does the unit have special persons attached to it for this mission? Whom are they commanded by? Do we need to designate some of our unit to perform a special task during this mission?
- Special equipment – What mission critical equipment is our unit carrying? Who has it and who is in charge of picking it up if that person dies? Examples of special equipment are props, grenades, mines, ammunition, launchers, or support weapons.
Objective Location and Approach
- Route – What route will we be taking? What types of terrain will we be going through?
- Danger areas – What danger areas will we have to deal with? Examples of danger areas are roads, streams and any open areas.
- Rally points – If our unit comes in contact before reaching our objective where do we fall back to in order to regroup?
Reaction to Contact
- SOP on contact – What do we do after we hit the dirt? Do we get on line or wait for orders? Does the fire team not in contact move immediately or wait for orders?
- SOP on ambush – What is the phrase that will initiate our react to ambush drill?
Actions on the Objective – if Your Mission is an Attack, Raid or Ambush
- Support/Assault teams – Which fire team will take each role?
- Team emplacement – Where will each fire team be positioned at the objective? Where will the patrol split into the two fire teams? How will each fire team get to their position?
- Attack signal – What will initiate our attack? If that fails what is our back up signal?
- Limit of advance – If attacking an objective, where do our fire teams stop on the far side?
Actions on the Objective – if Your Mission is a Defense
- Where is the enemy coming from?
- What terrain features will hide their approach?
- Where is our primary defense line?
- Where will we fall back to if overrun?
- What areas will our support guns cover?
- What defilades will our grenade launchers/mines cover?
If You are on a Reconnaissance Mission
- What does our commander want us to find out?
- What else would be nice to find out?
- Will we be using the SALUTE report (as seen below) or something else?
- Size – how many are in the enemy unit?
- Activity – what are they doing?
- Location – where are they at (grid coordinates)?
- Uniform – what unit are these guys from?
- Time – what time/date is it?
- Equipment – how much/what kind of equipment are they carrying?