7 QUESTIONS

mysteron

LE
Book Reviewer
#21
Evilone,

It is a shame that you are being tested by people who are stuck in the Combat Estimate mode of thinking. Whilst it was an effective tool and arguably easier to test, it is not current doctrine.

However, I also believe that these sort of people will be the ones testing you on JOLP3, JOTAC, etc. Therefore, play the game. Get comfortable using the 7Qs and the ability to draw out "so whats" (which incidentally are intutive and on the most part blindingly obvious) will follow on. That way you get the necessary points to pass and you can then get on with conducting the 7Qs in the way they are meant to be used. Hopefully that helps.
 

mysteron

LE
Book Reviewer
#23
Abacus, clearly I now feel like a thrusting military spotter. Same my exam results never reflected it. Your praise is too kind.

However, back to the 7Qs. Are we ever going to solve this problem? The 7Qs are great, easy to use and simple for simple people like me. Sorted, but we forever going to have to live with psc(j) majors bumping their gums about using the formal estimate and applying it to the 7Qs?
 
#24
Again thank's all. I had already come to that conclusion on the drive home form the exam. It was just unfortunate that on the day a School boy error of not showing how I got to that point is the difference between pass and fail.
Always next time, I have time on my side anyway so here goes for July!!
 

mysteron

LE
Book Reviewer
#25
Good Luck Evilone.

Just remember, people like those you faced like to hear things like "Canalisation", "Effects based" and other staff bollox phrases like that. Sad, yes but unfortunately true.

Once upon a time, when I did my JOTES, I was assessed on the estimate phase by an RMP female major who had just done staff college. It was blatantly clear that she had some understanding of combined arms warfare but had an enormus amount of knowledge about staff phrases. Throw a couple in as I give the estimate and hey presto got a good mark and was praised for independent, manouverist thought when I actually situated the estimate around the plan that intutively came. The plan was a complete rip-off from a previous estimate when my CO at the time had some pretty crafty ideas and I used them shamelessly.

Moral of the story, the people who assess you do not necessarily have as much knowledge as you might suppose. No cuff to tough mate!
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#27
mysteron said:
Good Luck Evilone.

Just remember, people like those you faced like to hear things like "Canalisation", "Effects based" and other staff bollox phrases like that. Sad, yes but unfortunately true.
Yes, if you find you have a Gunner DS on the next go and use the phrase 'Non-Kinetic Strike', then you're likely to be promoted on the spot.

It so happened that I had an RMP DS on my JOTES, and he was well-impressed with my staff jargon (I'd been working in a Bde HQ for 18 months when I did it), notwithstanding the fact that my plan amounted to 'left-flanking, bags of smoke'.
 
#29
mysteron said:
Ultimately, we are skirting the main issue. I propose that it is impossible to accurately test the 7Qs in an exam, the only test environment where you find out whether it works is in reality.

Therefore, are we going to teach false lessons by testing in the 3 column format?
Perhaps it's best to be honest about the difference between the purpose of the test, and the purpose of what's being tested. Explain clearly that:

- The purpose of the 7Qs is to provide a rapid plan, right now

- The purpose of the teaching TEWT or staff ride is to give you a slow-time walk through of a plan in order to learn how the bits of a BG attack work, and to develop your "intuition", while showing you some of the cause-and-effect stuff.

- The purpose of a generic testing TEWT should be to demonstrate that you understand the mechanism.

There's too much (oh god, buzzword) "domain-specific knowledge" involved to test someone's intuition, unless the students are given a TEWT scenario that reflects their operational role. So, the teeth people get a BG attack, the bleeps get to set up a COMMCEN, the blanket-stackers get to set up a POL point.

Suggestion - if there's to be an all-arms TEWT, give people a much shorter period (i.e. realistic) to come up with a plan and give their orders, and then walk them through their 7Qs / debrief / humiliate them at the end of it. Accept that the plans will be incomplete or crap, (the 50% plan right now, not the 99% plan in 45 minutes time) and mark accordingly.

I was originally taught appreciations, and went to do JDSC(TA) shortly after we had changed to "estimates"..... I joked at the time that it was obvious that the TEWTs had merely had the headings changed, rather than having been properly reworked as "estimates", because of a number of clues in how they were set up.

Now comes the 7Qs, and quite apart from good 7Q TEWTs, DSed by "Estimate-based DS", you can bet that there are other TEWT authors who aren't as confident / capable, and who produce a retread estimate, using estimate-order reasoning, but with 7Q headings. It kind of defeats the purpose, and confuses people. IMHO.

I've tried writing TEWTs, and I could never get one that brought out all the teaching points that I wanted. So I wrote one that brought out Q4 of Msn Analysis, so that the students would understand that, I wrote another that only gave a single realistic option, the rest was logistics planning and timing; I wrote another that gave a couple of options, and didn't favour either in the Pink. I was just wary of creating an artificially constrained TEWT that tried to do too much.
 
#30
I've seen the appreciation, the estimate and now the 7 questions. The estimate was really a re-hash of the appreciation, while the 7 questions is more radical. The real value of the 7 questions is that it mirrors the IPB process and BG planning, but also serves as a quick checklist for intuitive decisions on the hoof. Before, usual practice - and you know this was true - was to use the estimate mostly, sometimes only, for BG level planning and all levels under relied on 'intuition' - which may have had a logical sequence or not, depending on the person using it. The 'en' part was also only one of a list of factors, now it is the primary question from which the others lead. 7 Qs gets my vote.

As to whether it is tested properly, the LWC at Warmister have TEWTs coming out their ears and it doesn't take much to get hold of the pinks, which you can guarantee are up to the job. It's a bit distressing to hear from EvilOne that some Bdes haven't taken expert advice when needed. I think the advice is 'coursemanship'. If the DS solution wants three columns on why to form square against cavalry, then that's what you have to do. You can always rejoin the real world once the exam's over and the pass is in the bag.
 
#31
Darth_Doctrinus said:
I have been heavily involved in the ongoing development of the 7Qs and will be pleased to assist.
Which loosely translated means "I am a crashing bore and have a conversational repertiore limited to impenitrable doctrinal and staff matters that means I stand in the corner of the mess on my own supping my half-of-mild as no-one will talk to me. I am also a virgin as women fail to find me interesting. Please be my new best friend." :lol:
 

mysteron

LE
Book Reviewer
#32
Stabtastic,

I fear that Evilone is not alone in this predicament.

I am not attempting to fan the flames of what could be an explosive and very defensive argument by some, however........
It is clear that a large number of staff officers who are requested/selected to DS these TEWTS are of the opinion that their staff training is enough and they don't need advice from LWC.

This will only serve to continue the current trend of 'coursemanship', which is ultimately wrong. I cannot offer a solution, (although I have tried to come up with a valid and workable one).

As the Germans said, "The British write the best training manuals in the world, thank god they don't read them".
 
#33
woopert said:
Which loosely translated means "I am a crashing bore and have a conversational repertiore limited to impenitrable (I apologise for my utterly appalling spelling - I wish I was as dashing and erudite as Darth_D) doctrinal and staff matters that means I stand in the corner of the mess on my own supping my half-of-mild as no-one will talk to me. I am also a virgin as women fail to find me interesting. Please be my new best friend."
How do you know that? Do you have a camera installed in my broom cupboard of an office? Damn your eyes, man! :D

And what's wrong with halves of mild? :D
 
#34
mysteron said:
Stabtastic,

I fear that Evilone is not alone in this predicament.

I am not attempting to fan the flames of what could be an explosive and very defensive argument by some, however........
It is clear that a large number of staff officers who are requested/selected to DS these TEWTS are of the opinion that their staff training is enough and they don't need advice from LWC.

This will only serve to continue the current trend of 'coursemanship', which is ultimately wrong. I cannot offer a solution, (although I have tried to come up with a valid and workable one).

As the Germans said, "The British write the best training manuals in the world, thank god they don't read them".
Hands up anyone above the rank of Capt who has been formally taught the 7Qs Estimate process and practised it enough that you are qualified to teach/DS....

Edited to remove sarcy comment (this site starting to get some seriously high calibre contributions :!: )
 
#37
mysteron said:
It is clear that a large number of staff officers who are requested/selected to DS these TEWTS are of the opinion that their staff training is enough and they don't need advice from LWC.
My excuse for trying to write TEWTs was that LWC don't typically do ready-made Platoon-level stuff for odd corners of remote Scottish training areas, simplified for OTC officer cadets :)

Although the boss was very good at briefing the DS as to why they were there....... I only ever "disagreed" with one Gunner DS, and managed to reassure the student concerned that they had, in fact, been correct.

This was two years ago, and I found myself working from all of the ATDN articles I could find (including the one with the missing page, thankyou) and resulting letters-page debate, the electronic battle-box, and a rather nice CD of the PCD teaching package that someone managed to purloin.

Reassuringly, once CAST(N) and RMAS started running 7Q training packages, we found that we hadn't been too far off the mark.......
 

mysteron

LE
Book Reviewer
#38
Gravelbelly,

I am truly glad that you guys were on the mark. My point, which has fanned the flames of defensive argument, is that there still is no joined up way to test and assess the 7Qs.

I do not seek to go about telling every Major and above in the British Army that they don't know what they are talking about. I am confident that the majority do, but in some cases, ego does step in front of logic. Human nature.

But we go back to square 1, how do we assess the 7Qs????
 
#39
Darth_Doctrinus said:
**Hands Up**

I can - and do
Where you are and what you do, thank goodness for that. And how can you be boring with that wonderful tie? :D

I'm still astonished at the number of Officers I come across DSing MTQ2s especially who I know haven't been formally trained. Notwithstanding that most still manage to do an extremely good job, there is still the potential for the problem that evilone started this thread with.
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#40
mysteron said:
My point, which has fanned the flames of defensive argument, is that there still is no joined up way to test and assess the 7Qs.
If by 'joined up' you mean applying a 'tick-in-the-box' answer template to a test candidate going through the 7 Qs then no, you're quite right. Testing relies on having up-to-date DS who are capable of making a reasonably objective assessment of how effectively the candidate has tackled a guided intuitive thought process, which is possibly not the easiest thing to do if your day job is SO2 Fin in a non-operational HQ, for example. It puts a lot of onus on the DS and requires them to be as well prepared as the test candidates.
 

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