7 QUESTIONS

mysteron

LE
Book Reviewer
#41
Cpunk, I absolutely DO NOT seek a tick the box assessment sheet for the 7Qs, this goes completely against the spirit of the process and it undermines the concept of mission command and manouverist doctrine.

Hence why I fully admitted that I am not intelligent enough to identify a credible system that can assess the 7Qs.

I also fully agree that the DS must be as (if not more so) prepared than the student. This, in the current climate, is very difficult to achieve.

My question is asking the corporate knowledge here if they have any solution to this conundrum?
 
#42
My hands up too. Used it in BATUS on a Bde TESSEX and it was outstanding. Our record from warning order to written orders given out at the start of the O Gp was 40 mins. What it needs is an excellent ISTAR Offr (not a spotty Acting Capt who was appointed for brown nosing the Comd Offr) to do a top rate IPB, that ensures the planning is pointed in the right direction and then test it with war gaming, even if it is only 2 mins. You may think your plan is brilliant but the ISTAR Offr could point out a vital flaw. Another reason the ISTAR Offr needs credibility.

As we won all the battles, less 2 which were a draw - achieved our mission but we were all but annihilated I think it proved its worth.

Like everything it is the means to an end, not the be all and end all.
 
#43
I have always believed that the best way to do this is to assess the output i.e. the Orders (does everyone really know what's going on here - has the Commander really articulated his intent etc etc) and the Execution of the Plan that the Orders inform.

I really don't care how people get there, as long as they get there! The problem we have is that we have to have a mechanism of some kind, else we will all have to assume that everyone knows what they're doing, and the only time we realise they don't, is when our boys and girls start getting knocked over on dusty streets due to incompetent planning (note: not Leadership).

To my mind, the real trick lies in identifiying those planning activities which lie on the critical path and assessing them in a meaningful way, which I believe we do. However, the intellectual space around that ideal is vast - there are many ways to skin the proverbial and tactics is always the opinion of the senior officer present - but the rigid process -driven view of the CASTs (and others) is possibly a little too heavy at times.

So what? Well, we need to agree that an efficient system is a requirement, which I believe we all do. Next, we need to agree that this putative system must (necessarily) rigorously assess our peoples' ability to think and to think in a logical, structured and rational manner, within some sort of doctrinal framework (without removing our ability to 'free think' when required). Finally, the output from this system must be aimed at improving overall operational process and capability and will therefore include a degree of feedback to the 'student'.

For my part, I believe that we should jealously maintain our relatively scatterbrained approach to all this - else we turn into the US Army who are utterly unable to think outside the narrow confines of their rigid doctrine-driven process and are now having to re-learn the 'art of thought'.
 
#44
Darth_Doctrinus said:
For my part, I believe that we should jealously maintain our relatively scatterbrained approach to all this - else we turn into the US Army who are utterly unable to think outside the narrow confines of their rigid doctrine-driven process and are now having to re-learn the 'art of thought'.
Absolutely - "Don't fight it, write it!" And then do it while others are still thinking about it.

Still incredible to think that OODA loop is taught ad naseam yet the 7Qs estimate remains as popular as the plague in some quarters.
 
#45
Abi,

I am sure we are just in a transitional phase. I attended Staff College in 2001 ans we were not taught the 7Q's in the single service phase since it was just coming on line and none of our DS knew anything about it, and we were concentrasting on the Bde and Div level of ops.

Now the problem is that when we went to our Black Bag jobs or Sub-Unit Command we knew nothing about the 7Qs and there is no formal mechanism to train us. Now, we are all grown ups, so we can find and fix the information. However, there will be those of my generation out there who have not been taught it and therefor are not confident practioners. Now, as I interpret it, it is just a streamlined old style tactical estimate, that enshrines mental/intuitive shortcuts that we all made anyway, with a focus on enemy and effect. However, I am now in a position where I (as the PSC Maj in my unit) have to teach the 7Qs and DS it. Now, if I have misinterpreted it or don't fully understand the underlying principles of the new format, I am going to be misinforming and poorly assessing a number of junior officers, my non-staff trained peers and CO!

UQFEGD
 
#46
True, true, true. It's all very well teaching these things on courses to the to-be-qualified but what about the people in post already? The majority of people, it seems, are expected to take it all in by osmosis. Mostly, professional pride generates an effort to self-help and learn the new doctrines etc, but even then I'm damn sure there are gaps and misunderstandings. I know this only too well, I was on the last PCBC to teach the old 'Exec General Outline/phases' style of orders, and the last JDSC to do the estimate. In both cases everyone knew the changes were coming in, and it was a little disheartening to hear that we were learning/revising what had already been binned as doctrine. Luckily I was able to do 7 Qs at CATAC so, for once, there wasn't the mad catch-up afterwards.
But what's the answer? LWC keeping a list of its old 'graduates' and sending updates? Perhaps units get updates already - there are certainly infantry briefing days at Warminster and probably the other arms and corps do the same. But few get to hear of the content, and certainly something more than diffusion and osmosis is needed.
 
#47
Stab bloke,

Not disagreeing with anything you've stated at all, but it seems to me that the professional elements of the officers 'corps' can stay current with established and emerging concepts and doctrine by either reading Army Doctrine and Training News (ADTN), British Army Review (BAR), logging on to the Land Warfare Centre website, or hanging around for far longer than absolutely necessary on ARRSE.

That said, there is an experiential component to learning, and this can be the hardest part to deliver, especially to a widely dispersed extremely active Army. Perhaps the solution is some sort of 'Doctrine Update/Refresher' course sponsored by LWC - but who would pay? :D
 
#49
Well, it would be funded by cuts in the TA, of course. Surprised you didn't think of that yourself, actually, being regular army? (ho ho)
:lol:

I agree, there are places to find out these things, and everyone needs to stay current as a matter of course anyway, whatever is spoon-fed to us in the way of formal updates and training. I think mandatory doctrinal updates are the way forward, or at least for 'train the trainer' updates which can be spread around the army by unit reps.
 
#50
pp et al,

Same position for me. I was dropped into training POs/OCdts at the deepest of deep-ends and I'm Corps, not teeth arms! I had to find and fix myself, but was VERY fortunate in having a solid connection to THE subject matter expert of the day when he was OC Dettingen and he's now in even closer proximity so well able to keep myself up-to-speed (as if he would let me do otherwise). Plus I'm being observed fairly closely (obviously not so closely that I can't have a bit of fun on ARRSE :grin:) as I deliver this training in the "guinea-pig" RTC so I have every incentive to maintain the skill at high level and avoid any risk of skill-fade.

Of course we are in a transitional phase so I suppose until we wash through a couple of years worth of new appointments we just need to rely on integrity of the old and bold to ensure that they either get themselves up to speed or unvolunteer themselves from DSing such critical career examinations as JOTES.
 
#51
Myst,

Places to find either publication:

1. Officers' Mess anterooms - under a pile of redtops in the corner near the windows.

2. Adjutant's offices - on the chair next to the door, under a pile of redtops.

3. On the CO's desk, especially if a suitably starred-up visitor is inbound to that location.

4. By the hundreds at LWC - which is where I tend to steal mine from.

5. Llangennech - who will eventually provide what you want after a wait of around 6 months or so.

6. Every unit receives a number of copies of each - if your's doesn't, call DSE Llangennech and ask to be included on the distribution list. See above however....

You could use your unit's stationery budget, but I couldn't possibly advise it! :D
 

mysteron

LE
Book Reviewer
#52
DD, was being sarcastic. I have perused the joys of these publications, mostly whilst on the throne.
 
#55
Errr...yes...I twigged that Myst...I hoped you would have been able to sense it? :D

Clearly I need to annotate my posts [humour] [/humour] ? :D

Never mind, I hope someone got some use from it - even if it's only the procedure for getting DSE to pay for them!
 
#58
abacus said:
Mysteron, good answer.

Evilone, rotten question. :wink:

If I might reveal a bit of insider knowledge, Evilone's question stems from a recent JOTES exam where many of the DS were of the old and bold variety, and consequently less familiar with the 7Qs Combat Estimate than perhaps was desirable for such an important event. (Scurilous accusations on ARRSE, whatever next :lol:)

A sketch map in this case actually turned out to be a loser as the (hypothetical - haha) DS wanted evidence that the factors had been considered in 3 column format against each possible COA. Now as someone who started life with the Appreciation, I think it wonderful that our young subbies are getting a history lesson, but am as puzzled as Evilone as to how to incorporate that into the latest generation 7Qs Combat Estimate.

If any of the DS are on-line and willing to reveal themselves it would be useful to know the answer to this as he and at least a dozen others now have to resit later this year. It would be ironic if they failed the next one as a result of doing 3 COAs instead of the 7Qs best plan right now which I, for one, would like to see from them.
I have my suspicions that "evilone" failed because of the shenanigans over the "YO-YO" website earlier this year.He possibly said the wrong thing to someone who later coincidentally turned out to be DS.Isn't life funny how things turn out?.Of course this is only a suspicion :twisted:(Scurrious accusations on ARRSE-whatever next! :lol: )
 
#59
galgenberg said:
I don't know about the others but I have my suspicions that "evilone" failed because of the shenanigans over the "YO-YO" website earlier this year.He obviously said the wrong thing to someone who later coincidentally turned out to be DS.Isn't life funny how things turn out?.Of course this is only a suspicion :twisted:
And a very amusing one it is too :D but sadly it wasn't as simple or straightforward.

Of course he says the wrong thing to me all the time - his latest faux pas was the scurrilous suggestion that it was my round!
 
#60
abacus said:
galgenberg said:
I don't know about the others but I have my suspicions that "evilone" failed because of the shenanigans over the "YO-YO" website earlier this year.He obviously said the wrong thing to someone who later coincidentally turned out to be DS.Isn't life funny how things turn out?.Of course this is only a suspicion :twisted:
And a very amusing one it is too :D but sadly it wasn't as simple or straightforward.

Of course he says the wrong thing to me all the time - his latest faux pas was the scurrilous suggestion that it was my round!

And was it ?
 

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