A Detailed Brief and the Orders Process

Discussion in 'Infantry' started by Baz44, May 23, 2006.

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  1. Got a question - has anyone heard of the above.
    I recently had a conversation with Officers and SNCO's about the orders process (well been away from the thick of it for a couple of years)and was advised the latest teaching is the 7 questions followed by a 'Detailed Brief' is this right? What is the latest from the Rupert School and Brecon? Or am I right to suspect its a cop out?

  2. the advice I got from my reg PSI was a detailed brief could be used when time was short and without need to ref all the paragraph headings normally found in set of orders...

    ....there may be no need for the 7Qs prior to this, as you may already have a plan.

    PS yes i am OTC but our reg staff tend to be very good and the inf guys seem to keep up to date on RMAS thinking
  3. If time is short you are probably better off trying to put together a set of orders. How long does it take to prepare a detailed brief? Difficult to say because where can you find out how much detail a detailed brief has to contain? It is a rather meaningless term and, as far as I am aware, has no doctrinal basis. It very much sounds as though this is a cop out to try and avoid the issue of preparing a set of orders. If the military decision making tool (7Qs) is used properly no level of command should be disadvantaged, in terms of time available, more than any other when it comes to making the decision and preparing orders to execute it. If a BGHQ chose to conduct a detailed briefing on that basis can you imagine what the detailed briefing given by a platoon commander is going to be like? It is a recipe for a complete cock-up. Finally I don't see how you can have a plan if you have not conducted the 7Qs. Unless of course you are using a decision making tool that does not conform to the current LWC teaching or you are making it up as you go along!
  4. i have no idea if it has a doctrinal basis

    it was explained as a method for section/patrol level

    and yea it did seem to be a cop out :D
  5. Let's face it patrol orders must be detailed if the patrol is to stand any chance of success and they must be orders derived from applying the 7Qs to the problem. A briefing will not cut the mustard.

    If anything it is a much more difficult undertaking than anything a JNCO would be expected to do within the context of a company operation. I would be surprised if Brecon advocated this technique.

    By the way RMAS just do as they are told when it comes to teaching tactical doctrine - they do not develop it!!!
  6. Ok so there would seem to be some basis of such a thing as a detailed brief.
    My concern was that if a detailed brief became the norm then actually junior commanders would loose or not even gain experience in the more formal orders process. My experience has been that you need to learn and use the more formal methods to gain the confidence to develop your own style.
    I started many moons ago as a junior NCO using the good old double page method for extraction and then writting my own took me a fair while. Over time though I learn to listen more to my higher commanders plan and what i was to do (queue the 7 Q's), develop my own plan and deliver it with the aid of the good old TAM etc just to ensure I missed nothingh pertinant out! Though I can appreciate that time is always the one resource - you never have enough
    From what I heard the detailed brief seemed fairly non specific and I would suggest should only be considered by the more experienced commander else how the hell do you know whats in or out of it.
    I am not a doctine junky or anything just would be interested to know what the official take is or a point in the right place to find out. Spoke to NCO's having been through Brecon and it seemed to be news to them.

    Thanks for the feedback though

  7. I think your concern is fully justified Baz. I don't believe there should be any basis for a 'detailed brief'. If time is short the task must go to an experienced NCO who will know where to make the short cuts in the battle procedure but this should not include sacrificing orders in favour of a briefing.
  8. There is only a slight transition from doctrine to dogma. I would suggest that the latter is bad, whilst the former provides a tool and framework for understanding (any spotter can quote me the correct definition).

    The orders process is designed for a reason, that is to communicate succinctly, and in an order which is pretty well known; which makes it easier to deliver and receive when tired etc.

    The estimate was only ever designed as a framework in order to think through a problem in a logical sequence, thereby formulating a plan which can be judged and approved (and nowadays, god forbid, picked over at a later enquiry). The point is that there is no real need to 'fill in the blanks' on every box, if those boxes are irrelevant. Think about what you are trying to achieve, that is a winning plan which will bring about the defeat of the en, whilst maintaining your own boys.

    That said, a basic understanding of the logical process is required in order to be able to deviate / alter it so it is fit for your particular purpose (which most HQs do).

    Teaching a 'detailed briefing' does, therefore, seem counter-intuitive, and as some have said, a bit of a cop-out. Perhaps this stems from a lack of understanding / confidence in the use of the estimate and orders process?
  9. I think that's the key point. No matter what you call it, if you get all the information that's required into it your plan will be communicated. And if you're good enough your plan will suceed.
    All this seems to me to be a bit too much of a semantic argument...
  10. You are right up to a point but at the risk of sounding like a doctrine nazi one of the principles of the command philosophy of the British Army is 'A clear understanding of a common doctrine at all levels' The planning process at the tactical level is based on the 7Qs or 'Combat Estimate'. If applied correctly this produces a plan and the foundation of orders. The orders format is something everyone who has attended RMAS or a JNCO Cadre is familiar with and will understand. This is the basis of the teaching all future tactical courses attended by officer and WO/NCO alike. Detailed briefings should not be used as a substitue for orders at any level. Years of training and experience have produced a technique for getting across the information necessary for a commander and his subordinates to carry out the missions allocated to them - it works. If it didn't we would be doing something else!

    Please forgive what sounds like a rant. Mind you if it sounds like a rant it probably is one. :)