Battle Orders + model

Discussion in 'Infantry' started by snothead, Dec 17, 2007.

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  1. I'm on my cadre course very soon and I have no access to a training wing etc where I am, so I'm looking to the expertrs here for advice!
    I have to give a full set of orders and carry out any mission provided by the DS. What you could help me is on, is the basics of setting up a model, delivery of orders and what DS would be looking out for to pass or fail you.
    I'm not looking for someone to go out of their way and write out a TAM on the subject!
    So, if you're bored and sat in front of a computer, any help at all would be apprecited.
  2. Get hold of insert blank paper, and use the TAMS to it's fullness. You will not miss a thing (might need to get some page tabs) The TAMS is the perfect idiots guide to orders. It will start with you explaining the model etc. Don't forget to rehearse the bloke's, if all else fails rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. the bloke need to know there tasks! If it's QBO's show em a map, all they want to know is how far they have to walk!
  3. don't forget any missions you give must be said twice. if it's a full set of orders make sure you do a good a summary, anything that was slightly unclear so far can be made up for in the summary. as for the model just make sure you have plenty of multi-coloured ribbon or mine tape, you can always find plenty of other stuff on the ground, though your own model kit is always very handy eg. laminated cards for enemy, sections, FUP etc, and don't forget to put your grid lines in
    Good luck
  4. OK, here goes, off the top of me ‘ead and in no particular order.


    • The model should be large enough to show clearly all relevant ground features, yet not so large that the far edge is unclear to the O group.
    • High ground/low ground should be clearly marked, in 3D if time permits.
    • Linear features such as rivers/streams or roads/tracks should be marked where they affect the op. i.e. Obstacle crossing, navigation, boundaries.
    • A scale should be established and described in the prelims if not actually marked.
    • North should be marked and the model oriented. The O Grp should be seated so as to view the model from the same direction they will be approaching the ground.
    • Certain patrol ops might require two models: ‘ground in general’ and ‘objective in detail’. The ‘action on objective’ paragraph is normally lengthy so a separate model can be a good idea, time permitting.
    • DS fetishes can include using natural materials to aid destruction in the event of interruption. Personally, I was never a fan of using ribbon, labelled cards, etc. They have their uses, but a trickle of foot powder, a scrape in the dirt, bits of torn up ammo/ratpack box or a trail of pine needles do the trick as well and don’t need to be lugged around and recovered each time. So long as you explain what they represent and are consistent in your labelling, there shouldn’t be a problem.

    The O Group

    • Make sure you have already issued a Warning Order in sufficient time to allow individual battle prep to begin. A Composition Card, detailing each man’s role and personal/specialist equipment is a good idea for a patrol op since it allows people to do maximum battle prep.
    • Seat the O Grp in the order you want them. This may be OOM for a patrol, position in an ambush or formation in the assault.
    • A good set of prelims set the stage for the main bulk. Take care to describe the model thoroughly during prelims N.B. this doesn’t mean describe the ground – that’s in the next paragraph – just what everything in your model represents, the orientation and the scale.
    • When delivering the orders, be clear, precise and pause frequently to allow your audience to digest what you’ve told them. In a lengthy set such as patrol orders, it may be worth doing ‘question, pause, nominate’ and ‘any questions’ at the end of each paragraph rather than storing them up until the end.
    • Never sacrifice rehearsal time for the sake of giving an all-inclusive set of orders. If you have to say ‘actions-on will be rehearsed’ don’t be afraid to take the hit from the DS – your blokes will be far more likely to produce the goods if they’ve walked the op through even once.
    • Always double check you have the correct CEI and it covers a worst-case timescale.
    • Never forget to synchronise watches.
    • Don’t ever listen to advice from His Imperial Splendour, the Emperor Mong.

    I've doubtless left some stuff out, but there's plenty of experience here to catch my omissions.
  5. Just a few points off the top of my head;
    1)Use a massive stick and stab the ground furiously with it shouting 'Here!..Here!...and Here!
    2)Think up sensible codewords like Blue Oyster & Golden Goose which only you will bother remembering.
    3)Keep mentioning 'Concept of Ops 2 Up' even though you haven't a ******* clue what it means.
    4)For all 'actions on' use 'As Per SOPs' despite not having any.
    5)For the CSS paragraph ensure that Helmet and Body Armour are worn continuously so you really lick the blokes out.
    6)Do loads of rehearsals when the blokes could be getting a scoff on instead.
  6. Some excellent advice, and smart as carrots has covered the majority,
    I once ran courses like the one you are going on and saw good bad and ugly, the best points of the better.


    everything carrots said,
    put as much effort into the model as possible, picture paints a thousand words, and will support your orders. pressgang some bods into making it just as you want it.

    Relief: Dig into the ground to create relief, only start "decorating" once the relief is as per the map (you really are wasting your time otherwise) no matter how crap the markings are if there is good relief you can brief off of it.
    Features: As much as possible use natural indicator (i.e. Pine forest Pine needles, open field use dry needles etc etc) Blue ribbon for rivers and streams, grey for roadsetc (i have saw models created using powder paint, for streams and roads, it was excellent, fit for purpose but in reality not sustainable)
    Markings: Make up reusable lumi marker cards (include route markers, rv markers, callsign markers, weapon symbols as much as possible, and a large lumi north pointer) you can buy ready made ones from most mil shops, but you will probably need to make a few more to boot. Fablon the things. (i am in favour of marking in this way, as familiarisation with the ground should be a concurrent activity during pre o group admin)


    Again as carrots said, and.

    you will be shown how to give orders in the style expected of the course, however some extra things that you will not get in the TAM but if i hear it i know i have heard an excellent set of orders.

    Enemy: everything you know and recent changes, likely changes.

    Friendly: not only 1 up, 2 up But who is on the ground, who are you likely to bump into (you dont want a blue on blue) if you do not know ask when receiving your orders. this is important practical information. (if other callsigns in your area, include deconfliction procedure if you happen to run into them, in your actions on)

    Concept of Ops and execution: there are many ways to do this, but i prefer phases, it breaks the task down into bite size chunks which are practical and manageable. (if you dont know what phases are { this will be a 5 phase operation, phase 1 blah, phase 2, blah})

    Routes phase:people tend to skirt over the routes, and this is a particular bug of mine, as the move to is as much a part of the operation as the mission itself. give as much detail on the routes as you would do on the objective. Break the route down into legs, and RV's describe the the route in detail and actions on for each leg. so some thing like this.

    "Phase 2 - Move to - the route is 5.4 km, and is broken down into 7 legs, leg 1 is from this location to RV1 at gr 23456789 and is approx 450meters, we will be shadowing a metalled B road on the northern side, the area is natural woodland and therefore should make movement relatively easy, and provide good cover from view good cover from fire. the ground slopes down hill to the left to a stream flowing east, and uphill on the right to the road, previous patrols have indicated that the road should remain reasonably quiet at this time of night however there has been some traffic. actions on separation move staright down hill and follow, the upstream to where the stream meets the road remain in cover we will RV there. actions on road traffic blah, actions on contact at this time blah."

    repeat in that sort of detail for each leg, and you will do well, if you dont know about the ground, dont bluff, "the map indicates that" is the best answer.

    Questions: you want your execution to go well so ask if anyone has any questions regularly.

    Summery: Probably the most important part of the orders as this will allow you to go over the plan again, stamp your personality on the operation, and if you have forgotten any small details this is the time to slip them in.

    Rehearsals: very important, take time for rehearsals do not rush them, go through your actions on practically make sure every one is aware of what has to be done and what each individuals responsibilities are. Rehearsals will cement the plan into everyones mind. ensure that if you have delegated any tasks to anyone that they have the relevant kit required, by having a quick inspection (dont be let down)

    I have only highlighted the bits i feel are important and practical, but you have received a lot of good advice so far.

    good luck
  7. That's awesome stuff. I've got the AATAM which lists the process, but that obviously doesn't include the nuggets of information that you guys have given me. I've sat through countless O Groups in theatre, but you don't see the prep behind them.
    I was going to jot the stuff on a notebook, but you've given me so much that I think i'll have to print it off!
    The infantry forum is definately the best I've seen when it comes to helping guys out with bullsheet free advice.

  8. Snothead- Ref my bold, I know this is tongue in cheek but dont do that. We all do when on excercise but try to avoid if on any kind of cadre. Make up a simple SOP like 'return fire and wait my QBO' For other actions on I would lay down what they are, then you can use 'as SOP'.

    Get you 2i/c to deliver the CSS and make sure he has a good casevac plan.

    An operation can work well with bad orders as long as the rehearsals are good and clear.
  9. My 2 penn'orth:

    DO NOT start giving summaries at the beginning. The first words out of your mouth should be *Orders. Ground*. A sentence or two from experienced commanders might be OK but it is a slippery slope and can lead to disaster.

    Good Orders / Rehearsals are not either or. You need both. Actions on need to be in the orders.

    Concept of Operations are at Battalion level plus. Simple grunts need *Execution: General Outline*.

    The Model: Please orientate the map, the ground and the model in a coherent way. You do not really want due North to be East on the model or vice versa. Have the model set up so that the point of departure is nearest to you.

    Phases: For the route or the op - too many leads to confusion. The guys are going to be wet, cold, hungry and urined off. Keep it simple.

    Action on casualty: The most under rehearsed aspect of war fare. Give it some thought.

    Sychronisation of watches: This used to be a personal fetish of mine. To do it properly takes at least 2 minutes ( think about it).
  10. The most important thing when doing orders (and it would be an officer who mentions it!) is to DELEGATE.

    Get someone else to do the model (under your supervision) while you concentrate on the plan.
  11. Sure. But on the cadre remember - if there are deficiencies in the model it will be the pl comd getting the bollocking. Not his No 2. In a ruthlessly competetive environment like RMAS / PCD this is worth bearing in mind. :)
  12. That's not really looking after your muckers now is it. I remember building a model for someone and trying to offer constructive criticism on one of the points but was put back in my box.

    It seemed the DS agreed with me that walking into the enemies killing zone is a bad idea :D
  13. Just thinking about this in a live situation: Who is going to be there to build the model? The pl sgt - who might be a corporal - is going to be out beasting the guys and getting geared up doing his returns and distributing ammo following the warning order.

    That leaves the radio operator and assorted odds and sods in the pl hq. This unfortunately is where the pl comd earns his pay. Attention to detail. At BG level different considerations apply. But that is not the question.
  14. If you start your orders jumping straight in at the ground paragraph, you run the risk your subordinates will miss necessary detail. The point of an O Grp is you’re telling them what they need to know. Without prelims, you’re relying on them turning up sufficiently prior to the start to take in all this detail which a) eats into their battle prep time and b) means you could as easily have started your O Group earlier.

    I agree you don’t want to go off into “These are the orders for a 19 phase forward passage of lines incorporating prior shaping of the battlespace through …” and doctrinal yada for 20 mins, but reminding people why they are there is no bad thing. Tell them what you’re going to tell them, etc.

    In a real life (or even exercise) scenario, tasks are likely to come up with less than ideal notice. Do both if you have time; if forced to choose, I’d go for rehearsals every time. In fact in most cases I can think of, I’d prefer two goes at rehearsing to one and all-bases-covered orders, especially for a night op (daylight & night-time rehearsals).

    13 years in the Infantry and I’ve yet to come across such a creature. They might not be all that interested at the O Grp, but if it sticks in their mind, they’ll use it when push comes. And if it sticks it’s because you’ve made it do so at your orders.

    Not sure what you mean here. If you’ve got the point of departure nearest you, surely that means it’s furthest from your audience. So not in the direction they’ll be seeing the ground from when they cross it?

    Absolutely, and also anything else that can go wrong – lost, separated, walked into minefield, civpop, contact, lost the section wank-sock, whatever. Most orders and rehearsals I’ve seen assume everything going right, but it’s the reaction to something going wrong that needs gripping.