Troop Leading Procedures and MILSIM
The Army has procedures for leading troops at the tactical level. The Army calls them—not surprisingly—troop leading procedures (TLP). When you follow them, you increase the likelihood of accomplishing your mission and minimizing casualties/losses. In our upcoming events, Dragon Rogue V and Crossfire 3, the use of these TLPs will aid in mission accomplishment.
8 Step Troop Leading Procedures (In relation to MILSIM) 1. Receive the mission 2. Issue a warning order 3. Make a tentative plan 4. Start necessary movement 5. Reconnoiter 6. Complete the plan 7. Issue the complete order 8. Rehearse/Supervise/Refine Step 1: Receive the mission Receiving the mission from your Higher may not always be in a detailed order, you may get something as basic as "Hey, take your element to the right in 30 minutes and attack the other side. Keep them from crossing the fire break." Using that example, take a moment to analyze what you are being told to do, before running off and telling the team to charge off. You are being told to do: IN 30 MINUTES, CONDUCT A MOVEMENT, OCCUPY A DEFENSIVE POSITION TO DENY THE ENEMY CROSSING AN OPEN AREA. If you have 30 minutes to be there, take 1/3 of that time for planning, 1/3 for team prep, and 1/3 for movement/setup. A mental timeline helps. Then write your plan down, keep it simple as possible, that will help communicate it fast and clear.
2. Issue a warning order A warning order (WARNO), gives the basics to your people. Do not wait. Issue your warning order as soon after you have received it from higher headquarters with the information you have. Go with the information you have and disseminate only the information that your team needs to know right then and there to start preparing for the mission. Remember the one-third, two-thirds rule. Your warning order should include at a minimum as many of the five W’s (who, what, where, when, and why) as you derived from higher command’s order in addition to the time and place that you will issue your plan or OPORD. Using the scenario given: "Team, listen up, in 20 minutes we need to move to set up a defense to the right along the fire break to keep the otherside from crossing and flanking us. Get ready to move, pack ammo, batteries, check air, I tell you more in 10 minutes."
3. Make a tentative plan So in that 9 minutes you have remaining of planning, really less, because you will have to brief your guys a more thorough plan, come up with a plan of employment, in the example, you are going to want to brief your team's movement to the fire break, and how you are going to deploy the team for the defense. Using a very short 5 paragraph OPORD format, 1) Situation (Enemy coming from here, we will be here, the rest of our side will be here 2) Mission (We are doing this here at this time) 3)Execution (Team will move in this formation, we will do the following actions at reaching the location) 4) Sustainment (medical actions, supplies needed) 5) Command & Signal (Who is in charge, succession of command, freqs/passwords/number combo/signal to do what/when). You can be forming this plan as you onto the next step.
4. Start necessary movement Your team may need to begin moving while you are still planning. Start necessary movement can mean many things, but is not limited to team's actual movement. Your team may begin to move their team mates forward to pre-position it closer to the line of departure or the tentative defensive position. Going out on a leader’s recon or sending out a recon party are also examples of starting necessary movement. Other examples are conducting inventories of supplies and equipment and requisitioning those that are short. This step could occur at any time during the troop leading procedure. Moving out early and as far forward as possible helps to negate the effects of Murphy’s Law, because it will help flush problems out of hiding. You may need to adjust the movement depending on what you learn in the next step. In the example"Team, we are moving out now in order to get closer to our defense position."
5. Reconnoiter If you have time, you should make a personal reconnaissance to conduct your terrain analysis, confirm your routes, time your movements, and adjust your plan as necessary. If you do not have the time or qualified personnel to conduct the recon, the next best recon is to study the most recent aerial photographs. At a minimum is a map reconnaissance of the most current map of your area of operations. You may also have the opportunity to talk to others who have recently returned from the area of operations, such as scouts or other leaders who have led missions in the area. Remember to balance the amount of reconnaissance you do with the amount of time you have. Remember the one-third, two-thirds rule!
6. Complete the plan 7. Issue the complete order
These two steps are where it comes together, you bring your team in, and issue them the 5 paragraph plan, if there no changes to what you said in the WARNO, state so, no need to run through it all in detail again and waste time. Situation: They are coming from that direction Mission: We defend the fire break Execution: Team online with snipers forward, about 50 feet wide line Sustainment: Personal ammo Command & Signal: No change. In the scenario, you have had the time to prep your team with the mission concept, and gotten them to the location. Quickly issue that short 5 paragraph order, it should be easier now that you are closer to the location.
In the last step, rehearse what actions you think are the most complex for your team. If it is something that they haven't done before, make an effort to at least walk through it. Something as simple as unloading a vehicle requires some type of rehearsal. In the scenario, your defensive line needs to talk through, so every player knows who is to their left and right, and who are the tail ends. Team rehearsals are often overlooked but afterwards are realized as key.
You cannot rehearse everything, so focus on the key actions on the objective. With supervision and refinement, move along your team, checking positions and during the action, ensure there is flexibility as your environment changes with either success or losses.
The troop leading procedures are your checklist for preparing your team for tactical missions. You begin to implement them as soon as you receive the alert to a new mission. The amount of time you can spend on each step depends largely on the amount of time available to you. In many cases, you will not have enough time to go through each step in detail, but you must still use the procedure to ensure you leave nothing out of your preparations. Remember the “one-third, two-thirds rule” and give your team mates as much time as possible to prepare. Throughout the troop leading procedures, be aware of Murphy’s Law. Check and double-check. It will be your attention to detail, your careful planning, and your leadership of your team that will decide the success or failure of your mission.