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FM 3-20.98 [FM 17-98]

Field Manual


No 3-20.98

Department of the Army Washington, DC, 2 December 2002










Chapter 1



Section I

Types of Reconnaissance Platoons


Section II

Operational Environment


Section III

Tactical Organization


Section IV



Section V

Missions, Capabilities and Limitations, and Vehicle Capabilities


Section VI

Battle Command


Section VII

Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield


Section VIII

Situational Awareness


Section IX



Chapter 2



Section I

Troop-Leading Procedures


Section II



Section III

Tactical Movement


Section IV

Actions on Contact


Section V

Employment of Fires


Section VI



Section VII



DISTRIBUTION RESTRICTION: Distribution authorized to US Government agencies and their contractors. This publication contains technical or operational information that is for official Government use. This determination was made on 12 July 2002. Other requests for this document will be referred to Commander, US Army Armor Center, ATTN: ATZK-TDD-C, Fort Knox, KY


DESTRUCTION NOTICE: Destroy by any method that will prevent disclosure of contents or reconstruction of the document.

* This publication supersedes FM 17-98, 10 April 1999.

FM 3-20.98


Chapter 3



Section I

Purpose and Fundamentals


Section II

Reconnaissance Planning, Methods,


and Tactical Employment



Section III

Multidimensional Aspects of Reconnaissance


and Surveillance



Section IV

Route Reconnaissance


Section V

Area Reconnaissance


Section VI

Zone Reconnaissance


Section VII

Obstacle/Restriction Reconnaissance


Chapter 4



Section I

Purpose and Fundamentals


Section II

Planning Considerations


Section III

Screening Missions


Section IV

Convoy and Area Security Operations


Chapter 5



Section I

Troop-Leading Procedures


Section II

Patrolling Tasks


Section III

Actions on Contact


Section IV

Types of Patrols


Section V

Patrol Bases


Section VI

Observation Posts


Chapter 6



Section I

Assembly Areas


Section II

Road Marches


Section III

Battle Handover During Passage of Lines


Section IV

Relief in Place


Chapter 7



Section I

Phases of Urban Operations


Section II

Understanding the Urban Environment


Section III



Section IV



Chapter 8



Section I

Employ Fire Support


Section II

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles


Section III

Combat Engineers


Section IV

Air Defense


Section V

Aviation Support


Section VI

Multicapable Sensor Teams


Section VII

Combat Service Support


Reconnaissance Platoon


Chapter 9



Section I

Route Reconnaissance Symbols


Section II

Route Classification


Section III

Curve Calculations


Section IV

Slope Estimation


Section V



Section VI

Stream Reconnaissance


Section VII

Ford Reconnaissance


Section VIII

Ferry Reconnaissance


Section IX

Bridge Classification and Reconnaissance


Section X



Section XI

Measurement Conversions


Appendix A



Section I

Warning Orders


Section II

Operation Orders


Section III

Fragmentary Orders


Section IV

Patrol Orders


Appendix B



Section I

Contact and Blue Reports (Operations)


Section II

Green Reports (Intelligence)


Section III

Yellow Reports (Logistics)


Section IV

Red Reports (Personnel)


Section V

NBC Reports


Section VI

Digital Reporting and C2 Messages


Appendix C



Section I

Principles of NBC Defense


Section II

Contamination Avoidance


Section III

NBC Equipment


Section IV

Reconnoitering an NBC Environment


Section V

Shielding the Force (Reducing Platoon





Section VI

Decontamination and First Aid


Appendix D



Section I

General Considerations


Section II

Stability Operations


Section III

Support Operations


Section IV

Role of the Reconnaissance Platoon in Stability


Operations and Support Operations



Section V

Light/Medium Operations in Stability and


Support Environments


FM 3-20.98


Appendix E



Section I

Siting Considerations


Section II

Field-Expedient Repair


Section III

Field-Expedient Antennas


Appendix F



Section I



Section II



Section III

Obstacle Characteristics and Report Formats


Section IV

Obstacle Turnover


Section V

Obstacle Breaching Capabilities


Section VI

Field-Expedient Mines and Demolitions


Appendix G



Section I

Environmental Risk Management Process


Section II

Environmental Risk Assessment Worksheet


Appendix H



Section I

Section II

Risk Management Procedures


Implementation Responsibilities


Appendix I



Section I

The Role of Training in Fratricide Prevention


Section II

Effects of Fratricide


Section III

Causes of Fratricide


Section IV

Fratricide Risk Assessment


Section V

Fratricide Prevention Measures


Section VI

Stopping a Friendly Fire Incident


Appendix J









Reconnaissance Platoon


On the ever-changing landscape of the modern battlefield, the reconnaissance platoon remains one of the tactical commander’s most valued assets. This is especially true in the traditional role of the cavalry: as the commander’s “eyes and ears” on the forward edge of the battle. Today’s reconnaissance platoon complements its strengths in mobility, speed, and stealth with the latest technology to provide an accurate, timely picture of developments in the area of operations.

This field manual describes how the reconnaissance platoon conducts its primary missions, reconnaissance and security. The manual focuses on the principles of platoon operations and on the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) the platoon uses to acquire information and provide security and protection for other units on the battlefield. It also covers a variety of supporting tasks and operations the platoon must perform or coordinate, either as part of its reconnaissance and security missions or as assigned by the commander.

FM 3-20.98 (FM 17-98) is for leaders of reconnaissance platoons employing M3-series cavalry fighting vehicles (CFV), high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWV), or Stryker reconnaissance vehicles (RV). This covers platoons of the armor battalion, the mechanized infantry battalion, the heavy division, the heavy cavalry regiment, the light cavalry regiment, and the reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (RSTA) squadron. The principles and TTP are also adaptable for scout platoons of the light division reconnaissance squadron.

The US Army Armor Center is the proponent for this publication. Users and readers are invited to submit comments and recommended changes. Prepare comments using DA Form 2028 (Recommended Changes to Publications and Blank Forms) or in a memorandum using a similar format. Send recommendations to Commander, US Army Armor Center, ATTN: ATZK- TDD-C, Fort Knox, KY 40121-5000, or e-mail the DA Form 2028 to Chief, Cavalry Branch, from the Doctrine Division web site at (After accessing the web site, select “Organization” from the menu on the left side of the screen to reach the Cavalry Branch site.)

The procedures described in this manual are intended as a guide only and are not to be considered inflexible. Each situation in war and military operations other than war must be resolved by intelligent interpretation and application of the doctrine described here.

Chapter 1


This manual is a doctrinal guide for reconnaissance platoons. This field manual, with ARTEP 17-97F-10 MTP and ST 3-20.983, focuses on principles of reconnaissance platoon operations and the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) the platoon uses to operate in a theater of operations and to acquire information for its higher commander. The term “recon- naissance platoon” refers to all forms of the scout platoon, whether it is part of an armor or infantry battalion, a cavalry squadron, a brigade reconnaissance troop (BRT), or a cavalry squadron (recon- naissance, surveillance, and target acquisition [RSTA]). References to the “recce platoon” in this manual apply specifically to reconnaissance platoons that are organic to the cavalry squadron (RSTA) . Refer to Section II of this chapter for a discussion of the various types of reconnais- sance platoons.


Role of the Reconnaisssance Platoon


Types of Reconnaisssance Platoons


Operational Environment


Scope of Operations


Operational Concept


Tactical Organization


Reconnaissance Platoon Organizations


Dismounted Organization


Task Organization




Platoon Leader


Platoon Sergeant


Section and Squad Leaders


HUMINT Collectors


Missions, Capabilities and Limitations, and Vehicle Characteristics




Capabilities and Limitations


Vehicle Characteristics


Battle Command


Command and Control in the Platoon


Command Relationships


FBCB2 in the Battle Command Structure


Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield


What IPB Accomplishes


The IPB Process


Friendly COA Development and War-gaming


Reconnaissance and Surveillance Plan


Platoon IPB Execution


Situational Awareness


Battlefield Visualization








Maps and Overlays


Land Navigation



5-1. In simplest terms, the reconnaissance platoon serves as the commander’s eyes and ears on the battlefield. The platoon is organized, equipped, and trained to gather battlefield information, its primary

FM 3-20.98

function. It employs the TTP of reconnaissance and surveillance (R&S), as well as proper techniques of movement (both mounted and dismounted) and stealth. Scouts provide current battlefield data to help the commander plan and conduct tactical operations in stability operations, support operations, smaller-scale contingencies (SSC), and major theater of war (MTW) environments. The recce platoon is specifically tailored to conduct the multidimensional aspect of reconnaissance in complex terrain (refer to the discussion on the multidimensional aspect of reconnaissance in Chapter 3 of this manual).

5-2. Reconnaissance platoons also conduct limited security missions, but they are not organized and equipped to fight for extended periods or to act as armor killers. Although they can employ a variety of antitank (AT) weapons (TOWs, AT-4s, or Javelins), if so equipped, they normally use these assets for defensive purposes (self-protection and breaking contact), not for offensive reasons.


5-3. There are two types of reconnaissance organizations. One type relies solely on passive surveillance, human interaction (HUMINT), and technical means to perform reconnaissance. The other type uses these techniques and assets, but has the additional capability of fighting for information.

5-4. In the first category, which focuses purely on information gathering, are reconnaissance organizations such as task force scouts found in armor or mechanized infantry battalions, BRTs, and light cavalry units and recce units in the cavalry squadron (RSTA) of the Stryker brigade combat team (SBCT). Because these organizations conduct reconnaissance dismounted, or from lightly armored vehicles, they are not capable of surviving protracted engagement with threat forces. For this reason, they rely on stealth and the integration of other intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) assets for survivability and success. These types of organizations avoid direct fire contact and engage threat forces with direct fire weapons only in self- defense. They lack the capability to fight for information.

5-5. Reconnaissance organizations such as armored cavalry regiments (ACR) and division cavalry squadrons not only use the common techniques and assets (HUMINT, passive surveillance, and technical means) but also are capable of employing combat power to fight for information. Because these units are usually the forward-most elements in MTW environments, they must have the capability to survive meeting engagements and to destroy or impede threat forces as necessary to sustain operations in high-threat areas. These unique, combined arms organizations employ tanks, attack helicopters and, usually, Bradley cavalry fighting vehicles (CFV) to enhance survivability and to sustain the aggressive tempo required for operations in this environment. The capabilities of the integrated weapons platforms, working together, allow these organizations to fight for information using a higher level of engagement criteria and tempo than those reconnaissance organizations

Chapter 1 – Introduction

not organized in this manner. These units are capable of fighting through threat reconnaissance (destroying the threat’s “eyes and ears”) to gain combat information needed by higher unit commanders. In shaping operations, the ability to fight for information is important in determining the intent of a threat (for example, whether the threat is willing to defend, withdraw, or fight when confronted) without committing main body infantry or armor units.

5-6. These two types of reconnaissance organizations are mutually supporting. Organizations working forward in an area of operations provide the initial information that may allow the refinement of focus for follow-on reconnaissance elements. This information can also enhance survivability and mission success by enabling the follow-on organization to maneuver out of contact (using stealthy movement) and then make initial contact on the most favorable terms.

5-7. Unlike most other combat arms platoons, which maneuver together in formation, the reconnaissance platoon normally maneuvers as individual sections or squads (mounted, dismounted, or a combination) under the direction and control of the platoon leader. A section may consist of two vehicles plus any combat elements under the platoon’s operational control (OPCON). Determining which organization best meets his mission requirements is one of the key decisions the platoon leader must make during his troop-leading procedures.


5-8. Reconnaissance platoons provide accurate and timely information over large operating environments. This is especially true for the recce platoon operating as part of the cavalry squadron (RSTA) within the SBCT. The current operational environment in which reconnaissance platoons will operate is characterized by a new threat, armed with advanced equipment as a result of global arms proliferation and using unconventional terrorist/guerrilla operating tactics. Employing asymmetrical tactics are regular and irregular forces, special forces, terrorists, political factions, supporting government factions, nongovernment agencies, transnational organizations, organized criminal groups, and even refugee populations. The geographical area in which these threats choose to operate is characterized by highly varied terrain, from complex urban sprawl to regions of weak infrastructure supported by inferior roads, bridges, and transportation networks.

5-9. These adaptive strategies are designed to counter or mitigate the strengths of US forces. Being aware of their vulnerabilities to US precision strikes and control of the air (as seen in US operations in Afghanistan), adversaries may attempt to avoid massing their forces in linear offensive and defensive echelons. Instead, they may employ selective precision strikes, along with rapid tactical and operational maneuver from areas of sanctuary and other asymmetric actions aimed at continuous, nondecisive engagements. Today’s reconnaissance platoons will most likely face a threat that knows more about the US than the US knows about them.

FM 3-20.98



5-10. Stability operations and support operations may precede and/or follow war or occur simultaneously in the same theater. These operations may be conducted in conjunction with wartime operations to complement the achievement of strategic objectives, or they may support a commander’s forward-presence operations or a US ambassador’s nation plan. It is possible that they may even occur within the United States itself. The Army conducts stability operations or support operations as part of a joint team, often in conjunction with other US and foreign government agencies. (NOTE: Refer to the discussion of stability operations and support operations in Appendix E of this manual.) Regardless of the location and context in which these operations are conducted, they are designed to fulfill a number of important objectives, including the following:

Promote regional stability.

Maintain or achieve democratic end states.

Retain US influence and access abroad.

Provide humanitarian assistance.

Protect US interests, and to assist US civil authorities.


5-11. Historically, SSCs like those in Panama, Haiti, and Kosovo have occurred in regions with weak infrastructure (especially roads, rail facilities, and bridges), complex terrain with large urban areas, and diverse weather patterns. A variety of humanitarian issues complicate operations in these areas: overpopulation, resource shortages, natural disasters, and inadequate local, regional, and global response capabilities.

5-12. Threats in these environments usually consist of mid- to low-end industrial-age forces characterized by limited armor/mechanized elements, mainly equipped with small numbers of early generation tanks and some mechanized, but mostly motorized, infantry. There is a pervasive presence of guerrilla, terrorist, paramilitary, special purpose, special police, and militia organizations. These forces are equipped with man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS), antitank guided missiles (ATGM), mortars, mines, explosives, and machine guns. They have limited fixed- and rotary-wing aviation assets. These forces can be expected to have robust communications, employing conventional military devices augmented by commercial equipment such as cell phones.

5-13. Most threats within an SSC environment are not capable of long- term, sustained, high-tempo combat operations. They are capable of brigade- and division-level operations of limited duration and with limited objectives. Examples of these operations include destruction of a weaker force, seizure of an area or region, or the seizure of an urban center, often emphasizing the use of decentralized and distributed operations. On the other hand, these threat forces are capable of conducting highly effective defensive operations in complex and urban terrain. They are also adept at conducting long-term, sustained,

Chapter 1 – Introduction

unconventional terrorist and guerrilla operations. Present and future trends indicate that friendly forces employed in SSCs can expect to face the following threat capabilities and conditions:

Employment of more sophisticated and advanced technology.

Employment of more capable and secure command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I).

Increased use of urban areas as a sanctuary and operating base for conventional capabilities.




tactics, with






operating focus.


5-14. MTW operations have the greatest potential of occurring in regions containing moderate to well-developed infrastructure (especially roads, rail, and bridges), complex and urban terrain with large urban areas, and diverse weather patterns. Humanitarian issues would probably complicate these operations in much the same fashion as they would SSCs; examples include overpopulation; resource shortages; natural disasters; and inadequate local, regional, and global response capabilities.

5-15. Military threats in MTW operations usually include advanced industrial-age forces, with some high-technology niches, characterized by both armor and mechanized forces as well as motorized/light infantry. These threats are capable of long-term, sustained, high-tempo operations at brigade and/or division level. They can also conduct sustained, unconventional combat operations and limited duration/objective attacks. These forces are mostly equipped with newer generation tanks and infantry fighting vehicles and have significant numbers of MANPADs, ATGMs, missiles, rockets, artillery, mortars, and mines. They possess an integrated air defense system and a robust military and civilian communications capability. In addition, they have advanced fixed- and rotary-wing aviation assets as well as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Most threats capable of initiating an MTW operation also possess weapons of mass destruction (WMD).


5-16. Reconnaissance assets are the commander’s primary source for information. The fundamental role of reconnaissance platoons is to perform reconnaissance and security, as well as surveillance, target acquisition, and battle damage assessment (BDA). These organizations enhance the higher commander’s ability to retain freedom of maneuver, which in turn allows him to concentrate combat power and apply assets deliberately at the decisive time and place of his choosing. Stealth is the reconnaissance platoon’s primary means of force protection; in most cases, organic weapons are used only in self-defense.

5-17. It is important to note that the multidimensional aspect of reconnaissance (as discussed in detail in Chapter 3 of this manual) is integrated into all reconnaissance operations. All reconnaissance assets must go beyond merely investigating terrain characteristics of an area. They must also be prepared to assess infrastructure, demographics,

FM 3-20.98

centers of influence, flash points, and personalities as part of their traditional missions of zone, area, and route reconnaissance. To accomplish his primary mission of providing continuous, accurate, and timely information in complex environments, the commander enhances his multidimensional reconnaissance capability by “nesting” collection assets—either air/ground collectors or ISR assets from other units—with ground reconnaissance platoons.



5-18. There are several types of reconnaissance platoon organizations in the force, including platoons in light and heavy divisions and those in separate cavalry troops. The three most prominent types, however, are the CFV platoon, the HMMWV platoon, and the reconnaissance vehicle (RV) recce platoon. The platoons are organized by tables of organization and equipment (TOE) into a headquarters element and scout sections. When executing missions, the reconnaissance platoon is organized according to the factors of mission, enemy, terrain (and weather), troops and support available, time available, and civil considerations (METT- TC) into an appropriate tactical organization consisting of a variable number of scout sections or squads.


5-19. The recce platoon consists of one officer and 20 enlisted soldiers manning four vehicles (see Figure 1-1). The recce platoon is equipped with the Stryker RV. Refer to Figure 1-22 for an illustration of the vehicle’s capabilities and specifications.

for an illustration of the vehicle’s capabilities and specifications. Figure 1-1. Recce Platoon Platoon Headquaters 1-6

Figure 1-1. Recce Platoon

Platoon Headquaters

Chapter 1 – Introduction

5-20. The recce platoon headquarters element provides command and control (C2) for the platoon. It consists of the platoon leader, the platoon sergeant (PSG), and their respective vehicle crews. The recce platoon rarely uses a headquarters element during tactical operations, relying instead on the leaders of its sections or squads as described in the following discussion.

Recce Sections and Squads

5-21. The recce section is normally employed as the platoon’s basic tactical maneuver organization. Each section is made up of a section leader, squad leaders, and their crews manning two vehicles. The platoon may also be task organized for maneuver purposes into elements known as recce squads; the squad is normally a single vehicle and its crew.

Recce Platoon Dismounted Organization

5-22. Dismounted operations are the recce platoon’s primary means for gathering information. The basic dismounted elements within the recce platoon are the team, squad, section, and platoon. Each recce vehicle has a designated dismounted team. (NOTE: Refer to discussions of dismounted organization later in this chapter and in Chapter 5 for detailed information on dismounted operations.)

Recce Platoon Vehicle Organization

5-23. Regardless of the mission it is executing or the formation or movement technique it is using, the recce platoon normally operates in one of three organizations during mounted operations: as three sections with one vehicle in each section and the platoon leader’s vehicle providing C2, as two sections with two vehicles in each section, or as a four-vehicle platoon.

5-24. Three-Section Organization. The three-section organization is used when the anticipated threat is low to medium. The key to this organization rests in the use of dismounted elements and in ensuring that adjacent vehicles mutually support each other. If mutual support is not possible because of terrain or other mission constraints, vehicles must have the ability to maneuver and support adjacent elements. This organization allows the platoon leader to provide C2 for the platoon; he can also provide additional support for any of the other three vehicles in the platoon. On the other hand, this organization does not provide the recce platoon with section overwatch capability, leaving elements vulnerable to threat contact. (See Figure 1-2.)

FM 3-20.98

FM 3-20.98 Figure 1-2. Recce Platoon Three-Section Vehicle Organization 5-25. Two-Section Organization. The two-section

Figure 1-2. Recce Platoon Three-Section Vehicle Organization

5-25. Two-Section Organization. The two-section organization is used when increased security is required, when the area of operations can be covered efficiently with only two elements, or when the threat situation is unknown. This type of organization limits the amount of terrain the platoon can cover and decreases the speed with which the platoon can perform its tasks. On the other hand, it increases internal section security by providing mutually supporting fires. It also gives the platoon leader and PSG greater flexibility in performing C2 and combat service support (CSS) requirements. (See Figure 1-3.)

combat service support (CSS) requirements. (See Figure 1-3.) Figure 1-3. Recce Platoon Two-Section Vehicle Organization

Figure 1-3. Recce Platoon Two-Section Vehicle Organization

5-26. Four-Vehicle Organization. The four-vehicle organization is the most difficult to control (refer to Figure 1-4 for an illustration). The platoon leader employs this organization when he must have four separate information sources at the same time or when the platoon is executing certain surveillance missions. This organization should be used when the threat situation is known and/or the threat is low or nonexistent. This formation may also be implemented during short- duration security missions, allowing for depth in the platoon’s sector.

Chapter 1 – Introduction Figure 1-4. Recce Platoon Four -Vehicle Organization CFV PLATOON 5-27. The

Chapter 1 – Introduction

Figure 1-4. Recce Platoon Four-Vehicle Organization


5-27. The CFV platoon, also known as the cavalry scout platoon, is equipped with six M3 CFVs (as shown in Figure 1-5). The platoon is found in the cavalry squadrons of an armored or mechanized division or in an armored cavalry regiment (ACR); it may also be found in certain mechanized battalions. Regardless of the mission it is executing or the formation or movement technique it is using, the CFV platoon normally operates in one of three organizations: as three sections with two vehicles in each section, as two sections with three vehicles in each section, or as a six-vehicle platoon.

three vehicles in each section, or as a six-vehicle platoon. Figure 1-5. CFV Scout Platoon Three-Section

Figure 1-5. CFV Scout Platoon

Three-Section Organization

5-28. This is the basic organization for the CFV scout platoon (see Figure 1-6). This organization allows the platoon to achieve a good compromise between the requirement of employing a maximum number of elements during the reconnaissance or security mission and the need for security. It is the ideal organization for the conduct of a route reconnaissance mission. In a screen mission, this organization allows employment of three long-duration OPs, which are occupied for 12 or more hours; it also facilitates the simultaneous conduct of dismounted patrols.

FM 3-20.98

FM 3-20.98 Figure 1-6. CFV Scout Platoon Three-Section Organization Two-Section Organization 5-29. The two-section

Figure 1-6. CFV Scout Platoon Three-Section Organization

Two-Section Organization

5-29. The two-section organization is used when increased security is required, when the area of operations can be covered efficiently with only two elements, or when operational strength (less than six vehicles operational) makes the three-section organization impossible. Refer to the illustration in Figure 1-7.

impossible. Refer to the illustration in Figure 1-7. Figure 1-7. CFV Scout Platoon Two-Section Organization

Figure 1-7. CFV Scout Platoon Two-Section Organization

Six-Vehicle Organization

5-30. The six-vehicle organization is the most difficult to control (see Figure 1-8). The platoon leader employs this organization when he must have six separate information sources at the same time.

Chapter 1 – Introduction

Chapter 1 – Introduction Figure 1-8. CFV Scout Platoon Six-Vehicle Organization HMMWV RECONNAISSANCE PLATOON 5-31. With

Figure 1-8. CFV Scout Platoon Six-Vehicle Organization


5-31. With 6 or 10 vehicles (see Figures 1-9 and 1-10), the HMMWV reconnaissance platoon has a wide variety of organizational options, including the basic options covered in the following discussion. The platoon leader may develop other combinations to meet unique METT-TC requirements and to accommodate attachments. No matter how he organizes his platoon, however, the HMMWV platoon leader has only a limited number of soldiers to conduct dismounted operations.

has only a limited number of soldiers to conduct dismounted operations. Figure 1-9. Ten-HMMWV Reconnaissance Platoon

Figure 1-9. Ten-HMMWV Reconnaissance Platoon

FM 3-20.98

FM 3-20.98 Figure 1-10. Six-HMMWV Reconnaissance Platoon Two-Section Organization 5-32. This is an effective organization

Figure 1-10. Six-HMMWV Reconnaissance Platoon

Two-Section Organization

5-32. This is an effective organization when only two maneuver corridors have to be observed or when two distinct reconnaissance missions are required. This organization maximizes security at the section level and gives the sections sufficient maneuver and C2 capability to conduct limited separate missions. This organization allows the platoon to put out two long-duration observation posts (OP); it is the best organization for dismounted operations. (See Figures 1-11 and 1-12.)

for dismounted operations. (See Figures 1-11 and 1-12.) Figure 1-11. HMMWV Reconnaissance Platoon Two-Section

Figure 1-11. HMMWV Reconnaissance Platoon Two-Section Organization (10-HMMWV Platoon)

Chapter 1 – Introduction

Chapter 1 – Introduction Figure 1-12. HMMWV Reconnaissance Platoon Two-Section Organization (Six-HMMWV Platoon)

Figure 1-12. HMMWV Reconnaissance Platoon Two-Section Organization (Six-HMMWV Platoon)

Three-Section Organization

5-33. This organization is ideal for reconnaissance along a single route. It allows employment of three long-duration OPs in a 10-HMMWV platoon and three short-duration OPs in a six-HMMWV platoon. The ability to concurrently conduct dismounted patrols is very limited for six- HMMWV platoons. (Refer to Figures 1-13 and 1-14.) (NOTE: A consolidated headquarters section, with the platoon leader and PSG as shown in Figure 1-14, increases C2 capability and is an optional configuration.)

increases C2 capability and is an optional configuration.) Figure 1-13. HMMWV Reconnaissance Platoon Three-Section

Figure 1-13. HMMWV Reconnaissance Platoon Three-Section Organization (10-HMMWV Platoon)

FM 3-20.98

FM 3-20.98 Figure 1-14. HMMWV Reconnaissance Platoon Three-Section Organization (Six-HMMWV Platoon) Five-Section

Figure 1-14. HMMWV Reconnaissance Platoon Three-Section Organization (Six-HMMWV Platoon)

Five-Section Organization

5-34. This organization is used only by 10-HMMWV platoons in reconnoitering large areas or multiple avenues of approach. Five short- duration OPs can be established, allowing OPs to be structured in depth. In this organization, sections have dismounted capability to conduct local security only. (See Figure 1-15.)

to conduct local security only. (See Figure 1-15.) Figure 1-15. HMMWV Reconnaissance Platoon Four-Section

Figure 1-15. HMMWV Reconnaissance Platoon Four-Section Organization (10-HMMWV Platoon)

Six-Vehicle Organization

5-35. The six-vehicle organization is used only by six-HMMWV platoons and is the most difficult to control (refer to Figure 1-16). The platoon leader employs this organization when he must have six separate information sources at the same time.

Chapter 1 – Introduction

Chapter 1 – Introduction Figure 1-16. HMMWV Reconnaissance Platoon Six-Vehicle Organization (Six-HMMWV Platoon)

Figure 1-16. HMMWV Reconnaissance Platoon Six-Vehicle Organization (Six-HMMWV Platoon)

Ten-Vehicle Organization

5-36. The 10-vehicle organization is used only by the 10-HMMWV platoon. It gives the platoon an enhanced ability to conduct screening missions in depth, although only for short durations. It also provides the platoon with the ability to conduct numerous reconnaissance tasks simultaneously. (See Figure 1-17.)

5-37. At the same time, however, the 10-vehicle organization is rarely employed because it creates very difficult C2 challenges. It severely limits the platoon’s overwatch capability; if the platoon is not echeloned in its sector with an overwatch plan for follow-on squads, platoon elements are left extremely vulnerable to threat contact. In addition, this organization affords the platoon no ability to organize patrols of any type.

the platoon no ability to organize patrols of any type. Figure 1-17. HMMWV Reconnaissance Platoon 10-Vehicle

Figure 1-17. HMMWV Reconnaissance Platoon 10-Vehicle Organization (10-HMMWV Platoon)


5-38. Every dismounted team consists of a reconnaissance element and a security element. The purpose of the reconnaissance element is to obtain data on information requirements. The security element’s primary responsibility is to protect the reconnaissance element. The security element may also serve as a reconnaissance element or have alternate responsibilities. Whichever role the security element plays, its primary objective is protecting the dismounted element. A two-man team is the smallest dismounted element within the platoon (see Figure 1-18).

dismounted element within the platoon (see Figure 1-18). Figure 1-18. Dismounted Two-Man Reconnaissance Organization

Figure 1-18. Dismounted Two-Man Reconnaissance Organization

FM 3-20.98


5-39. The three-man dismounted squad is the basic dismounted element within a recce squad (single RV) and a three-vehicle HMMWV section. It can perform reconnaissance tasks, security tasks, OP and surveillance tasks, liaison, or a combination of these tasks. It is headed by a 19D scout of grade E5 or higher. In this organization (as well as the other dismounted organizations), the vehicle may provide security for the entire element. (See Figure 1-19.)

provide security for the entire element. (See Figure 1-19.) Figure 1-19. Dismounted Three-Man Squad DISMOUNTED FOUR-MAN

Figure 1-19. Dismounted Three-Man Squad


5-40. The four-man organization is the basic dismounted section configuration for the platoon leader’s RV in a recce platoon or a two- vehicle CFV section. The four-man squad can perform reconnaissance tasks, security tasks, OP/surveillance tasks, liaison, or a combination of these tasks. It is headed by a 19D scout of grade E6 or higher. (Refer to Figure 1-20.)

a 19D scout of grade E6 or higher. (Refer to Figure 1-20.) Figure1-20. Dismounted Four-Man Reconnaissance

Figure1-20. Dismounted Four-Man Reconnaissance Organization


5-41. The dismounted section combines the strength of two dismounted squads. It can also perform reconnaissance tasks, security tasks, OP/surveillance tasks, liaison, or a combination of these tasks. The

Chapter 1 – Introduction

platoon leader, PSG, or an E6 section sergeant heads this section. The recce platoon’s dismounted section is large enough to have a reaction team as part of its security element.


5-42. The dismounted platoon can perform reconnaissance tasks, security tasks, OP/surveillance tasks, liaison, or a combination of these tasks. The platoon leader/PSG heads the dismounted platoon element, which always includes an element designated for security (reaction force) and control. The dismounted platoon organization may be used if the threat is high (security of the element requires mutual support) or vehicular movement is impossible. Infiltration, for example, may require the platoon to conduct dismounted tactical movement. The platoon’s vehicles may provide security for the entire element; this organization normally leaves two scouts mounted on each vehicle.


For a detailed discussion of dismounted operations, refer to Chapter 5 of this manual.


5-43. METT-TC circumstances will often require the reconnaissance platoon leader to employ variations of the basic platoon organizations discussed previously. In addition, attachments such as tanks, mobile gun systems (MGS), infantry, or engineers may change the composition and number of reconnaissance squads or sections. Later chapters provide further information regarding mission task organization.


5-44. The reconnaissance platoon leader and the platoon’s noncommissioned officers (NCO) must be experts in the use of organic weapons, indirect fires, land navigation, supporting fires, demolitions, obstacles, communications, reconnaissance, HUMINT collection, liaison, and security techniques. They must be familiar with infantry, mortar, and combined arms tactics and be able to react to rapidly changing situations; they must also know how to employ combat support (CS) assets that are supporting or are attached to the platoon. Because of the many missions the platoon must be capable of performing, the platoon leader and PSG must be proficient in tasks at all skill levels of MOS 19D and familiar with the capabilities, limitations, and deployment of ISR assets, such as ground sensors and UAV sections.


5-45. The platoon leader is responsible to his higher commander for the discipline, combat readiness, and training of the platoon as well as the maintenance of its equipment. The platoon leader must have a thorough knowledge of reconnaissance and security tactics. He works closely with his higher commander during the mission analysis portion of the planning process.

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5-46. The platoon leader must be proficient in the tactical employment of the platoon. A solid understanding of troop-leading procedures and the ability to apply them quickly and efficiently in the field are essential. The platoon leader must also know the capabilities and limitations of the platoon’s personnel and equipment. He must be an expert in threat organizations, doctrine, and equipment.

5-47. Most of all, the platoon leader must be versatile. He must be able to exercise sound judgment and make correct decisions quickly based on his commander’s intent and the tactical situation. He must ensure that he, and every member of the platoon, understands and can successfully accomplish the following leadership competencies:

Troop-leading procedures.


Tactical movement.

OP establishment and operation.

Patrolling and local security.

Establishment and maintenance of effective communications.

Employment of fires.

Actions on contact.

The multidimensional aspect of R&S.

Reporting procedures.


Refer to Chapter 2 of this manual for additional information on the leadership competencies.


5-48. The PSG leads elements of the platoon as directed by the platoon leader and assumes command of the platoon in the absence of the platoon leader. During tactical operations, he may assist in the control of the platoon, requiring him to be proficient in each of the platoon’s leadership competencies (refer to Chapter 2 for additional discussion of these competencies). The PSG assists the platoon leader in maintaining discipline, as well as in coordinating training and controlling the platoon. He supervises equipment maintenance, supply operations, and other CSS activities.


5-49. Section and squad leaders must be experts in mounted operations, dismounted patrolling, and employment of HUMINT assets (whether or not these are organic to the platoon). These leaders also must be experts in conducting surveillance and establishing OPs. Section leaders are responsible to the platoon leader for the training and discipline of their sections. They are also responsible for the tactical employment and control of the section, requiring proficiency in the platoon’s leadership competencies (refer to the discussion in Chapter 2 of this manual). Section leaders are responsible for the maintenance and operation of all vehicles and equipment organic to their sections. Squad

Chapter 1 – Introduction

leaders have the same responsibilities for their squads as section leaders have for sections.


5-50. HUMINT collectors within the recce platoon are tasked with collecting information for intelligence use from people or related documents. Their responsibilities are covered in detail in Chapter 3 of this manual (in the discussion of the multidimensional aspect of reconnaissance) as well as in Chapter 7 (urban operations). The HUMINT collectors must be proficient in the following related procedures and operations:

Tactical questioning. This is an abbreviated form of interrogation or debriefing used to collect information related to the commander’s priority information requirements (PIR) from human sources.

Interrogation and debriefing. These involve the systematic questioning of individuals to procure information to answer specific collection requirements. Sources, such as enemy prisoners of war (EPW) and civilian detainees who are in the custody of US forces, are interrogated. All others are debriefed, to include friendly forces, civilian refugees, and local inhabitants. (NOTE: The role of interrogation in the reconnaissance platoon is limited to the initial questioning and evaluation of detainees. Debriefing is limited to gathering information from internal patrols.)

Source operations. These intelligence collection operations use recruited and registered HUMINT sources. The registration of sources is a legal requirement in any sustained use of a specific individual as a source. (NOTE: The role of recce platoon HUMINT collectors in source operations is normally limited to identifying potential intelligence sources for exploitation by HUMINT assets at higher levels.)

5-51. In reconnaissance platoons that do not have organic HUMINT collectors, scouts should have an understanding of these functions of information-gathering. A supportive civilian populous will likely pass valuable information to the first soldiers with whom they come into contact. In addition, all scouts should have an understanding of the roles and duties of HUMINT collectors because these assets may be attached once the platoon is deployed, even if they are not organic to the platoon.



5-52. The reconnaissance platoon’s primary missions are reconnaissance, surveillance, and security in support of its parent unit. As part of R&S tasks, the platoon will conduct target acquisition,

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which will require it to detect, identify, and locate key targets for lethal and nonlethal fire. The platoon is also trained and equipped to conduct tactical BDA. It can perform these missions mounted or dismounted, day or night, in various terrain conditions, and under all weather and visibility conditions. In addition to the primary missions, the reconnaissance platoon can perform the following tactical and support missions:


Quartering party duties.

Traffic control.

Chemical detection and radiological survey and monitoring operations as part of a nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) defense.

Limited obstacle construction and reduction.


5-53. The reconnaissance platoon is a reconnaissance force that conducts operations as part of a larger combined arms force. Scouts in general have capabilities and limitations that must be considered when they are employed. Each type of reconnaissance platoon has characteristics specific to its TOE. Characteristics of reconnaissance platoons include the following:

Employment considerations. Distance and mission duration are critical considerations affecting employment of the reconnaissance platoon away from the main body of its parent unit. Fire support, CSS, and communications requirements are also important factors when the platoon is tasked to conduct sustained operations beyond the immediate supporting range of the main body.

Support. The reconnaissance platoon is dependent on its parent unit for CS and CSS.

Route reconnaissance. During route reconnaissance, the platoon can reconnoiter only one route unless it is properly augmented or is operating in a permissive environment.

Zone reconnaissance.

The following considerations apply

when the reconnaissance platoon is tasked to conduct zone


Depending on METT-TC, the recce platoon can reconnoiter a zone up to 2 to 3 kilometers wide. METT-TC factors may increase or decrease the size of the zone.

Depending on METT-TC, HMMWV and CFV platoons can reconnoiter a zone up to 3 to 5 kilometers wide. METT-TC may increase or decrease the size of the zone.

Screening. During screening operations, recce and HMMWV reconnaissance platoons are extremely limited in their ability to destroy or repel threat reconnaissance units.

Chapter 1 – Introduction

OPs. The following considerations apply when the reconnaissance platoon employs OPs during its operations:

A recce platoon can man up to four OPs for short durations (less than 12 hours) or two OPs for long durations (over 12 hours).

The CFV scout platoon can man up to six OPs for short durations or three OPs for long durations.

The 10-HMMWV reconnaissance platoon can man up to 10 short-duration OPs or up to three OPs for long durations.

The six-HMMWV reconnaissance platoon can man up to six short-duration OPs or up to two OPs for long durations.

Patrolling. When properly organized, scouts can conduct effective reconnaissance and security patrols. The CFV scout platoon has 12 dedicated dismounted scouts, while the recce platoon has 13 dismounts, including HUMINT collectors (MOS 97B) organic to the platoon. The HMMWV scout platoon has very limited dismounted capability; it must be carefully task organized to conduct dismounted operations.

Communications. While operating on the platoon net, the reconnaissance platoon leader can monitor only two nets at one time. This means he cannot operate continuously on all necessary squadron or battalion nets, including the squadron/battalion command, operations and intelligence (OI), administrative/logistics (A/L), and mortar nets. Refer to the discussion of platoon radio nets in Chapter 2 of this manual.

Obstacles. The reconnaissance platoon has the following capabilities related to the employment and reduction of obstacles during its operations.

















The reconnaissance platoon has very limited obstacle reduction capability; under most conditions, it can breach only point obstacles.


5-54. In many respects, the scout’s capability is dependent on his equipment. The three types of reconnaissance platforms—the RV, the M3 CFV, and the M1025/1026 HMMWV—have distinctly different characteristics. When employed with the appropriate TTP, all three vehicles are highly effective reconnaissance and security platforms.

5-55. Every scout must understand his mount thoroughly so he can maximize its capabilities and minimize its limitations. See Figures 1-21, 1-22, and 1-23 for illustrations of the three scout vehicles and summaries of their capabilities and specifications.

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To be published upon selection of vehicle.

Figure 1-21. RV Characteristics

To be published upon selection of vehicle. Figure 1-21. RV Characteristics Figure 1-22. M3 CFV Characteristics

Figure 1-22. M3 CFV Characteristics

Chapter 1 – Introduction

Chapter 1 – Introduction Figure 1-23. HMMWV Characteristics SECTION VII – BATTLE COMMAND 5-56. Battle command

Figure 1-23. HMMWV Characteristics


5-56. Battle command is the process that leaders use to assimilate information from many sources, to visualize the battlefield and assess the situation, and then to direct military action as required to achieve victory. Thinking and acting are simultaneous activities for leaders in battle.

5-57. The actions inherent in the C2 of combat elements on the modern battlefield are the biggest challenges faced by combat leaders. Command involves directing elements; control entails the steps taken to ensure that the directions are carried out. The greatest tactician in the world would be ineffective if he did not properly use the methods available to direct and control his combat elements. C2 must be kept extremely simple to be effective.

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5-58. Battle command is an important consideration for all types of reconnaissance platoons in providing their higher commands with critical battlefield information. The accuracy and timeliness of this information will often have a direct impact on the success or failure of the troop, squadron/battalion, and higher commands.


5-59. The reconnaissance platoon leader leads his platoon and is assisted by the PSG. He uses a variety of techniques to plan operations, issue orders, employ the platoon, and communicate. At platoon level, effective use of C2 is a function of several critical factors:

The commander’s intent.











procedures (SOP).


The tactically sound employment of control measures and communications equipment and techniques.

5-60. As noted, the reconnaissance platoon’s primary functions are to gather information (reconnaissance), conduct surveillance, and perform limited security missions. Except when they are operating as a part of a larger force, the HMMWV and recce platoons are not organized and equipped to undertake operations that entail a significant offensive component, such as counterreconnaissance, armed reconnaissance, reconnaissance by fire, or reconnaissance in force. The unique information-gathering capabilities of these platoons should be preserved by limiting direct contact with the threat force to that necessary for self- defense.


5-61. As part of a recce, reconnaissance, or cavalry troop, the reconnaissance platoon is subject to command relationships similar to those of other platoons in a company-size organization. In an armor or infantry battalion, the reconnaissance platoon performs several critical tasks in support of the battalion commander’s concept of the operation. The reconnaissance platoon responds to its platoon leader, who receives guidance from the troop or battalion commander, depending on their command relationship.

5-62. As the commander’s eyes and ears, the reconnaissance platoon leader must stay in contact with either the troop/battalion commander or the troop command post (CP) or battalion tactical operations center (TOC). This is necessary if the platoon leader is to keep the platoon informed of the next higher commander’s current situation as well as the current threat situation. He must also ensure that information gained by the platoon is transmitted higher.

5-63. The commander must ensure that his initial operation order (OPORD) and any following fragmentary orders (FRAGO) focus the reconnaissance platoon on its mission by telling the platoon leader what is expected of the reconnaissance or security effort in each phase of the

Chapter 1 – Introduction

operation. The intent includes the commander’s criteria for recovering the reconnaissance platoon as tactical operations progress. He must make it clear whether he intends for the platoon to conduct stay-behind operations if the threat main body has passed its locations or to pass through friendly lines before the arrival of the threat main body.

5-64. The commander also specifies PIR for which the reconnaissance platoon is responsible. PIR cover the information for which the commander has an anticipated and stated priority in his planning and decision-making. Often stated in question form, these tactical and operational considerations are the foundation for development of R&S plans and for execution of operations involved in the overall ISR effort.

5-65. In recce/reconnaissance/cavalry troop operations, the troop XO is a battlefield manager for the troop commander. He operates from a vehicle CP; this vehicle gives him the communications capability and facilities to receive, collate, and pass to higher headquarters the routine reconnaissance information processed by the troop’s reconnaissance platoons. In this system, most of the routine reports are sent to the troop XO rather than to the troop commander. The troop commander’s role is to monitor the routine actions, receive high-priority information to transmit on command nets, and control the troop once contact is gained. In armor or infantry battalions, reconnaissance platoons generally report to their TOCs, although they may report high-priority information directly to the battalion commander or S3.


5-66. Employment of the Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2) system significantly enhances the reconnaissance platoon’s battle command capability. FBCB2 is a network of computers, global positioning system (GPS) equipment, and communication systems that work together to provide combat leaders with real-time information of unprecedented quantity and quality. FBCB2 affords the reconnaissance platoon with a variety of capabilities, including the following:

Maintain friendly situational awareness (BLUE SA).

Track actual and templated threat positions and obstacles (RED SA).

Submit preformatted standardized reports. These include SALT reports (covering size, activity, location, and time of enemy/threat forces), situation reports (SITREP), medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) reports/requests, NBC reports, and call for fire (CFF) reports.

Rapidly disseminate graphic overlays and written FRAGOs.


5-67. Each of the vehicles in the reconnaissance platoon is equipped with the three basic components of the FBCB2 system. First, the GPS provides precise location and date/time information that is the basis for reporting real-time friendly locations and for generating laser-designated map spots for reporting purposes. Second, the single channel ground/airborne radio system (SINCGARS) provides a secure means of

FM 3-20.98

transmitting both voice and digital traffic between vehicles in the platoon. In addition to the SINCGARS, platoon vehicles are also equipped with the enhanced position location and reporting system (EPLRS). The EPLRS provides a secure digital connection and serves as a router, efficiently sending message traffic internally within the platoon and also out to the higher command and fire support nets. This routing capability ensures that information is passed even if the chain of command is disrupted by physical separation on the battlefield, casualties, or mechanical failures. Finally, the FBCB2 terminal includes a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and a variety of computing functions; these features provide the crew with direct access to the system. Together, these FBCB2 components form the lower tactical internet (TI). Figure 1-24 illustrates FBCB2 architecture in a recce platoon.

5-68. The upper TI consists of a variety of tactical computer systems and communications equipment located primarily at the squadron/battalion level and higher. The most important of these are the maneuver control system (MCS), the all source analysis system (ASAS), the advanced field artillery tactical data system (AFATDS), and the combat service support control system (CSSCS). These systems draw upon the reports and positional data passed on the lower TI to provide situational awareness at higher command levels. In turn, these systems can push information such as location of adjacent units, known and templated threat positions, graphics, and OPORDs down to FBCB2 users.

threat positions, graphics , and OPORDs down to FBCB2 users. Figure 1-24. FBCB2 Architecture for a

Figure 1-24. FBCB2 Architecture for a Recce Platoon


Chapter 1 – Introduction

5-69. This discussion focuses on several areas in which FBCB2 enhances the reconnaissance platoon’s battle command capabilities.

Friendly Situational Awareness

5-70. To enhance friendly situational awareness (also referred to as BLUE SA), the FBCB2 screen displays an icon for each individual vehicle in the platoon. This provides the vehicle commander with a clear picture of where he is located in relation to the platoon and the platoon leader with a picture of where he is operating in relation to the rest of the higher unit. While the system functions automatically for vehicles equipped to operate on the TI, it does not provide locations for every friendly element on the battlefield. For example, the system does not automatically track dismounted scout teams operating at extended distances from their vehicles. In addition, it does not cover infantry squads from the brigade, nondigitally equipped units, or allied troops that may be operating in or adjacent to the platoon’s battlespace. Icons representing these elements may be imported into FBCB2 based on FM radio reports, but these are not updated in real time. As a result, FBCB2 cannot be the sole instrument used for clearing fires; it does not substitute for the leader’s or commander’s judgment in preventing fratricide.

Threat Situational Awareness

5-71. FBCB2 creates threat situational awareness (RED SA) from both top-down and bottom-up feeds. The higher unit S2 inputs threat icons into the system based on spot reports (SPOTREP) generated by assets outside the unit; these include the joint surveillance target attack radar system (JSTARS) and sensor assets organic to recce troops, such as tactical UAV (TUAV) flights, radio intercepts, and ground surveillance radar (GSR). Based on his IPB, the S2 augments these actual locations with templated positions in the form of a situation template (SITEMP).

5-72. As the reconnaissance platoon conducts operations, it adds to the RED SA by sending SPOTREPs of threat activity and obstacles via the FBCB2. When a vehicle commander sends a SPOTREP, he automatically creates an icon representing the threat on FBCB2 systems in his platoon. The platoon leader or PSG evaluates the validity of the report and forwards it to the TOC. At the troop level, the report is evaluated to make sure it is accurate and is subsequently forwarded to the other platoons in the troop and higher to the squadron. (NOTE: This process is the same for the reconnaissance platoon in a battalion.)

5-73. To keep the RED SA current, units must update SPOTREPs concerning threat locations that are represented by icons on the FBCB2. Updates must be sent whenever the threat situation changes, such as when a threat element moves or is destroyed. Icons will “fade” and eventually disappear from the FBCB2 screen as their information ages. The unit SOP governs the rate at which icons fade.

5-74. Member of the reconnaissance platoon must remember that the RED SA provided by FBCB2 is only as good as the reports that the system receives. It will never give a 100-percent complete or accurate threat picture. The platoon leader and his vehicle commanders must ensure that vehicle scanning plans and the platoon R&S plan are adequate to detect threat forces not yet reported by digital means.

FM 3-20.98

Standardized Reporting

5-75. FBCB2 streamlines the reporting process by providing the reconnaissance platoon with the capability to send and receive standardized reports. These include SALT reports, MEDEVAC requests, NBC-1 reports, calls for fire, check fire reports, and SITREPs. (NOTE:

For more information on FBCB2 reporting capabilities, refer to Chapter 2 of this manual.) Figure 1-25 shows the FBCB2 screen for a SALT report. Standardized reports afford several tactical advantages:

They help to ensure that all required information is included in a particular report or request.

They reduce the chance of errors in transmission.

They allow for the storage of messages for retrieval and reference.

NOTE: There is still a requirement for FM voice message traffic. For example, leaders must still transmit contact reports to initiate battle drills and cue leaders to check their FBCB2 screens for updated information. Additionally, vehicle commanders may need to send oral descriptions of threat locations, routes, or obstacles to help clarify the situation. This is especially true in close or urban terrain where the FBCB2 cannot display the terrain in sufficient detail to assist leaders in making effective decisions.

detail to assist leaders in making effective decisions. Figure 1-25. FBCB2 Display for Standardized Reports Combat

Figure 1-25. FBCB2 Display for Standardized Reports

Combat Orders and Graphics

5-76. FBCB2 greatly enhances the speed and precision of the orders process. The system allows leaders to add or modify operational graphics during the planning process or execution. This ensures that every element has the most current information to control movement and fires. In addition, commanders can use free text messages to transmit OPORDs, FRAGOs, and battle update briefings over extended distances without the loss of time and information inherent in FM voice communications. Like standardized reports, graphics and orders can be stored for retrieval and reference.

Chapter 1 – Introduction


5-77. Intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB) is a systematic, continuous process of analyzing the effects of the threat and the environment on the unit. It is a dynamic staff process, driven by the commander, that continually integrates new information into the unit’s operational framework. Reconnaissance platoon leaders should have a clear understanding of the IPB process, which in turn drives ISR focus and synchronization. For a detailed discussion of IPB concepts and procedures, refer to FM 2-01.3 (FM 34-130).


5-78. IPB identifies facts and clarifies assumptions about the threat and the battlefield environment. The commander and his staff use the IPB process to analyze the threat, weather, and terrain to determine and evaluate the threat’s capabilities, vulnerabilities, and probable courses of action (COA). The resulting information serves the following purposes:

It facilitates staff planning and development of potential friendly COAs for the operation.

It provides the basis for directing and synchronizing the ISR effort that supports the commander’s chosen COA.

It contributes to thorough staff synchronization and successful completion of several staff processes.

In turn, it helps the commander to selectively apply and maximize his combat power at critical points in time and space on the battlefield.


The most critical mission of the reconnaissance platoon is to gather information on threat forces that the S2 then uses to assess threat disposition and intentions. IPB is a disciplined staff procedure that provides the reconnaissance platoon leader with formal ISR guidance in the form of reconnaissance objectives and PIR, as contained in the R&S plan. The platoon leader then applies this information in accomplishing the platoon’s assigned reconnaissance tasks.

5-79. Figure 1-26 illustrates the various phases and components of the information-gathering process, including IPB.

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FM 3-20.98 Figure 1-26. The Information-Gathering Process THE IPB PROCESS STEP 1 – DEFINE THE BATTLEFIELD

Figure 1-26. The Information-Gathering Process



5-80. The first step of the IPB process focuses the staff on the requirements of the initial ISR effort. During this step, the staff takes the following actions:

Identify battlefield characteristics, such as terrain and weather, that will influence friendly and threat operations and that require evaluation through the IPB process.

Establish the area of interest (AI) to focus the IPB analysis and the ISR effort.

Identify gaps in current intelligence holdings that become the initial information requirements.


5-81. This step identifies general limitations that the environment imposes on friendly and threat forces, as well as the tactical opportunities it offers. IPB products developed during this step focus on these effects; they include, but are not limited to, the following:

Population status overlay.

Overlays that depict the military aspects and effects of terrain, including the factors of observation and fields of fire, cover and concealment, obstacles, key terrain, and avenues of approach (OCOKA).

Chapter 1 – Introduction

Weather analysis matrix.

Integrated staff products such as the modified combined obstacle overlay (MCOO).


5-82. Step 3 includes analysis of current intelligence holdings to determine how the threat normally organizes for and conducts combat operations. The results are portrayed using threat models that depict how the threat fights; these are the only products associated with this step. Although they usually emphasize graphic representation of the threat situation, such as doctrinal templates with high-value targets (HVT), threat models sometimes entail use of matrices, simple narrative descriptions, and depictions of threat obstacle systems.


5-83. This step integrates the results of the first three steps of IPB into a meaningful summary of likely objectives and COAs available to the threat. IPB products, which are valid only if the staff establishes a solid foundation during the first three steps, include the following:

Models that depict the threat’s available COAs. These are normally produced in the form of situation developments; they may include associated matrices and/or text descriptions.

Event templates and related matrices to focus the ISR effort.


5-84. During threat COA development, the staff concurrently develops friendly COAs based on the facts and assumptions identified during IPB and mission analysis. Incorporating the results of IPB into COA development ensures that each friendly COA takes into account the opportunities and limitations related to the environment and the threat situation.

5-85. During the war-gaming session, the staff fights the set of threat COAs, developed in step 4 of the IPB process, against each potential friendly COA. Targeting conferences often accompany or follow the war- gaming session to refine selected HVTs from the threat COA models into high-priority targets (HPT) that support the friendly COAs.

5-86. Based on the results of war-gaming, the staff takes the following actions to finalize the COA development process:

a associated matrix.








Identify information requirements for each COA.


Refine threat COA models and event templates (and their related matrices), focusing on the intelligence required to execute the friendly COAs.

For each threat COA, determine the probability that the threat will adopt it.

Identify the most dangerous threat COA.


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5-87. After deciding on a COA and issuing orders, the commander approves a list of information requirements; he identifies the most important of these as the final PIR. During execution of the operation, emerging intelligence will confirm or deny the assumptions and information identified during the initial IPB.

5-88. The staff continues to evaluate the situation and update the commander and staff. As necessary, he performs parts of the IPB process to support new iterations of the decision-making process. Figures 1-27 through 1-29 provide examples of the templates developed during IPB and the war-gaming of friendly COAs.

developed during IPB and the war-gaming of friendly COAs. Figure 1-27. Example Situational Template Figure 1-28.

Figure 1-27. Example Situational Template

and the war-gaming of friendly COAs. Figure 1-27. Example Situational Template Figure 1-28. Example Event Template

Figure 1-28. Example Event Template

Chapter 1 – Introduction

Chapter 1 – Introduction Figure 1-29. Example Decision Support Template RECONNAISSANCE AND SURVEILLANCE PLAN 5-89. The

Figure 1-29. Example Decision Support Template


5-89. The key purpose of the R&S plan is to organize collection of information the commander needs to fight and win the battle. Like other brigade- and battalion-size elements, the SBCT and cavalry squadron (RSTA) will both produce R&S plans. The brigade plan will task the squadron or battalion, and these tasks will be incorporated into the squadron/battalion plan. Figure 1-26 shows how the R&S plan is developed within the overall information-gathering process.

NOTE: The R&S plan is developed very early in the ISR planning process because it is important to integrate the reconnaissance platoon with other information-gathering assets, such as GSR and engineer reconnaissance teams. Because reconnaissance is a continuous and dynamic process, the reconnaissance platoon is committed as soon as possible in accordance with the commander’s intent and reconnaissance objectives. Deployment of the platoon should not be delayed until the R&S plan has been formulated.


5-90. From the decision support template, the S3, in coordination with the staff, prepares the detailed squadron/battalion R&S plan, which graphically depicts where and when reconnaissance elements should look for threat forces. The S3 should brief the R&S plan. In a squadron, the S3 should brief the plan to the recce troop commander, ensuring that the troop commander understands all ISR objectives.

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5-91. The staff uses an R&S tasking matrix to coordinate all available assets for ISR operations. The R&S plan must direct specific tasks and priorities to all ISR elements, including reconnaissance platoons, GSR, and patrols.

5-92. R&S tasking, which is handled by the S3, can take the form of a warning order, OPORD, R&S tasking matrix, or R&S overlay. The S3 translates the R&S plan into operational terms and graphics. For example, in preparation for reconnaissance operations, the S3 designates named areas of interest (NAI) in terms of reconnaissance objectives.


Fire Support

5-93. To ensure the unit can provide responsive fire support to the reconnaissance platoon, the fire support officer (FSO) stays abreast of what the platoon will be doing throughout the conduct of the mission. The platoon will receive indirect field artillery (FA) or mortar support and joint fire support from 3 to 4 kilometers forward of the lead elements. The reconnaissance platoon leader should coordinate with the FSO to discuss his mission and the platoon’s unique fire support requirements. The platoon leader finds out what support is available, where supporting units are located, and what fire support restrictions exist. He will then recommend preplanned targets and target priorities to be incorporated by the FSO into the platoon fire support plan. The platoon leader should receive an approved target list and/or overlay from the FSO.


5-94. The squadron/battalion signal officer (S6) must conduct additional coordination with the troop commander and/or platoon leader if the mission requires communications support. The reconnaissance platoon leader must request retransmission (retrans) or relay support from the squadron/battalion signal section if the mission dictates. Scouts should not perform relay duties as their primary platoon mission.

Other Elements

5-95. The reconnaissance platoon leader also coordinates support with any attached or assigned elements; examples include engineer reconnaissance teams, fire support team (FIST), air defense artillery (ADA) elements, Striker teams, GSR and/or remotely monitored battlefield sensor system (REMBASS) teams, and aerial reconnaissance elements (TUAVs). The platoon leader should be aware of how changes to the organization affect his platoon. Ideally, linkup with support elements should occur at the TOC in daylight and with sufficient time to conduct thorough briefings and rehearsals.


5-96. When the platoon leader leaves the TOC area to prepare for his mission, he should, as a minimum, have the following materials:

Operational and ISR/R&S graphics.

The situational template, event template, and notes on the current threat situation.

Fire support overlay.

Chapter 1 – Introduction

5-97. Once in the vicinity of their mission objectives, the scouts confirm or deny the templated information. Additionally, if they find the threat, the scouts look for possible weaknesses, gaps, and flanks of the threat force. During screening operations, the commander directs the reconnaissance platoon leader to report threat activity at designated NAIs. The reconnaissance platoon leader uses OPs to observe and report on these areas of command interest. The scouts must rapidly and accurately report all information related to the commander’s critical information requirements (CCIR) that they find during either reconnaissance or screening operations.


5-98. Situational awareness is the ability to maintain a constant, clear mental picture of the tactical situation. This picture includes an awareness of both the friendly and threat situations and of relevant terrain. It also entails the ability to relate battlefield information and events through space and time to form logical conclusions and make decisions that anticipate events. Since the platoon normally operates dispersed as individual sections or squads, it is essential that all reconnaissance leaders maintain situational awareness so they can make sound, quick tactical decisions. Critical outcomes of situational awareness on the part of all scouts are reduction in fratricide incidents and the ability to stay one step ahead of the threat they are facing.

NOTE: The reconnaissance platoon and its higher element assess all information within their area of operations. Their primary responsibility is to provide their squadron or battalion with complete awareness of the situation based on their reported raw data and assessments of information in their area of operations. In a cavalry squadron (RSTA), the analysis section at the squadron headquarters gathers all the information from its recce troops and surveillance troop assets. The squadron/battalion analyzes this information and provides the SBCT/brigade with situational understanding of the area of operations.


5-99. The commander will structure the battlefield based on the conditions of METT-TC and his commander’s intent. How he does this affects the reconnaissance platoon leader’s mission planning and his ability to maintain situational awareness. The framework of the battlefield can vary from a very rigid extreme with obvious front and rear boundaries and closely tied adjacent units to a dispersed and decentralized structure with few secure areas and unit boundaries and no definable front or rear.

5-100. Between these extremes is an unlimited number of possible variations. Maintaining situational awareness becomes more difficult as the battlefield becomes less structured. Modern, highly mobile operations with small forces lend themselves to a less rigid framework that challenges the scout’s ability to maintain an accurate picture of the battlefield.

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5-101. To have a clear picture of the battlefield, the reconnaissance platoon leader must have virtually perfect knowledge of the friendly situation one level higher than his own. The platoon leader must have a relatively complete knowledge of the terrain, and he must know as much as possible about the threat. It is important that the platoon leader use this knowledge to update his section and squad leaders periodically regarding the higher situation.

NOTE: The requirement to maintain a real-time picture of the battlefield one level higher does not relieve the scout of the requirement to understand the situation and commander’s intent two levels higher than his own. The difference is that his understanding of the situation two levels higher does not have to be as specific or in real time. FBCB2 will assist all vehicles in the platoon in maintaining a real-time situational awareness.

5-102. Almost all of the information the platoon leader needs comes in the form of reports over his FM communication system or FBCB2. He receives many reports based on his platoon’s understanding of shared, common graphics. Effective graphics require that the subordinate elements report periodically as they accomplish requirements. The platoon leader must be aware of when his scouts report so he can maintain a current visualization of the situation. If an element does not report in a timely manner, the platoon leader must quickly determine the situation of the overdue element.

5-103. Although many reports are not addressed specifically to him, particularly on the higher net, the reconnaissance platoon leader must monitor them by eavesdropping on the nets as traffic is sent. How effectively he can accomplish this is, to some degree, experience- dependent. The platoon leader must learn how to relate the information he is receiving to his map, which is perhaps his most important tool in maintaining situational awareness. He should plot all friendly position reports up to one level higher than his own. Information from SPOTREPs should also be plotted.

5-104. The platoon leader can employ a variety of techniques in using his map to track the tactical situation. For example, he should use different colors for friendly and threat elements to allow quick recognition. To avoid cluttering the map, he should place a dot or symbol on his map where the element is located and label the point with a number. The same number should then be written in the map margin (or beyond the area of operations) with the complete SPOTREP or unit ID next to it. This notation should also include the time of the report. As positions or reports are updated, the platoon leader crosses off the old symbol and adds a new one with a corresponding notation; it is critical that updates to previous reports be clearly identified as such during transmission.

5-105. Even though it is relatively simple, this type of map notation system can help all scouts in the platoon to easily track and monitor the tactical situation. Maps can be augmented by a formal platoon log, kept on the platoon leader’s or PSG’s vehicle or on both.


Chapter 1 – Introduction

5-106. As discussed previously, an accurate picture of the battlefield provides the reconnaissance platoon leader with important tactical information, including friendly and threat positions and relevant terrain. In turn, complete understanding of the military significance of this picture requires knowledge of the concept of battlespace, the key element in the intellectual process of visualizing the battlefield.

5-107. At the most fundamental level, battlespace is the three- dimensional “bubble” or area in which the platoon can acquire threat forces and influence them with effective fires. This space is defined by numerous battlefield factors: the locations of friendly forces, including the platoon’s individual sections, squads, OPs, and patrols; the effects of terrain, weather, and movement; and the ranges of all available platoon weapons and sensing systems. Each section or squad has its own battlespace; the platoon battlespace is the sum of individual section/squad battlespaces (see Figure 1-30). Platoon battlespace is not restricted by boundaries; it can overlap with the battlespace of adjacent units.

it can overlap with the battlespace of adjacent units. Figure 1-30. Recce Platoon’s Battlespace 5-108.

Figure 1-30. Recce Platoon’s Battlespace

5-108. Battlespace has applications in all phases of mission planning and execution. During the planning process, it is a critical factor in selection of routes and tentative positions. Once mission execution begins, the platoon leader’s knowledge of his battlespace is critical when he must issue timely and effective orders as the situation changes.

5-109. The importance of battlespace demands that the platoon leader direct most of his battle command effort toward managing, and enhancing, his space. He must be aware at every moment how battlespace is changing as friendly and threat forces move and as terrain and visibility conditions change (as illustrated in Figures 1-31A and 1- 31B). He must evaluate how these changes affect his sections and squads.

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FM 3-20.98 Figure 1-31A. Effects of Movement on Battlespace Figure 1-31B. Effects of Movement on Battlespace

Figure 1-31A. Effects of Movement on Battlespace

FM 3-20.98 Figure 1-31A. Effects of Movement on Battlespace Figure 1-31B. Effects of Movement on Battlespace

Figure 1-31B. Effects of Movement on Battlespace (Continued)

5-110. As the operation progresses, the platoon leader must take active measures to shape the platoon’s battlespace to his best advantage. In many situations, he should attempt to eliminate any gaps, or dead space, that exist within the “bubble.” The platoon leader can accomplish this in several ways, such as maneuvering sections or squads, repositioning OPs, and deploying patrols or remote sensors. He must also ensure that organic and attached assets are positioned to achieve overlapping coverage of critical points within the platoon’s battlespace.

5-111. The purpose of overlapping coverage is to prevent the threat from overcoming the friendly reconnaissance effort by degrading or destroying a single platform or sensor. It also prevents the threat from gaining an advantage during periods when environmental or weather conditions, including limited visibility, degrade the platoon’s observation capability or sensor performance. Refer to Figures 1-32A and 1-32B for an illustration of how the platoon leader can optimize his battlespace.

Chapter 1 – Introduction

Chapter 1 – Introduction Figure 1-32A. Optimizing Battlespace Figure 1-32B. Optimizing Battlespace (Continued)

Figure 1-32A. Optimizing Battlespace

1 – Introduction Figure 1-32A. Optimizing Battlespace Figure 1-32B. Optimizing Battlespace (Continued) FRATRICIDE

Figure 1-32B. Optimizing Battlespace (Continued)


5-112. Recent experience has shown that fratricide is a significant danger to all forces operating on a mobile battlefield where weapon system lethality is significantly greater than identification friend or foe (IFF) capability. Fratricide is the result of many factors, including inadequate direct fire control plans, navigation errors, combat identification failures, and incorrect or inadequate operational graphics. For an in-depth discussion of fratricide and its prevention, refer to Appendix I of this manual.

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In many situations, the primary cause of fratricide is the lack of positive target identification. To prevent fratricide incidents, commanders and leaders at all levels must ensure positive target identification before they issue commands to fire. In addition, all units must accurately report their locations during combat operations, and all TOCs and CPs must carefully track the locations of all subordinate elements in relation to those of all friendly forces.



5-113. The most important role of maps and their accompanying overlays is in helping the reconnaissance platoon to understand and visualize the scheme of maneuver. They are the platoon leader’s primary tools in organizing information concerning the battlefield and in synchronizing his assets once the battle begins. They also provide vehicle commanders with a visual reference they can consult as needed. The platoon leader must ensure that each vehicle commander has an updated map with the latest graphic control measures posted on the overlay.

5-114. Overlays can be prepared either in traditional fashion or digitally. The platoon leader may receive one or more types of overlays from the squadron, covering such areas as maneuver, threat forces, obstacles, fire support, and CSS. All of the information is important; the key for the platoon leader is to combine, augment, and declutter the overlays so the information needed for a specific situation is readily available to the platoon on one simple, combined overlay.


5-115. To protect the reconnaissance platoon, the platoon leader must learn to use terrain to his advantage. Land navigation of reconnaissance vehicles requires him to master the technique of terrain association. This entails the ability to identify terrain features on the ground by the contour intervals depicted on the map. The platoon leader analyzes the terrain using the factors of OCOKA and identifies major terrain features, contour changes, and man-made structures along his axis of advance. As the platoon advances, he uses these features to orient the platoon and to associate ground positions with map locations. (NOTE: Refer to Chapter 2 of this manual for a detailed description of the use of OCOKA factors in the terrain analysis.)

5-116. The intellectual concept of battlespace is vital to the platoon’s survival during navigation and movement. The platoon leader must constantly be aware of key terrain and threat fields of observation and fire that may create danger areas as the platoon advances. This allows him to modify movement techniques, formations, and routes and to maintain cross-talk with overwatch elements to ensure that the platoon is

Chapter 1 – Introduction

not surprised by the threat. (NOTE: Refer to the discussion of danger areas in Chapter 2 of this manual.)

5-117. Navigation under limited visibility conditions is especially challenging. Vehicle thermal sights and night vision goggles provide assistance, but leaders nonetheless can easily confuse terrain features and become disoriented. The platoon can employ a variety of techniques and equipment to assist in navigation. For a detailed discussion of these methods and assets, refer to ST 3-20.983.

Chapter 2

Leadership Competencies

As a tactical organization, the reconnaissance platoon must be proficient in certain tasks and skills. While each platoon leader will establish his own collective task list based on his commander’s mission essential task list (METL), this chapter covers a roster of established leadership com- petencies in which every platoon and its leaders must train and maintain proficiency.


Troop-Leading Procedures


Operational Considerations


Military Decision-Making Process


Conduct of Troop-Leading Procedures




Critical Tasks


Platoon Guidelines


Tactical Movement


Planning and Operational Considerations


Fundamentals of Movement


Danger Areas


Platoon Formations


Movement Techniques


Actions on Contact


Contact Considerations


The Four Steps of Actions on Contact


Examples of Actions on Contact


Employment of Fires


Employment Considerations


Critical Tasks




Means of Tactical Communications


Radio Net Organization and Responsibilities


Net Control


Techniques of Effective Communications




Operational Considerations


Report Guidelines


Types of Reports


Digital Reporting and C2 Messages



2-1. Many platoons are not prepared to perform their mission effectively because of inadequate planning. To prevent this from happening, the reconnaissance platoon must be proficient in troop- leading procedures. These are the basis of the dynamic process by which units develop plans and orders at every level of leadership. The troop- leading process consists of eight steps, which are discussed in this chapter in the traditional order. The process, however, is not rigid, and the steps are not necessarily sequential. The tasks involved in some steps (such as initiate movement, issue the warning order, and conduct reconnaissance)

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may recur several times during the process. Although listed as the last step, activities associated with supervising and refining the plan and other preparations occur throughout the troop-leading process.



The following points summarize important factors involved in

troop-leading procedures:

Time management. The platoon leader makes the most efficient use of the time available for planning, preparation, and issuing the order. He ensures that his subordinate leaders then have sufficient time to conduct their own troop- leading procedures. (Refer to the discussion of reverse planning and timeline development later in this chapter.)

IPB. The platoon leader must understand the IPB process. He develops knowledge of how his platoon’s actions feed the IPB for higher command elements. Likewise, it is critical for the platoon leader to understand that IPB in not just a process performed during the planning phase; rather, he is prepared to continually update his IPB throughout the mission.

Understanding the mission. The platoon leader must understand his mission; he develops this knowledge by conducting an effective mission analysis to identify all specified and implied tasks. At a minimum, he understands the focus of the reconnaissance (terrain-, threat-, or civilian-oriented, or a combination), the tempo of the operation, and his engagement criteria. He also develops the facts and assumptions related to his mission with regard to the factors of METT-TC.

Effective orders. The platoon leader must be able to issue an OPORD or FRAGO (oral, digital, or both as applicable) to convey the nature of the mission so his subordinates understand the operations they will be conducting.

Rehearsals. The platoon leader must be proficient in conducting rehearsals. At a minimum, he conducts rehearsals of major events in his mission (actions on expected contact and actions on the objective), actions on contact/battle drills (if different), and casualty evacuation.

Precombat checks and inspections. Before execution begins, soldiers must be prepared for their mission and have confidence in their equipment. To accomplish this, the platoon conducts precombat checks (PCC), as a minimum, and precombat inspections (PCI) before the mission begins.

NOTE: For additional information on crew orders, rehearsals, PCCs, and PCIs, refer to the discussion of the “supervise and refine” step of troop-leading procedures later in this chapter.

2-3. The key to success is that the platoon is prepared to move by the time specified in the order with operational weapons and equipment and the basic load of supplies as specified by the order and/or the platoon

Chapter 2 – Leadership Competencies

leader. All personnel must be able to explain the higher unit’s mission, the higher commander’s intent, the platoon mission, and their specified tasks and duties to support the mission. All attachments must be received, briefed, and inspected. The elements of SERE (survival, escape, resistance, evasion) should also be considered and addressed. For further information on SERE, refer to ST 3-20.983.


2-4. Decisions are the means by which a commander or leader translates the information available to him and his vision of the desired end state of an operation into the actions necessary to achieve that end state. Decision-making is a conscious process for selecting a COA from two or more alternatives. As outlined in FM 5-0 (FM 101-5), it is a learned skill of knowing if to decide, then when and what to decide. The process includes an understanding of the consequences of each decision.

2-5. The military decision-making process (MDMP) is the Army’s adaptation of this analytical approach to decision-making and problem- solving. It provides the commander or leader with a valuable tool in developing his estimate of the situation and his plan. Although the process begins with the receipt of the mission, the analytical aspects of the MDMP continue at all levels throughout the operation. Refer to FM 5- 0 for a detailed examination of the MDMP.

2-6. At platoon level, many actions associated with the MDMP are based on SOPs and standard unit drills; these include evacuation of wounded soldiers, rearming and resupply procedures, and individual crew responsibilities. This allows the platoon to operate quickly and efficiently without constant guidance from the platoon leader. SOPs are especially critical in helping to maintain combat preparedness when leaders are tired as a result of the stress of continuous operations. Because SOPs are so critical, it is absolutely necessary that everyone in the platoon know and understand them.


2-7. Regardless of the time available, leaders must always remember this principle: “see the terrain, see the enemy, see yourself.” Only after they view and evaluate the terrain and the enemy, can they determine what their own actions should be in that given situation. They update this visualization continuously throughout the troop-leading process, basing this new “picture” of the battlefield on their own refinements to the plan, additional information from various sources, and/or developments in the reconnaissance or security operation.

2-8. Troop-leading procedures begin when the platoon leader receives the first indication of an upcoming operation (often by warning order from higher) and continue throughout the planning, preparation, and execution phases of the mission. The platoon leader maximizes the available planning time by starting as soon as the first bit of information becomes available. He normally uses one-third of the available time to plan, prepare, and issue the order; his vehicle commanders then have the remaining two-thirds of the time available to conduct their own troop- leading procedures. This system of time allocation is known as the “one- third/two-thirds” rule of planning and preparation.

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Figure 2-1 lists the eight troop-leading steps and illustrates their

role in relation to the MDMP, which plays an important role in the troop- leading process. The following discussion provides a step-by-step overview of troop-leading procedures.


NOTE: Refer to the appropriate platoon-level MTP for the training and evaluation outline (T&EO) covering the task of conducting troop-leading procedures. The task, included in Chapter 5 of the MTP, includes procedures involved in each of the troop-leading steps.

procedures involved in each of the troop-leading steps. Figure 2-1. Relationship of Troop-Leading Procedures and

Figure 2-1. Relationship of Troop-Leading Procedures and the Military Decision-Making Process


2-10. The reconnaissance platoon leader normally receives his orders as an oral, written, and/or digital OPORD, as a FRAGO, or as a warning order. Upon receipt of the order, he begins analyzing the mission using the factors of METT-TC: mission, enemy (threat), terrain (and weather), troops, time available, and civil considerations. Mission analysis is a continuous process. The platoon leader constantly receives information during the planning phase and must decide if it affects his mission. If it does, he then decides how to adjust his plan to meet this new situation.

Initial Actions

2-11. Although mission analysis is continuously refined throughout the troop-leading process, the platoon leader’s initial actions are normally based only on the initial warning order from higher. These include an initial METT-TC analysis covering the terrain and the threat and friendly situations.

Chapter 2 – Leadership Competencies

2-12. The platoon leader may also conduct his initial time analysis, develop an initial security plan, and issue his own initial warning order to provide guidance and planning focus for his subordinates. At a minimum, the initial platoon warning order should cover the threat and friendly situations, movement instructions, and coordinating instructions such as an initial timeline and security plan. (NOTE: The initial analysis is normally conducted as quickly as possible to allow the platoon leader to issue the initial warning order in a timely manner. He conducts a more detailed METT-TC analysis after the initial warning order is put out.)

NOTE: The technique of using multiple warning orders is a valuable tool for the platoon leader during the troop-leading process. He can issue warning orders for several purposes: to alert subordinates of the upcoming mission, to initiate the parallel planning process, and to put out tactical information incrementally as it is received (ultimately reducing the length of the OPORD). Refer to FM 3-90.1 (FM 71-1) for a discussion of how multiple warning orders are employed at various stages of the troop-leading process.

METT-TC Analysis

2-13. The following discussion provides detailed information on the six METT-TC factors. (NOTE: METT-TC factors are not necessarily analyzed sequentially. How and when the platoon leader analyzes each factor depends on when the information is made available to him.)

2-14. Mission. After receiving an essential task and purpose, either in a warning order or the OPORD, the platoon leader can then begin the analysis of his own mission. He may use a refined product to better visualize the interrelationships of the terrain, the threat, and friendly forces. These may include a MCOO and/or the SITEMP, if available. The platoon leader’s goal in this analysis is to clarify what the platoon is to accomplish and why the platoon must accomplish it. Key considerations in the analysis include the following:

What is my task and purpose for this operation?

What is the commander’s intent?

What are the specified tasks for the operation (those that the commander stated must be accomplished)? (NOTE: In the OPORD, these tasks are outlined in paragraph 3, which comprises the commander’s intent, concept of the operation, tasks to subordinate units, and coordinating instructions.)

What are the implied tasks for the operation? These are other tasks, not specifically noted by the commander, that must be accomplished to achieve the purpose or specified tasks.

What are the essential tasks for the operation? These are all tasks, both specified and implied, that are absolutely required to ensure mission success.

What is the focus of the operation?

What is the tempo of the operation?

What are the engagement criteria for the platoon? For the troop? For the squadron/battalion?

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2-15. Enemy (Threat Forces). The platoon leader’s analysis of the threat situation should focus on the areas outlined in FM 3-90.1 (FM 71- 1)—including doctrinal analysis and objectives, composition and disposition, capabilities, weaknesses, anticipated COAs, and factors that can influence these COAs—as well as those in FM 2-01.3 (FM 34-130), which covers IPB. The analysis can focus on the following considerations:

What types of threat units is the platoon up against?

Where are these units? (NOTE: If possible, these locations should be templated to vehicle level.)

What is the threat doing?


How strong is he?

What kind of equipment does he have? What are his weapons types and effective ranges?

What are his capabilities and weaknesses?


Where is he vulnerable?


Where are his engagement areas?


What are the threat’s intentions, doctrinal objectives, and most probable COA(s)?

How will he react to the eight forms of contact? These are the following:

Visual contact.


Physical contact (direct fire).


Indirect fire contact.


Contact with obstacles of threat or unknown origin.

Contact with threat or unknown aircraft.

Contact involving NBC conditions.


Situations involving electronic warfare tactics (such as jamming, interference, and imitative deception).




elements (such as



What can the threat do in response to friendly actions?

Terrain (and Weather). The platoon leader analyzes the terrain

using the factors of OCOKA: observation and fields of fire; cover and concealment; obstacles; key terrain; and avenues of approach. The following discussion focuses on questions the platoon leader can use in his analysis.


2-17. Observation and fields of fire. The platoon leader should cover the following considerations in his analysis:

Where can the threat observe and engage my platoon, and how do I counter this capability?

Where can I establish OPs to maximize my ability to see the battlefield?


Chapter 2 – Leadership Competencies

Cover and concealment. The platoon leader should include the

following considerations in his analysis of cover and concealment:

What routes within the area of operations offer cover and concealment for my platoon or for threat elements?

What dismounted and/or mounted routes offer my platoon the best available cover and concealment?

Obstacles. In terrain analysis, the platoon leader first identifies

existing and reinforcing obstacles that may limit mobility (affecting such features as objectives, avenues of approach, and mobility corridors).



Existing obstacles include, but are not limited to, the following:


Gullies, ravines, gaps, and ditches over 3 meters wide.


Streams, rivers, and canals over 1 meter deep.


Mountains or hills with a slope in excess of 60 percent.


Lakes, swamps, and marshes over 1 meter deep.

Tree stumps and large rocks over 18 inches high.

Forest or jungles with trees 8 inches or more in diameter and with less than 4 meters of space between trees.

Man-made existing obstacles, including built-up areas such as towns, cities, or railroad embankments.













Antitank ditches.

Road craters.


Wire obstacles.

2-22. Based on the degree of obstruction posed by obstacles, terrain is further classified in one of the following categories:

Unrestricted. This is terrain that is free of any restriction to movement; no actions are required to enhance mobility. For wheeled vehicles, this terrain is typically flat or moderately sloped, with scattered or widely spaced obstacles such as trees or rocks. This type of terrain generally allows wide maneuver and offers unlimited travel over well-developed road networks.

Restricted. Restricted terrain hinders movement to some degree. Little effort is needed to enhance mobility, but units may have to zigzag or make frequent detours. They may have difficulty maintaining optimum speed, moving in some types of combat formations, or transitioning from one formation to another. For wheeled vehicles, restricted terrain typically encompasses moderate to steep slopes and/or moderate to dense spacing of obstacles such as trees, rocks, or buildings.

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Swamps and rugged ground are examples of restricted terrain for dismounted infantry forces. Logistical or rear area movement in this type of terrain may be hampered by poorly developed road systems.

Severely restricted. This terrain severely hinders or slows movement in combat formation unless some effort is made to enhance mobility. This could require commitment of engineer forces to improve mobility or deviation from doctrinal tactics, such as using a column rather than a line formation or moving at speeds much lower than otherwise preferred. Severely restricted terrain for wheeled vehicles is typically characterized by steep slopes, densely spaced obstacles, and/or the virtual absence of a developed road system.

Key terrain. Key terrain is any location or area whose seizure,

retention, or control affords a marked advantage either to friendly forces or to the threat. The platoon leader’s analysis should cover these factors:


Where and what is the key terrain?

How can the platoon use key terrain to support the mission?

How will the threat use key terrain to support his mission?

Avenues of approach. These are areas through which a unit

can maneuver. The definition of an avenue of approach is an area that provides sufficient ease of movement and enough width to allow passage of a force large enough to significantly affect the outcome of the battle. The platoon leader’s analysis should include these considerations:


Where are the most favorable mounted and dismounted avenues of approach for threat and friendly forces?

Where are the best air avenues of approach for threat forces?

Weather. The platoon leader analyzes weather conditions as part

of his evaluation of the terrain. The following considerations should be included in this evaluation:


What are the light conditions (including percentage of night illumination) and visibility?

How has recent weather affected the area of operations?

What are the times for beginning of morning nautical twilight (BMNT), sunrise, sunset, end of evening nautical twilight (EENT), moonrise, and moonset?

Will weather become better or worse during the mission?

How will fog, rain, dust, heat, snow, wind, or blowing sand affect the troops and equipment of both friendly and threat forces during the mission?

How will weather conditions affect the employment of chemical weapons and/or smoke?

2-26. Troops and Support Available. The platoon leader’s analysis of troops and support available for an operation includes an assessment of

Chapter 2 – Leadership Competencies

the platoon’s vehicles and equipment. His analysis should include the following considerations:

What is the present condition of the platoon’s soldiers, vehicles, and equipment?

What is the supply status of ammunition, fuel, and other necessary items?

What is the turnaround time for resupply operations (time between transmission of the request and delivery of supplies)?

What is the state of training of the platoon?

What is the state of morale?

How much sleep have the soldiers had?

How much sleep can they get before and during the operation?

Does the platoon need any additional equipment to support or accomplish its mission?

What attachments does the platoon have (or require) to accomplish its mission?

How many OPs (mounted/dismounted and long-/short- duration) can be manned with the available assets?

How big a frontage can be covered with the available assets?

2-27. Time Available. The platoon leader’s analysis of the time available for an operation begins with the “one-third/two-thirds” rule of planning and preparation discussed earlier in this section. This principle allows the platoon leader to use one-third of planning and preparation time himself, then to allocate the remaining two-third to subordinates. Additional considerations in the analysis should include the following:






to plan and conduct



How much time is available for rearming, refueling, and resupply?

How long will it take the platoon to move to planned OPs, to the line of departure (LD), and/or to the objective?

Is there enough time for rehearsals?


How much time is available to the threat for the activities listed in the previous items?

How does the potential threat timeline for planning and preparation compare with that developed for friendly forces?

2-28. Civil Considerations. In his analysis of how the platoon will handle situations involving civilians and other aspects of the civil environment (including stability operations and support operations), the platoon leader should assess the following considerations:

How will existing civil considerations affect the mission? What are the potential negative effects of civilian contact?

What are the applicable rules of engagement (ROE) and/or rules of interaction (ROI)?

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What procedures and guidelines will the platoon use in dealing with refugees, prisoners, and other civilians?

Will the platoon be working with civilian organizations, such as governmental agencies, private groups, or the media?

Will the platoon conduct stability operations (such as peace operations or noncombatant evacuation) or support operations (such as humanitarian or environmental assistance)? See the discussion of the multidimensional aspect of reconnaissance in Chapter 3 of this manual and the discussion of stability operations and support operations in Appendix D.

Information Sources

2-29. In planning and preparing for the mission, the platoon leader may find that he requires additional sources of information to help answer some of the questions raised in the analysis of METT-TC. The platoon can receive and/or request information from a variety of sources to assist in planning and understanding the operational area, including the following:

Paragraph 1 of the OPORD (especially those portions covering the threat and the applicable terrain and weather).

UAV imagery and video (such as photos/video of a route or danger area to assist with the METT-TC assessment).

Satellite imagery (for example, showing locations of increased military traffic).

Engineer database information on terrain, such as from the TERRABASE program.

HUMINT reports from brigade and higher, such as a human density overlay.

Assessments on the operational area.

Signal intelligence (SIGINT) and measurement and signal intelligence (MASINT) reports from the surveillance troop.

Risk Management

2-30. Leaders must make a thorough risk assessment, identifying and evaluating hazards the platoon will face during the operation. They then develop risk management controls and ensures that all subordinate leaders and individual scouts implement them to eliminate or reduce the risks. Refer to Appendix H of this manual for a detailed discussion of the risk management process.

Reverse Planning and Timeline Development

2-31. After completing his METT-TC analysis, the platoon leader conducts reverse planning to ensure that all specified, implied, and essential tasks can be accomplished in the time available. He develops a reverse planning schedule (timeline), as illustrated in Figure 2-2. Beginning with actions on the objective, he works backward through each step of the operation and then through preparation and planning activities to the present time. This process also helps the platoon in making efficient use of planning and preparation time.

Chapter 2 – Leadership Competencies

NOTE: Simultaneous planning and preparation are key factors in effective time management during the troop-leading process. The next five steps (issue a warning order; make a tentative plan; initiate movement; conduct reconnaissance; complete the plan) may occur simultaneously and/or in a different order. As noted, the final troop-leading step, supervise and refine, is on-going throughout the process.

supervise and refine, is on-going throughout the process. Figure 2-2. Example Reverse Planning Timeline ISSUE THE

Figure 2-2. Example Reverse Planning Timeline


2-32. After the platoon leader has analyzed his orders and worked out his mission and related tasks, he must quickly pass this information to his subordinate leaders. This is accomplished through the warning order. As a minimum, the following information must be included:

Elements and individuals to whom the warning order applies.

Threat situation as stated in the higher unit’s order.

FM 3-20.98

The time and nature of the operation.

The earliest time of movement.

Coordinating instructions, including an initial timeline.

The time and place the OPORD will be issued.

2-33. If possible, the platoon leader should issue a conventional (analog) and/or digital overlay of the area of operations. In the absence of further orders, this gives the platoon an idea of the scope of the operation. Also, the platoon leader should inform his subordinates of the results of his reverse planning process and delegate appropriate preparation tasks to the PSG and to the section and squad leaders. If possible, the platoon leader should also include the task organization of the platoon. In addition to accounting for all required preparatory tasks, the reverse planning schedule should include a sleep plan. All elements should acknowledge receipt of the warning order.

NOTE: The sleep plan should be a 24-hour plan with the goal of maximizing available time in the planning, preparation, and execution phases of the operation. It covers all platoon members.


2-34. Based on results of his mission analysis, the platoon leader develops a tentative plan that addresses all specified, implied, and essential tasks using the OPORD format (see Appendix A of this manual).


2-35. After issuing a warning order and making a tentative plan, the platoon leader may choose to initiate movement. The platoon leader should at least be able to determine when the platoon will move. He announces this in terms of a readiness condition (REDCON) level. Each REDCON level indicates critical tasks and time available to prepare for future operations. The following considerations apply:

REDCON-1 (be prepared to move immediately). These conditions are in effect:

All personnel alert and ready for action.

Vehicles loaded and secured, and weapons manned.


Vehicle engines running and OPs not manned. A variant of REDCON-1 is REDCON-1(-); the same conditions apply except that the vehicles are not started in REDCON-1(-). REDCON-2 (be prepared to move in 15 minutes).

All personnel alert.

OPs and wire pulled in.

REDCON-3 (be prepared to move in half an hour).

Fifty percent of each crew/squad stand down for rest, feeding, and maintenance.

Remaining 50 percent man vehicles, OPs, and weapons and monitor radios/phones.

Chapter 2 – Leadership Competencies

REDCON-4 (be prepared to move in one hour).

Two men per platoon make dismounted checks of platoon area.

One man per vehicle monitors radios/phones and mans turret weapon.

2-36. All personnel remain at 100 percent alert until prioritized mission preparations are complete. The platoon leader initiates the appropriate REDCON when the work is finished. As the time for mission execution nears, he increases the REDCON in accordance with guidance from higher, achieving REDCON-1 before the platoon must move.


2-37. This step of the troop-leading procedures allows the platoon leader to confirm the validity of his tentative plan and to refine the plan. The platoon leader should conduct the reconnaissance with his subordinate leaders. This will allow them to see the terrain and develop a better visualization of the projected plan. At a minimum, the platoon leader conducts this step as a detailed map reconnaissance. He should at least confirm his initial march route to the LD or start point (SP) and check initial positions. If possible, he should also check some of the area beyond the LD; this may require permission from the commander.

2-38. If the platoon leader cannot personally conduct on-site reconnaissance, he should make the most efficient use of available time by tasking his subordinates to accomplish specific reconnaissance requirements. An example of this is tasking a squad leader to reconnoiter and time routes to the SP. The platoon leader must conduct the reconnaissance with an open mind; not everything he sees will match his tentative plan. He must be flexible enough to change and competent enough to work out new plans rapidly.


For detailed discussions of reconnaissance procedures, refer to Chapter 3 of this manual.


2-39. The platoon leader refines his plan based on the results of the reconnaissance. He then completes the plan using these results and any new information from his commander and members of his platoon. He should keep the plan as simple as possible, at the same time ensuring that it effectively supports the commander’s intent.

2-40. As he completes and refines his plan, the platoon leader should consider delegating planning responsibilities to other members of the platoon. He can then use the information developed by these soldiers in developing his order and in establishing an effective platoon SOP. Examples of delegated planning responsibilities include the following:

The HUMINT NCO researches and briefs the threat/civilian situation.

A section sergeant researches and briefs terrain and weather.

An NCO sets up rehearsals.

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The PSG researches, plans, and briefs CSS considerations (such as MEDEVAC and vehicle recovery operations).

An NCO translates graphics to FBCB2 and overlays.

Section sergeants plan specific reconnaissance patrols in support of the overall mission.

An NCO plans and briefs occupation procedures for such areas as objective rally points (ORP), OPs, and surveillance sites.

An NCO plans and briefs specific communication issues (paragraph 5 of the OPORD).

An NCO plans and briefs specific coordinating instructions (such as the collection plan, actions on contact, special equipment, linkup tasks, and methods of handling EPWs).

A leader finalizes the risk management process, as outlined in Appendix J of this manual.

2-41. Using this type of planning delegation will help the platoon leader to ensure that his subordinate leaders are in synch with the plan. It also facilitates a more rapid planning process. The platoon leader must remain fully aware of all facets of the plan and of the activities of his subordinates. He must also give clear guidance for this technique to be successful.


2-42. The platoon leader issues his finalized order in the five-paragraph OPORD format, as discussed in Appendix A of this manual. He refers to notes to make sure he does not forget anything. He ensures that all subordinate leaders understand the entire plan as well as their particular portion of it. To ensure complete understanding of the operation, the platoon leader should end the order with a brief-back of key points by his leaders.

2-43. Whenever possible, the platoon leader should issue his order to the entire platoon. At a minimum, he should issue the order to his subordinate leaders and vehicle commanders. Once everyone has arrived at the place and time specified in the warning order, the platoon leader or PSG should ensure that everyone has recorded the applicable graphic control measures. The platoon leader should issue the revised operations overlay before he starts; he should have a copy of the graphics for each of his leaders. The PSG ensures that each subordinate leader’s overlay matches the platoon leader’s overlay. To use his time most efficiently, the platoon leader should use a walk-through rehearsal as part of his briefing of paragraph 3 of the order.

2-44. If he can issue the order from a favorable vantage point, the platoon leader can physically indicate the ground over which his scouts will maneuver. If a vantage point is not available, he can use a terrain cloth, sand table, or map as a reference. He leader should have a briefing kit available to build a model of the area of operations; items in the kit might include the following:

Nylon rope and nails or spikes.

“Micro” armor vehicles or other models.

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Preconstructed plexiglas squares for units and equipment (blue for friendly elements, red for threat forces).

Pens and markers.


Engineer tape.

Operational symbol cutouts.

Dry eraser board.

2-45. In extreme situations, FBCB2 allows the platoon leader to issue the OPORD to his sections or squads when they are widely dispersed and cannot gather at a central point. The platoon leader must alert his elements (via FM voice) that a new order is available on the FBCB2 and direct each element to acknowledge receipt of the order.


2-46. Flexibility is the key to effective operations. The reconnaissance platoon leader must be able to refine his plan whenever new information becomes available. If he adjusts the plan, he must inform the platoon and supervise implementation of the changes. Once the operation has begun, the platoon leader must be able to direct his platoon in response to new information and new situations.

2-47. Crew orders, rehearsals, and inspections are essential elements of the supervision process as the platoon prepares for the mission. The following discussion covers these procedures in detail.

Crew Orders

2-48. The platoon leader and PSG make sure all crewmembers have been briefed by their leaders or vehicle commanders and understand the platoon mission and concept of the operation. Combat orders are the means by which the platoon leader receives and transmits information, from the earliest notification that an operation will occur through the final phases of execution. They are absolutely critical to mission success. All members of the platoon must be familiar with the formats of warning orders, OPORDs, and FRAGOs. For a detailed discussion of combat orders, refer to Appendix A of this manual.


2-49. The platoon leader should never underestimate the value of rehearsals. They are his most valuable tools in preparing the platoon for the upcoming operation. Refer to FM 101-5 for a detailed discussion of rehearsal types, techniques, and procedures. The platoon leader uses well-planned, efficiently run rehearsals to accomplish the following purposes:

Reinforce training and increase proficiency in critical tasks.

Reveal weaknesses or problems in the plan.

Synchronize the actions of subordinate elements.

Improve each soldier’s understanding of the concept of the operation.

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2-50. Rehearsal Types. The platoon leader can choose among several types of rehearsals, each designed to achieve a specific result and with a specific role in the planning and preparation timeline. The following discussion focuses on the five rehearsal types.

2-51. Confirmation brief. The confirmation brief is, in effect, a reverse briefing process routinely performed by subordinate leaders immediately after receiving any instructions, such as an OPORD or FRAGO. They confirm their understanding by repeating and explaining details of the operation for their leader. In the reconnaissance platoon, the platoon leader should conduct confirmation briefs after his subordinate leaders have received the OPORD, but before other phases of the platoon rehearsal begin.

2-52. Backbrief. Leaders perform this type of rehearsal throughout the planning and preparation timeline to help clarify their intent for their subordinates. The backbrief allows the platoon leader to identify problems in his own concept of the operation and his subordinates’ understanding of the concept; he also uses the backbrief to learn how subordinates intend to accomplish their missions.

2-53. Support rehearsal. Support rehearsals are normally conducted within the framework of a single operating system, such as fire support or CSS, or a limited number of operating systems. The goals are to ensure that support elements can achieve their missions within the higher commander’s plan and that their support plans are synchronized with the overall maneuver plan. The rehearsals are conducted throughout the planning and preparation timeline.

2-54. Battle drill or SOP rehearsal. This type of rehearsal is used to ensure that all participants understand a technique or a specific set of procedures. The platoon initiates battle drill and/or SOP rehearsals as soon as possible after receipt of the mission; he then can continue to conduct them as needed throughout the planning and preparation timeline. This rehearsal does not necessarily cover a published drill or SOP, giving the commander or leader flexibility in designing the rehearsal. For example, the platoon leader could rehearse procedures for marking obstacle lanes or establishing local security. (NOTE: It is recommended that drills for actions on contact be rehearsed frequently during planning and preparation.)

2-55. Rehearsal Techniques. The platoon leader can choose among several techniques in conducting rehearsals, which should follow the crawl-walk-run training methodology to prepare the platoon for increasingly difficult conditions. As noted in FM 5-0 (FM 101-5), techniques for conducting rehearsals are limited only by the resourcefulness of the commander or leader; that manual outlines six basic techniques (full dress, reduced force, terrain model, sketch map, map, and radio). The following discussion covers these techniques, which are listed in descending order in terms of the preparation time and resources required to conduct them. Considerations in selecting a rehearsal technique include the following:

Time. How much time will be needed for planning, preparation, and execution?

Terrain. What are the applicable terrain considerations?

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Operations security (OPSEC). Will the rehearsal allow the threat to gain intelligence about upcoming operations?

Full force rehearsal. This rehearsal produces the most detailed

understanding of the mission, but is the most difficult to conduct in terms of preparation and resources. It involves every soldier and system participating in the operation. If possible, units should conduct the full force rehearsal under the same conditions (such as weather, time of day, terrain, and use of live ammunition) that they will encounter during the actual operation.

2-57. Reduced force rehearsal. This rehearsal normally involves only key leaders of the unit and is thus less extensive than the full dress rehearsal in terms of preparation time and resources. The commander decides the level of leader involvement. The selected leaders then rehearse the plan, if possible on the terrain to be used for the actual operation. The reduced force rehearsal is often conducted to prepare leaders for the full dress rehearsal.

2-58. Terrain model rehearsal. This is the most popular rehearsal technique, employing an accurately constructed model to help subordinates visualize the battle in accordance with the commander’s or leader’s intent. When possible, the platoon leader places the terrain model where it overlooks the actual terrain of the area of operations or is within walking distance of such a vantage point. Size of the model can vary, but it should be large enough to depict graphic control measures and important terrain features for reference and orientation. Participants walk or move “micro” armor around the table or model to practice the actions of their own vehicles in relation to other members of the platoon.

2-59. Sketch map rehearsal. Units can use the sketch map technique almost anywhere, day or night. Procedures are similar to those for the terrain model rehearsal. The sketch must be large enough to allow all participants to see as each subordinate “walks” through an interactive oral presentation of his actions. Platoon elements can use symbols or “micro” armor to represent their locations and maneuver on the sketch.

2-60. Map rehearsal. Procedures are similar to those for the sketch map rehearsal except that the commander or leader uses a map and operation overlay of the same scale as he used to plan and control the operation. This technique is useful in conjunction with a confirmation brief or backbrief involving subordinate leaders and vehicle commanders. The platoon leader uses the map and overlay to guide participants as they brief their role in the operation.

2-61. Radio rehearsal. The commander or leader conducts this rehearsal by having his unit simulate critical portions of the operation orally and interactively over established communications networks. The radio rehearsal may be especially useful when the situation does not allow the platoon to gather at one location. Subordinate elements check their communications systems and rehearse events that are critical to the platoon plan. To be effective, the radio rehearsal requires all participants


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to have working communications equipment and a copy of the OPORD and applicable overlays.


2-62. PCCs and PCIs allow leaders to check the platoon’s operational readiness. The key goal is to ensure that soldiers and vehicles are fully prepared to execute the upcoming mission. The platoon leader makes sure the entire chain of command conducts PCCs and PCIs in accordance with ST 3-20.983 or his own SOP.

2-63. Precombat Checks. Equipment operators, vehicle crewmen, and individual soldiers conduct PCCs before executing operations. These checks are designed to ensure that equipment is in working order, required supplies are on hand, and soldiers are ready to execute the mission. PCCs are conducted in accordance with appropriate technical manuals, supply catalogs, and unit SOPs. Areas covered by PCCs include the following:








essential equipment.


Vehicle load plans.

Inspections of TA-50 equipment.


NBC protective equipment (known as the ICE pack) and combat lifesaver bag inventories.

Resupply of rations, water, fuel, oil, all weapons, ammunition, pyrotechnics, first-aid kits, and equipment batteries (for such items as flashlights, night-vision devices, mine detectors, and NBC alarms).

Individual readiness. This includes ensuring that crewmembers understand the mission and tactical situation and are in the correct uniform and mission-oriented protective posture (MOPP) level.

Vehicle readiness, including camouflage and light leaks.

Prepare-to-fire checks for all weapons. This includes reporting or repairing deficiencies and making sure that weapons are boresighted and all sights are referred. Machine guns should be test-fired, if possible.

Communications checks, including radio, FBCB2, and tactical satellite (TACSAT) systems. This includes verifying proper uploading of data for digital equipment, proper filter settings, and integration of attached assets in digital systems.

2-64. Precombat Inspections. Leaders in the reconnaissance platoon conduct PCIs to ensure that subordinate leaders and soldiers have executed the necessary PCCs. Obviously, leaders cannot possibly check everything. They should focus on key pieces of equipment and details of the plan that are critical to mission accomplishment. The platoon leader and PSG should coordinate their inspections to make optimum use of available time and to avoid redundant inspections. PCIs must be completed in time to fix deficiencies before mission execution begins.


Chapter 2 – Leadership Competencies

Refer to ST 3-20.983 for a comprehensive precombat checklist that can be employed for both PCCs and PCIs.


2-65. Global commitments place requirements on the US Army to conduct short-notice deployments. The American military is transforming itself from a forward-deployed force to a power projection force. The characteristics of this type of organization have generated new interest in the TTP involved in deployment and in the process known as reception, staging, onward movement, and integration (RSOI). In planning and preparing for future operations, the US military is focusing on the strategy, tactics, and resources necessary to conduct two major, simultaneous regional contingency force projection scenarios. Such a situation will require forces to be at a high state of deployability.

2-66. The reconnaissance platoon will never deploy by itself; it will always be part of a larger organization. To ensure that the platoon is ready to fulfill its role in the power projection force, however, the platoon leader must understand the fundamentals of deployment and RSOI.


2-67. Execution of deployment and RSOI entails the following critical tasks and purposes:

Prepare for deployment. Purpose: To ensure necessary personnel and equipment are on hand and fully mission capable.

Execute deployment. Purpose: To carry out orders from higher headquarters and protect US national interest.

Conduct reception operations. Purpose: To receive all unit resources, personnel, and equipment at the entry point to the theater of operations.

Conduct staging operations. Purpose: To incrementally build forces capable of meeting the commander’s operational and tactical mission requirements by organizing personnel and material at designated areas and preparing them for movement.

Execute onward movement. Purpose: To relocate forces that are capable of meeting the commander’s operational and tactical requirements to the initial point of their mission execution by rail, road, boat, or air.

Execute integration. Purpose: To provide the commander with a synchronized force ready to conduct operations.


For more detailed discussions of deployment tasks and procedures, refer to FM 3-35 (FM 100-17) and to the RSOI appendix in FM 3-20.96.


2-68. The reconnaissance platoon leader should use the following guidelines to help ensure successful completion of deployment and RSOI:

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Adhere strictly to established timelines.







throughout the deployment/RSOI process.






preparations include the following:


The platoon is prepared to deploy 24 to 36 hours after notification.

Vehicles are loaded, inspected (using PCI procedures), and prepared for shipment by the appropriate means (rail, road, boat, or air).








established in the unit SOP.