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MILITARY BRIEFINGS

Briefings are a way to present information to commanders, staffs, or other specific audiences. You decide which techniques to use depending on the purpose of the briefing, the response you want, and your role as briefer. There are four types of military briefings: 1. Information briefing 2. Decision briefing 3. Mission briefing 4. Staff briefing

Information Briefing
The information briefing aims to inform the listener and gain his or her understanding. This type of briefing does not include conclusions and recommendations, nor does it require decisions. It deals primarily with facts. You state that the briefing’s purpose is to provide information and that it requires no decision. You briefly introduce and define the subject to orient the listener, and then present the information. Examples of situations requiring an information briefing are high-priority information requiring immediate attention; complex information, such as complicated plans, systems, statistics, or charts, that require detailed explanation; and controversial information requiring analysis.

The staff officer presents a recommended solution resulting from analysis or study of a problem or problem area. alternative solutions.” Purpose and scope. you should state that you are seeking a . Explain the briefing’s classification. 3. Explain any special procedures (demonstrations. Be prepared to answer questions at any time. I’m Captain Jones. Their level of detail depends on the level of command and how well the decisionmaker knows the subject. Plan effective transitions from one main point to the next. In this case. Address the person(s) you are briefing. “The purpose of this briefing is to bring you up to date on our battalion’s General Defense Plan. however. Briefly restate your main ideas and make a concluding statement .” 2. Decision briefings may be formal or informal. I’ll refer to maps of our sector. “Good morning. Closing Ask for questions. and then my assistant will bring out a sand table to show you the expected flow of battle. Identify yourself and your organization. the briefing should include any assumptions you used in analyzing the problem. General Smith. You must be ready. the conclusions. reasons behind your recommendation. the S3 of the 1st Bn 28th Artillery. When the officer receiving the briefing knows the problem somewhat and has some information relating to it.” Outline or procedure. “This is a SECRET information briefing. Give the big picture first: explain your briefing’s purpose and scope. facts. Use visual aids correctly to emphasize your main ideas.Format for an Information Briefing 1. essential background information.” Type and classification. and the coordination involved. “During my briefing. facts bearing on the problem. then a more detailed briefing is necessary. to present your assumptions. you normally limit the briefing to a statement of the problem. At the outset of the briefing. If the officer you are briefing doesn’t know the problem and the facts surrounding it. I’ll discuss the six phases of our plan. and the coordination involved. Briefly summarize the key points and your general approach. and a recommended solution. Decision Briefing The decision briefing aims to obtain an answer or a decision. Introduction Greeting. a discussion of the alternatives. or tours). displays.” or “I will cover the battalion’s action during the first 72 hours of a general alert.” or “This is an UNCLASSIFIED information briefing. Body Arrange the main ideas in a logical sequence.

Explain any criteria you used to evaluate your courses of action (screening and evaluation). Discuss the various options for solving the problem. or instil an appreciation for a mission. give specific instructions.Discuss each course of action’s relative advantages and disadvantages. Remember that an objective presentation highlights both positive and negative facts. if you do not receive a decision. Body Key facts bearing upon the problem. Request a decision Mission Briefing You use a mission briefing to provide information. Following the briefing. Include the pertinent facts that might influence the decision. a staff officer. You should be certain that you understand the decision thoroughly. Also include any necessary assumptions you made to bridge any gaps in the facts. If you are uncertain. Introduction Begin with a military greeting followed by a statement of the type. Show how the courses of action rate against the evaluation criteria. ask for it. Courses of action. Restate the recommendation so that it only needs approval/disapproval. 2. (Who the briefing officer is depends on the nature of the mission or the level of the headquarters.decision. A single briefing officer. Open with a brief description of the problem and a summary recommendation. Comparison. you must be sure to inform the next leader in the succession of command of the commander’s decision if the chief of staff was not present. and purpose of the briefing. who may be the commander. Conclusion Describe why the selected solution is best. classification. an assistant. Analysis. or a special representative. 4.) Army leaders also use mission briefings in critical situations when they need to provide individuals or smaller units with . ask for clarification. You can help eliminate possible ambiguities by preparing a precisely worded recommendation that can be used as a decision statement. 3. Questions 5. At the conclusion of the briefing. 6. Format for a Decision Briefing 1. usually presents it.

In combat. Format for a Mission Briefing 1. deputies or assistants. One form of staff briefing is the presentation of staff estimates that result in the commander’s decision to adopt a specific course of action. and explains the significance of each individual’s role. Generally. warning order. chief of staff (executive officer). Mission c. the commander. staff officers involved follow the general pattern set forth for the staff estimate they are presenting. The chief of staff (executive officer) usually presides over the staff briefing. Situation b. Service support e. In garrison. and ways to overcome them 2. Purposes of a mission briefing Give specific instructions. The mission briefing reinforces orders. the decision briefing. Execution d. and the mission briefing. The mission briefing serves to— • Issue or elaborate on an operation order. Attendance at staff briefings varies with the size of the headquarters. staff briefings often occur on a regularly scheduled basis. In this type of briefing. problems they may confront. . or present guidance. Each staff officer is prepared to brief on his or her area of responsibility. and so forth • Instil a general appreciation of a mission • Review the key points of a forthcoming military operation • Ensure that participants know the mission’s objective. issue directives.more information than plans and orders contain. and the commander’s personal desires. The staff briefing may include characteristics of the information briefing. Format The mission briefing uses the five-paragraph operation order format: a. staff briefings are held when the situation requires. Representatives from major subordinate commands may also be present. He or she calls on staff representatives to present matters that interest those present or that require coordinated staff action. provides more detailed requirements and instructions for each individual. the type of operation under way. announce decisions within a command. and coordinating and special staff officers attend. It may exchange information. Command and signal Staff Briefing The staff briefing’s purpose is to ensure a coordinated or unified effort.

commanders of subordinate units • Others as deemed necessary 3. depth of content.” You initially estimate the deadlines for each task. You should always take into account the availability of physical facilities. his deputy.step process. you should ask about the particular officer’s desires. You should carefully schedule your preparations and formulate a “briefing outline. you’ll find giving briefings easier and easier—you might even look forward to them! 1. . and the preparatory effort needed. it’s time to prepare. Analyze the Situation You analyze the audience and the occasion by asking: • Who am I briefing and why? • How well does the audience know the subject? • What does the audience expect from me? Before briefing an officer the first time. and graphic artists. Are you to present facts or to make a recommendation? The purpose determines what kind of briefing you present.Format for a Staff Briefing 1. The time allocated for a briefing will dictate the style. schedule facilities for rehearsal. Don’t wring your hands or get stressed about what to do next. You must understand the purpose of the briefing. Attendees • The commander. and chief of staff • Senior representatives of primary/special staff. Common procedures • The person who convenes the staff briefing sets the agenda • The chief of staff or executive officer normally presides • Each staff representative presents information on his or her particular area • The commander usually concludes the briefing but may take active part throughout Four Steps to Effective Presentations Once you’ve received your instructions to present a briefing. Purposes of a staff briefing The staff briefing serves to: • Keep the commander and staff abreast of the current situation • Coordinate efforts through rapid oral presentation of key data 2. You prepare a detailed presentation plan and coordinate with your assistant. and request critiques from others. visual aids. if any. If you use the following four.

don’t permit questions to distract you from your planned briefing. and place of the briefing and the ranks. If the briefing will answer the question later. names. If the briefing calls for a decision. avoid a long introduction or summary • You must arrive at conclusions and recommendations logically • You must be ready for interruptions and questions at any point If someone interrupts you. Be sure to include who is to take action. You maintain a relaxed but military bearing. The MFR is distributed to staff sections or agencies that must act on the decisions or instructions it contains and those whose operations or plans it may influence. The following are the major steps you should take to prepare a briefing: • Collect material • Know the subject thoroughly • Isolate the key points • Arrange the key points in logical order • Provide supporting data to validate the key points • Select visual aids • Choose the wording you will use • Rehearse before a knowledgeable person who can critique your briefing 3. and accurate. Construct the Briefing The briefing’s construction will vary with its type and purpose. You use natural gestures and movement. and positions of those present. relaxed. but avoid distracting mannerisms. The MFR should record the subject. objective. Concisely record the briefing. clearly enunciated and obviously based on full knowledge of the subject. At the same time. You must be aware of the following: • Your basic purpose is to present the subject as directed and to ensure the audience understands it • You must be brief. You must be prepared to offer evidence to support any part of your briefing. You should anticipate possible questions and be ready to answer them. A confident. answer each question before proceeding or explain that you will answer the question later in the briefing.2. you should make specific reference to the earlier question when you introduce the relevant material. or approval with modification. date. Follow Up When the briefing is over. Your presentation should be concise. as well as any instruction or directed action. The analysis just described gives you the basis for determining this. CONCLUSION . you should submit a draft of the MFR to the decision maker for correction before you prepare it in final form. Deliver the Briefing A briefing’s success depends on how you present it. including recommendations with approval. disapproval. forceful delivery. and the decision maker’s intent is not clear. time. you prepare a memorandum for the record (MFR). helps convince the audience. 4.

and how well you say it. What document is prepared when the briefing is over? What information does it contain? MILITARY BRIEFINGS: KEY . logically organized the information and prepared yourself. Formal presentations and briefings are how the military communicates. The Army expects officers to master four types of briefings during their careers—information. What are the four steps you must take to present effectively? 4.Mastering the spoken word is essential for all officers. What are the four types of military briefings and how do you distinguish among them? 2. decision. What makes the delivery of the briefing successful? 5. You are the expert! Present with confidence. 4. Analyze your situation. will be major factors in how others assess your leadership. Each of these follows the same four-step process: 1. mission and staff briefings. 2. Learning Assessment 1. 3. What you say. Remember: You’ve studied the subject. Follow up. Deliver or present the briefing. Construct your briefing. Which type of briefing can include characteristics of the other types? 3.

Each type has a different purpose (to provide information. 3. It contains the subject. the staff briefing. 2. and time of the briefing and the information about those present. follow up. construct the briefing. appropriate body language. to ensure coordinated effort) and a different format. the decision briefing. Confidence. date. place. the mission briefing. as well as instructions or directed action (and who is to take action).1. The information briefing. etc. . Analyze the situation. to give instructions. 4. deliver the briefing. It should also include the recommendations. clear enunciation. The staff briefing. 5. A memorandum for record (MFR). to obtain a decision.