Compiled by SSG Ramirez, Mark
This Infantryman General Knowledge packet is by no means an end all be all study packet. I developed this during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most units right now are at mission-essential status, so most soldiers are quarantined. I developed this as a more comprehensive general knowledge packet. I noticed most of the general knowledge packets or “Cherry Packets” that get handed out are just a bunch of acronyms for soldiers to memorize but no actual explanation of what they are or used for. I highly encourage you to dive into the actual doctrine for a more in-depth explanation. I’ve included the references where the information can be found. Take advantage of this extra free time you may have on your hands. Do something every day to make yourself better. Never let yourself get too comfortable or complacent.
SSG Ramirez, Mark (IG @taco_mark)
Operations (TC 3-21.76)
TROOP LEADING PROCEDURES
• Receive the mission
• Issue the warning order
• Make a tentative plan
• Initiate Movement
• Conduct Reconnaissance
• Complete the plan
• Issue the operations order
• Supervise and refine
Troop leading procedures are steps a leader does to prepare the unit to accomplish a tactical mission. The TLP starts when the leader is alerted for a mission or receives a change or new mission. Steps 3 through 8 are done in any order, or at the same time.
STEP 1. RECEIVE THE MISSION
The leader may receive the mission in an OPORD or a fragmentary order FRAGORD. The 1/3 – 2/3 rule only applies to the planning and preparation for an operation. Parallel planning occurs as the leader uses 1/3 of available planning and preparation time, and subordinates use the other 2/3. Emphasize conducting a hasty analysis with the primary focus on planning and preparation.
STEP 2. ISSUE A WARNING ORDER
The leader provides initial instructions in a WARNORD that contains enough information to begin preparation as soon as possible. The WARNORD mirrors the five-paragraph OPORD format and may include—
• Type of operation.
• General location of the operation.
• Initial operational timeline.
• Reconnaissance to initiate.
• Movement to initiate.
• Planning and preparation instructions (including planning timeline).
• Information requirements.
• Commander’s critical information requirements (CCIR).
STEP 3. MAKE A TENTATIVE PLAN
The leader develops an estimate of the situation to use as the basis for the tentative plan. This is the leader’s mission analysis. METT-TC is used when developing the tentative plan.
METT-TC stands for:
• Mission—task and purpose.
• Enemy—intentions, capabilities, and course of action.
• Terrain and weather—road condition, trafficability, and visibility.
• Troops and equipment—the condition of Rangers and their loads, number, and types of weapons and radios.
• Time—start time, release time, rate of march, and time available.
• Civilians—movement through populated areas, refugees, and OPSEC.
STEP 4. INITIATE MOVEMENT; STEP 5. CONDUCT RECONNAISSANCE; AND STEP 6. COMPLETE THE PLAN
The unit may need to begin movement while the leader is still planning or forward reconnoitering. This step may occur anytime during the TLP. If time allows, the leader makes a personal reconnaissance. When time does not allow, the leader makes a map reconnaissance. Sometimes, the leader relies on others (such as scouts) to conduct the reconnaissance. The leader completes the plan based on the reconnaissance and any changes in the situation.
STEP 7. ISSUE THE OPERATIONS ORDER
Platoon and SLs normally issue oral operation orders to aid subordinates in understanding the concept of the mission. If possible, leaders should issue the order with one or both of the following aids: within sight of the objective, on the defensive terrain, or on a terrain model or sketch. Leaders may require subordinates to repeat all or part of the order, demonstrate on the model or sketch, their understanding of the operation. They should also quiz their Soldiers to ensure that all Soldiers understand the mission.
STEP 8. SUPERVISE AND REFINE
The leader supervises the unit’s preparation for combat by conducting rehearsals and inspections. Rehearsals include the practice of having SLs brief their planned actions in execution sequence to the PL.
Gathering information is one of the most important aspects of conducting a patrolling operation. All information is quickly, completely, and accurately reported. Use the SALUTE report format for reporting and recording information.
If prisoners are captured during a patrolling operation, they should be treated according to the Geneva Convention and handled by the 5-S rule. Immediately after returning from a mission, the unit is debriefed. The 5-S format includes—
• Speed to rear
A WARNORD gives subordinate’s advance notice of an upcoming operation. This gives them time to prepare. A warning order is brief but complete. The 5 paragraphs of a WARNORD are,
An OPORD is a directive issued by a leader to subordinates in order to affect the coordinated execution of a specific operation. A five-paragraph format is used to organize the briefing, ensure completeness, and help subordinate leaders understand and follow the order. Use a terrain model or sketch, along with a map to explain the order. The five-paragraph format is,
• Command and Signal
A FRAGORD is an abbreviated form of an operation order, usually issued daily, which eliminates the need for restating portions of the OPORD. It is issued after an OPORD to change or modify that order or to execute a branch or sequel to that order.
(Rather than having you just memorize the TLP’s and paragraphs of an OPORD this is a brief explanation of what they are. Refer to The Ranger Handbook (TC 3-22.76) for a more in-depth explanation.)
During the planning process, the terrain model offers an effective way to visually communicate the patrol routes and detail actions on the objective. At a minimum, the model is used to display routes to the objective and to highlight prominent terrain features the patrol encounters during movement.
A second terrain model of the objective area is prepared. It should be large enough and detailed enough to brief the patrol’s actions on the objective. Make sure the following items are included in the terrain models:
• North seeking arrow
• Objective location
• Exaggerated terrain relief and water obstacles
• Friendly patrol locations
• Targets (indirect fires, including grid and type of round)
• Routes, primary and alternate
• Planned release points (RPs): ORP, linkup release point (LURP), RP
• Danger areas (roads, trails, open areas)
• Blowup of the objective area
• Some field expedient techniques that can be used to construct terrain models are:
• Use a 3” x 5” card from a meal, ready to eat (MRE) box, or piece of paper to label the objective or key sites
• Use string from the guts of 550 cord, or use colored tape to make grid lines. Identify the grids with numbers written on small pieces of paper
• Replicate trees and vegetation using moss, green or brown spray paint, pine needles, crushed leaves, or cut grass
• Use blue chalk; blue spray paint, blue yarn, tin foil, or MRE creamer to designate bodies of water
• Make North-seeking arrows from sharpened twigs, pencils, or colored yarn
• Use red yarn, 5.56-mm rounds, toy Rangers, or poker chips to designate enemy positions.
• Construct friendly positions such as security elements, support by fire (SBF), and assault elements using 5.56-mm rounds, toy Rangers, poker chips, small MRE packets of sugar and coffee, or preprinted acetate cards
• Use small pieces of cardboard or paper to identify target reference points (TRPs) and indirect fire targets. Show the grids for each point
• Construct breach, SBF, and assault positions using the same methods, again using colored yarn or string for easy identification
• Construct bunkers and buildings using MRE boxes, tongue depressors, or sticks
• Construct perimeter wire from a spiral notebook
• Construct key phase lines with colored string or yarn
• Use colored tape or yarn to replicate trench lines by digging a furrow and coloring it with colored chalk or spray paint.
5 PRINCIPLES OF PATROLLING
All patrols are governed by five principles: planning, reconnaissance, security, control, and common sense. In brief, each principle involves—
• Planning: quickly make a simple plan and effectively communicate it to the lowest level. A great plan that takes forever to complete and is poorly disseminated is not a great plan. Plan and prepare to a realistic standard and rehearse everything.
• Reconnaissance: your responsibility as a leader is to confirm what you think you know, and to learn that which you do not already know.
• Security: preserve your force as a whole. Every soldier and every rifle counts, either one could be the difference between victory and defeat.
• Control: clarify the concept of the operation and commander’s intent, coupled with disciplined communications, to bring every Soldier and weapon available to overwhelm the enemy at the decisive point.
• Common sense: use all available information and good judgment to make sound, timely decisions.
The leader leaves the unit for many reasons throughout the planning, coordination, preparation, and execution of the patrol mission. Each time the leader departs the patrol main body, a five-point contingency plan is issued to the leader left in charge of the unit. The patrol leader issues additional specific guidance stating what tasks are to be accomplished in his absence. The contingency plan is remembered using the memory aid GOTWA.
An ambush is a surprise attack from a concealed position on a moving or temporarily halted target. Ambushes are categorized as hasty or deliberate, divided into two types—point or area, and the formation is linear or L-shaped.
• Hasty. A unit conducts a hasty ambush when it makes visual contact with an enemy force and has time to establish an ambush without being detected. The actions for a hasty ambush are well-rehearsed so that Soldiers know what to do on the leader’s signal. They also know what actions to take if the unit is detected before it is ready to initiate the ambush.
• Deliberate. A deliberate ambush is conducted at a predetermined location against any enemy element that meets the commander’s engagement criteria. The leader requires the following detailed information in planning a deliberate ambush: size and composition of the targeted enemy, and weapons and equipment available to the enemy.
• Point. In a point ambush, soldiers deploy to attack an enemy in a single kill zone.
• Area. In an area, soldiers deploy in two or more related point ambushes.
• Linear. In an ambush using a linear formation, the assault and support elements deploy parallel to the enemy’s route. This positions both elements on the long axis of the kill zone and subjects the enemy to flanking fire. This formation can be used in close terrain that restricts the enemy’s ability to maneuver against the platoon or in open terrain, provided a means of keeping the enemy in the kill zone can be affected.
• L-shaped. In an L-shaped ambush, the assault element forms the long leg parallel to the enemy’s direction of movement along the kill zone. The support element forms the short leg at one end and at a right angle to the assault element. This provides both flanking (long leg) and enfilading (short leg) fires against the enemy. The L-shaped ambush can be used at a sharp bend in a trail, road, or stream. It should not be used where the short leg would have to cross a straight road or trail.
A PB is a security perimeter that is set up when a squad or platoon conducting a patrol halts for an extended period. Patrol bases should not be occupied for more than a 24-hour period (except in an emergency). A patrol never uses the same PB twice. a. Use. PBs are typically used:
• To avoid detection by eliminating movement.
• To hide a unit during a long, detailed reconnaissance.
• To perform maintenance on weapons, equipment, eat, and rest.
• To plan and issue orders.
• To reorganize after infiltrating an enemy area.
• To establish a base from which to execute several consecutive or concurrent operations.
A Battle Drill is a collective action rapidly executed without applying a deliberate decision-making process.
The Battle Drills are:
1) Platoon Attack
a) Squad Attack
2) React to contact
3) Break Contact
4) React to ambush
5) Knock out a bunker
6) Enter/Clear a building
7) Enter/Clear a trench
8) Initial breach of a mine wire obstacle