I was wondering if any of you out there would be willing to share some tips on more effective ways of taking down OpOrds (for the purpose of turning around to issue to my troops, be it a platoon or squad).
I'm an MSIII this year and it seems like I'm just constantly scrambling to get everything down. I already use an Opord skeleton but am looking to be even more efficient than that.
well i am company CO over here so i more give the opord than receive, but i can say you need to keep in mind two levels higher. for a squad, think of company co's intent, for a platoon you need to think of battalion level intent.
you should also think 2 levels lower - as a PL, plan down as far as team leaders (if your unit has them).
on your notepad, which you should have with you AT ALL TIMES in uniform (at labs, in class, during PT but naturally don't carry it while you're running and stuff, ground it somewhere), write down what the opord consists of. any time you need to issue one, you'll always have it there to look at.
I just had a sneaky idea. In the Army, you rarely issue whole OPORDs. When you go to the field or deploy, you do so over one overarching OPORD (and its usually HUGE!!!). When missions change, you more often than not do a FRAGO (Fragmentary Order). In it, you put down something like "no change" if things stay the same and just focus on what is different(more often than not just the "Execution" portion).
It may work or it may not. Either way, I bet you'll impress the Hell out of whomever is monitoring you! One tip though. Dont do this at LDAC until youve tried it out at your school .
That's because your OPORDs down at UPark are way too long. Read FM 7-8. Talking to *****Removed for OPSEC******, a platoon OPORD should fit on a single page of paper (front and back). You have to give your subordinates latitude.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Sekar,
Excellent point. At company level and below, an OPORD should be a very simple and concise document. No need to re-invent the wheel.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Sekar,
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THINK OPSEC! No posting of names of personnel on Active Duty. This is to include Guard, Reserves, and Retirees on Active Duty. This will also include duty stations, rank, unit, and other sensitive information that may be used by the enemy who DOES read through these forums. Repeat violations of this type will be dealt with harshly. OPSEC is a serious matter.
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Sorry Sekar, I thought that due to his position (ROTC Instructor) his name would not be OPSEC (same with recruitors).
I would respectfully disagree with a lot of the what some people on here has given as advice for OPORDS. There have been a lot of people saying to limit the size and complexity of your opords and to use a lot of no change and stuff. I would tend to say just the opposite, (for as far as ROTC is concerned, in the actual army I would absolutely take this advice), but im my experience with ROTC the lane graders tend to want to be wowed with how much you know, and the more minutely you plan your missions the better it is going to look for you, as well as the better your lane will run (less ways for people to screw up by thinkin too much). When it comes down to it ROTC is all about getting that good evaluation, and it worked for me I graduated in my platoon top 5 this past year and one of the biggest things they said to me for my evaluations was that my opords were fantastic.
Now to answer your original question, using the opord skeleton is a great tool to take down all of the required information, I used one on every one of the lanes I did (it also helps to make a **** load of extras to use when you are a recorder for others, got myself a spot report for that). But beyond using the skeletons you need to practice a lot, at my school we routinely did 18 min drills where we would receive an opord, plan our mission and be ready to breif in 18 mins. Doing this you get to learn when you can shut off your brain and when you really have to listen.
For instance you really have to listen when receiving the mission paragraph, but you can shut off your brain and catch up on other things when they are reading the left and right units for the platoon (remember you don't breif that, your left and right units will be your second and third squads as a squad leader). Little tricks like that will get you going far. Other than that I allways started my skeleton with the troop leading procedures and checked each off as I went just to make sure I didnt miss any steps, and at the end I had a list of common questions that I would routinely ask after an opord brief.
O yeah and also in my skeleton I had a complete list of all of the normal things that they would list for PIR, and Reports and then instead of trying to write them all down I would just circle the ones they briefed. That helped a lot as well.
Overall just be confident in what you are breifing and be complete, and remember practice makes perfect.
Lets see how OPSEC this is...
GeraldM goes to XYZ university.
Lets see their website....
Bam, i have a list of all cadre with names and phone numbers...
I dont think posting a cadres name is in violation of OPSEC, but i clearly see your bigger picture you're getting to.
I always thought the Army followed the policy "Train as you fight." Guess with LDAC that doesn't apply.
In FM 7-8 it says very directly assert as little control as absolutely possible in order to give your subordinates the greatest latitude.
First of all OPSEC rule prevents you from posting picture AND name/info for everyone except the commander, however, you are allowed to post one OR the other online.
For Oporders practice is key. with more practice you will learn which parts you need an which parts you don't. at camp this summer during patrolling I was able to recieve an oporder and turn around and brief it in 2 minutes why? because when i was recieving the PLT oporder I was writing the SQD oporder because I knew which pieces went where.
As already stated, You don't have to listen to L unit and R unit at PLT level, you fill that in once you get to the concept of the operation and they tell you the other SQDs mission.
your mission paragraph is just your SQDs info from the concept of the operation and you decide who does what for your sqd.
the more you practice and become familiar with the parts of an oporder the easier it gets!
Thank you all for your responses!
And GeraldM, if we trained as we fought in ROTC we'd actually do some MOUT and convoy training, but for whatever reason they've decided to teach us all that at BOLC II.
We do at least one lab of MOUT at Altoona (though that is not enough at least it something) though convoy training is a bit hard seeing as we have no appropiate buildings, and even if we could I don't think the neighborhood would appreciate what they believed were armed soldiers (the rubber duckies look real from the distance) moving through the town.
But that is irrevelant as OPORDs are something you can train as you fight very easily. The stuff you're talking about is much more difficult.
Note: My ROTC company has a close working relationship with the local Guard unit. We get to use their raid house to practice MOUT and they allow us to use their Landnav site and use their M-16s to train in how to field-strip.
on the whole train as you figh concept, I absolutely agree, we should train as we fight, unfortunately cadet command doesn't go by that theory. We in ROTC are training using vietnam era equipment and practicing all of our battle drills in a forested environment.
What I am trying to get at here is that the main focus in ROTC isn't the tactics, they just use those tactics as a medium to evaluate leadership abilities. The focus in ROTC is not how well you know or execute the battle drills but rather how you think about them, and the only way that they can see that stuff is by your OPORDs they are the single most important thing that the evaluator sees. In fact most evaluators have 75% of the evaluation done by the end of your OPORD. Now you don't have to take my advice and you can do your OPORDs the way you want to do them, I was simply telling what helped make me very successful at LDAC. Its all about situational awareness, just because that's the way they do it in the big army doesn't mean that it will fly in Cadet land. You gotta play the game.
I'm not criticising you whatsoever, I'm criticising Cadet Command for their attitude.
amen to that. we spend 3 years of ROTC studying for the test instead of preparing ourselves for the real world.
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