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"A man's got to know his limitations" -Inspector Harry Callaghan AKA Dirty Harry

John Mosby wrote a post worth thinking about.

-John's half sarcastic point that we all need to train to measurable standards or we honestly don't have a clue where we are is 100% valid. We really do have to train to measurable standards, otherwise it is just screwing around. How ever I sort of look at this article from a different angle. 

-As an 'O' in the Army I am not a trigger puller per se. My primary job, at least in a general sense, is planning and supervising operations both in garrison and the field. It would be reasonable, though simplistic, to say as an Officer my job is to assess situations, make plans to achieve a desired end state, help to ensure those things are properly executed then adapt those plans as needed. I guess the point is I plan a lot of stuff.

-During the planning of an operation at work we are encouraged to use METT-TC to understand the situation prior to making a plan. METT-TC means Mission, Enemy, Terrain, Troops, Time, Civil Considerations. Moving past the other pieces since they are not part of this discussion we can focus on the Troops piece.

-What I am getting at is that leaders/ planners need to know their people's equipment, skills, fitness, maintenance status, capabilities, supply situation and current state of health/ rest.

-While it should be obvious why we need to know this stuff let me illustrate. Say the goal is to conduct a raid on an enemy outpost of several men with 1x light armored vehicle with medium machine gun. Am I a Mech Infantry Platoon Leader with 2x M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, 2x medium machine guns, a gaggle of light machine guns and 30 some odd decently trained fit soldiers? Am I an SF A Team leader with a dozen very well trained very fit guys, probably a couple of medium machine guns, maybe a DM/ sniper rifle or two? Am I a leader of a local guerrilla group with a dozen guys of very questionable fitness levels armed with a mix of civilian military pattern (AK/ AR/etc) and hunting rifles whose standard of marksmanship is hitting an 8" paper plate 8/10 times at a hundred meters?

-Are my guys healthy and well rested or have they been fighting out in the woods for a week or two strait with maybe 3 hours of broken up sleep between guard shifts per 24 hour period? Have they been well fed or have we been on starvation rations? Do we have enough ammo/ batteries/ etc or are we short?

-What I am getting at is that the honest no crap capabilities of your force matter significantly when you go to make and then ultimately try to execute a plan. If your troops can't hit squat past a hundred meters then a 'long range ambush' from 400 meters is just a waste of ammo. If your troops can't get their fat non muscular selves over an 8 foot wall then you better come up with a plan that doesn't involve climbing over the wall. If your only potential 'covert operative' is a white guy with a crew cut, USMC tat's and a Southern Drawl you are not going to infiltrate the local La Raza branch.

-Make reasonable plans based on the force you have, not the one you wish you had.

Author: Theother Ryan
Posted: October 8, 2015, 11:07 pm

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