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Appendix A

Risk Management


A-1. Tough, realistic training conducted to standard is the cornerstone of Army warfighting skills. An intense training environment stresses both soldiers and equipment, creating a high potential for accidents. The potential for accidents increases as training realism increases. Thus realistic training poses a serious drain on warfighting assets. Commanders must find ways to protect their soldiers and equipment from accidents during realistic training to prepare for war. An accidental loss in war is no different in its effects from a combat loss; the asset is gone. Commanders must compensate for the numerical advantages of the threat by protecting their combat resources from accidental loss. How well they do this could be the decisive factor in winning or losing. Commanders and staffs can use this appendix as a guide for managing risk as it applies to their organization and mission.


A-2. Risk management is a tool leaders can use to make smart risk decisions in tactical operations. It allows leaders to execute more realistic training scenarios not otherwise possible because of the high probability of accidents. Risk management is a commonsense way of accomplishing the mission with the least risk possible. It is a method of getting the job done by identifying the areas that present the highest risk and taking action to eliminate, reduce, or control the risk. Risk management thereby becomes a fully integrated part of mission planning and execution.


A-3. Risk management is not complex, technical, or difficult. It is a comparatively simple decision making process--a way of thinking through a mission to balance mission demands against risks. Once understood, risk management is a way to put more realism into training without paying a price in deaths, injuries, or damaged equipment or all three. Risk management is not limited to training scenarios. It is performed during actual combat as well as in peacetime. Leaders must learn to assess risks during training events and apply the same techniques during combat actions. During combat, risks may be taken but only after they are evaluated and weighed as they are during training.


A-4. The commander is responsible for effectively managing risk. He must-

  • Willingly determine the proper balance that will achieve optimum, not just adequate, performance from their command.
  • Select the best risk-reduction options provided by the staff.
  • Accept or reject residual risk, based on perceived benefits.
  • Train and motivate leaders at all levels to effectively use risk management concepts.


A-5. The XO as director of the staff, ensures integration of risk management in all aspects of staff planning, directing, coordinating, and controlling to support force protection. In the risk management process, each staff officer must-

  • Recommend appropriate control measures.
  • Use risk management to assess his or her functional area.
  • Recommend appropriate control measures to reduce or eliminate risk.
  • Integrate selected risk control into plans and orders.
  • Recommend elimination of unnecessary safety restrictions that diminish training effectiveness.


A-6. Troop leaders must review control measures for feasibility. They must report risk issues beyond their control or authority to their seniors for resolution. Troop leaders must recommend changes to improve synchronization of their operations in support of the higher commander's plan. They must use the risk management process to identify, assess, and control hazards for their mission.



A-7. Identify the major events that are expected to occur during the operation and the hazards associated with all specified and implied tasks. A recommendation is to list major events chronologically and display them in a flow chart. This process will aid in the detection of specific risks associated with all specified and implied tasks. The staff reviews and expands, as appropriate, the list of hazards and major events during the war game. The objective is to reflect the total operation from the preparatory actions until the operation is completed or the next phase of operations is under way. This procedure helps to ensure that all significant hazards have been identified, and the staff can determine the appropriate force protection measures.


A-8. By assessing hazards and evaluating battlefield-framework synchronization, the staff can figure out the level of risk associated with a given hazard and decide where and when control measures are appropriate to protect the force.

A-9. Risk assessment matrices provide a simple analysis method of subdividing an operation into its major operational events to discover areas where the staff might eliminate or reduce risk. Each unit should develop its own risk assessment matrix with applicable major operational events similar to the one shown in TC 1-210. Units can use the risk assessment matrix alone or with other analysis techniques. The matrix is nearly always more effective than intuitive methods in identifying the extent of risk. When using a risk assessment matrix, the risk assessor must-

  • Review each situation to ensure he has evaluated all significant areas of concern, even if the matrix does not include them.
  • Use the matrix to analyze risk and target areas of concern for risk-reducing techniques.
  • Review individual areas of concern before recommending options. If an area of concern is off the scale in a particular situation, a higher decision level may be required than the risk gauge suggests.

A-10. Another technique the risk assessor can use is the METT-T risk assessment procedure. Leaders can subjectively decide the likelihood and extent of accidental loss based on this type of analysis. When using the METT-T format, the risk assessor must-

  • Determine the mission's complexity and difficulty.
  • Assess the enemy situation and identify specific hazards.
  • Consider all aspects of the terrain as well as weather and visibility.
  • Determine the supervision required and evaluate the experience, training, morale, and endurance of units and their equipment.
  • Determine the time available for planning and executing the mission.


A-11. Make risk acceptance decisions by balancing risk benefits against risk assessments. Complete a preliminary hazard analysis of these events. The preliminary hazard analysis is the initial examination of the hazards of an operation and their implications. It is normally based on the mission analysis and database review and takes place before the details of an operation have been completely defined. The objective of the preliminary hazard analysis is to define, at the earliest possible point in the operational life cycle, the hazards that can be expected. With proper controls, leaders can detect and eliminate unnecessary safety restrictions that impede the realism or effectiveness of training. Check for residual effects before implementing risk reduction options. Visualize what will happen once the option has been implemented. Sometimes reducing one risk will only introduce others. AR 385-10 provides a convenient list of actions that commanders and staff can use as an aid in ranking options. The staff must-

  • Identify hazards and assess risk.
  • Focus on critical events first.
  • Eliminate unnecessary risks.
  • Reduce the amount of mission essential and prudent risks by applying controls.
  • Develop control options which synchronize the operation that eliminate or reduce risks.
  • Recommend options for the commander's decision.


A-12. Integrate specific controls into plans, OPORDs, SOPs, training performance standards, and rehearsals. Knowledge of risk controls, down to the individual soldier, is essential for the successful implementation and execution of these controls.


A-13. The commander must enforce controls and standards. Leaders monitor, follow up, verify, and correct or modify, as appropriate, controls that the commander imposes on his subordinates. Monitoring the effects of risk reduction procedures is very important, especially for new and untested procedures. Only by seeing the character of operations can leaders fully appreciate risk implications. When monitoring operational activities, leaders must-

  • Avoid administrative intrusions on their subordinates' time.
  • Go where the risks are and spend time at the heart of the action.
  • Analyze and think through issues, not just watch.
  • Work with key personnel to improve operational procedures after the action. (Leaders must not hesitate to assess imminent danger issues on the spot.)
  • Fix systemic problems that are hindering combat effectiveness.
  • Capture and distribute lessons learned from mishaps and near misses for future use.


A-14. Leaders must also balance the cost of risks with the value of the desired outcome. They must consider and manage risks in making such decisions using the following three general rules:

  • Never accept an unnecessary risk. The leader who has the authority to accept or reject a risk is responsible for protecting his soldiers from unnecessary risks. If he can eliminate or reduce a risk and still accomplish the mission, the risk is unnecessary.
  • Make risk decisions at the appropriate level. The leader who must answer for an accident is the person who should make the decision to accept or reject the risk. In most cases, he will be a senior officer, but small unit commanders and first-line leaders might also have to make risk decisions during combat. Therefore, they should learn to make risk decisions during training.
  • Ensure that the benefits of a prudent risk outweigh the possible cost of the risk. Leaders must understand the possible risk and have a clear picture of the benefits to be gained from taking that risk.


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