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Speedy, brief, and accurate communication of information and instructions is crucial to getting your mission accomplished and to surviving in battle.



  • Provide advance notice of an action so that MP can use available time for preparations.
  • Are issued at each level down to the squad.
  • Are issued to subordinates in as much detail as possible.
  • Are issued as brief oral or written messages.
  • Are part of planning the use of available time; therefore, they should be kept simple.
  • Describe the operation and the preparations to be made before the OPORD is issued.
  • Have no prescribed format.


  • Coordinate actions to carry out the commander's plan for an operation.
  • Explain how leaders at different levels want the operation conducted.*
  • Have a great impact on how subordinate leaders employ their units and perform their missions.* (For example, the MP platoon leader's latitude to employ his unit could be restricted, based on how his company commander wants the operation conducted.)
  • May be written, oral, graphic (traces, overlays), or a combination of these forms.
  • Are usually written when prepared at company level and above.
  • Are usually verbal and may or may not include overlays when issued at platoon level and below. (Written OPORDs at this level can be issued if time allows.)
  • Always follow a prescribed format, when written, that contains a classification, heading, body, and ending.
  • Have a prescribed five-paragraph format for the body of the order (STANAG 2014).
  • Have a standardized system of designating days and hours in relation to an operation or exercise (STANAG 1001). For more information on OPORDs, see FM 101-5.


  • Issue supplemental instructions to a current OPORD or plan while the operation is in progress.
  • Contain missions of immediate concern to subordinate units.
  • May be either written or oral.
  • Provide brief, specific, and timely information without loss of clarity.
  • Have no prescribed format; however, to prevent confusion it follows the basic format of the five-paragraph order.
  • May be issued to change an order that has already been issued. As such, only those items from the original order that have changed are included in the FRAGO, so long as clarity is not sacrificed.


  • Prescribe routine methods to be followed in operations.
  • Supplement other combat orders.
  • Reduce the number, length, and frequency of other orders. Because the SOP is a standing order, the information contained therein need not be repeated in other orders unless emphasis is desired.
  • Have no prescribed format. However, subordinate unit SOPs should follow, insofar as possible, the format of the next higher headquarters' SOP.
  • Will normally prescribe actions of a recurring nature that lend themselves to definite or standardized procedures. Examples may include troop safety matters, methods of reporting unit locations, measures for handling captured personnel or equipment, distribution of supplies, standard communication procedures for exercising command and control, and other items that lend themselves to standardization. These items are generally the constants in what is otherwise a frequently changing set of circumstances.


MP leaders at all echelons must see that echelon orders address MP missions/concerns as well as ensure the orders publish information provided by MP that must be known by other units and forces. MP missions and concerns should be addressed in echelon operations orders where the placement of that information will ensure MP operations receive the integrated and synchronized non-MP actions or support that they need if they are to be successfully accomplished. (Perhaps this can best be done by ensuring the right personnel are present at order briefs and orders production points coordinated by the G/S3 or chief of staff.)

At division and lower, MP actions are best addressed in the basic order (in the execution paragraph, in subparagraphs, in instructions to subordinate units, or in coordination instructions of the standard five-component operations order [situation, mission, execution, service support, and command and signal]). The location of EPW collecting points and holding areas, for example, should go in the coordinating instructions so all parties, not just MP, will know their locations.

At corps, because of the scope of the order, MP actions are usually addressed in one or more annexes to the basic order.

  • The Task Organization annex lists the MP units supporting the operation, along with any units that will be augmenting the MP to accomplish the MP mission.
  • The Intelligence annex addresses measures for handling captives (provided by the PM to the G2) and captured documents or materiel. (The annex gives instructions for operations that are not addressed in the SOP or modifies the SOP for the current operation.) The annex addresses special handling of captives, segregation instructions, the location of EPW collecting points. It designates items or categories of enemy materiel required for examination and gives instructions for processing and disposition of captured materiel and documents.
  • The Operations Overlay, the graphic support for the scheme of maneuver, shows critical facility locations, traffic control posts and other MSR regulation measures. (MP provide information to DTO/MCC for the traffic circulation plan on which this is based.)
  • The Service Support annex contains MP-provided information on traffic control, MSR regulation measures, and EPW evacuation. Medical services information on evacution and hospitalization of nonambulatory sick or wounded EPWs also appears in this annex. So too does the control and disposition of stragglers, the location of straggler collecting points, and special instructions for straggler control augmentation in case of mass attacks. When applicable, policies on the use and restriction of civilians, enemy prisoners of war, and civilians internees or detainees as labor, and the designation and location of labor units appear in this annex.
  • The Civil-Military Operations annex contains MP- and DTO-provided information on refugee control routes and control measures.
  • A separate MP annex if the degree of MP activity requires it, could contain the traffic control plan and overlay, battlefield law and order instructions for MP to follow, and/or EPW evacuation procedures.
  • At TAACOMs MP provide information for incorporation into the echelon administrative and logistics orders.


Military Police routinely provide timely information up the chain of command in the form of administrative, operational, and intelligence reports. Such reports help ensure that the commander has continuously available the current and critical information that he requires.

* To ensure maneuver and other non-MP units carry out action or provide a form of support that MP plans and operations depend on, you must make every effort to have the required actions or support stated in the coordinating instructions paragraph of the division and/or brigade OPORD.

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