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Orders and Annexes

Orders and annexes are critical components of the brigade's engineer C2. The brigade engineer, through the brigade commander, exercises functional control over the engineer operations within the brigade sector by including critical instructions in the brigade order and the engineer annex. The supporting company commander also issues unit orders to exercise unit control over engineer forces under his command. The products from the brigade engineer and the company commander must work together to synchronize and coordinate engineer support to the brigade.


Figure B-1 is a sample format of the brigade OPORD. Paragraphs in which engineer input is required are bolded.


The engineer annex contains information not included in the base brigade order that is critical to the brigade engineer plan or required for subordinate engineer planning. It does not include instructions or orders directly to engineer units. All instructions or tasks are addressed to maneuver brigades, not supporting engineer units. More importantly, the engineer annex covers critical aspects of the entire engineer plan, not just parts that pertain to engineer units. The engineer annex is not a replacement for the engineer company order. For example, it does not give subunit orders and service-support instructions to engineer units remaining under brigade control; those orders and instructions are contained in the engineer company order. The engineer annex should meet the following general criteria:

  • Includes critical information derived from the EBA process.
  • Contains all critical information and tasks not covered elsewhere in the order.
  • Does not contain items covered in SOPs unless the mission requires a change to the SOP.
  • Contains information and tasks directed to major subordinate elements of the division, not supporting engineer units.
  • Avoids qualified directives and is clear, complete, brief, and timely.
  • Includes only information and instructions that have been fully coordinated with other parts of the OPORD, brigade commander, and staff.

The engineer annex includes any combination of written instructions, matrices, or overlays to convey the necessary details of the engineer plan. The engineer annex outlined in the following paragraphs provides a standard format for both offensive and defensive operations. This format standardizes the organization of information included as written instructions. The actual content depends on the type of brigade operation and engineer plan. A standardized annex format makes it easier for the engineer staff officer to remember what should be included and for subordinate staff officers to find required information. The format tailors the standard five-paragraph order to convey critical information.

Matrices may be used as part of the body of the engineer annex or as separate appendices. Matrices are used to quickly convey or summarize information not needing explanation, such as logistics allocations, obstacle zone priorities and restrictions, or task summary (execution matrix). Finally, overlays are used to give information or instructions and expedite integration into the overall combined arms plan. At division level, information included on overlays may include but is not limited to--

  • All existing and proposed friendly obstacles and control measures (obstacle zones, restrictions, and lanes; directed or reserve targets; and brigade-level situational obstacles, including associated NAI/TAI and decision points).
  • Known and plotted enemy obstacles (must also be on situation template).
  • Logistics locations and routes, as they apply to engineer operations.
  • NBC-contaminated areas.

Figure B-2 is a sample format of a written engineer annex. Figure B-3 provides a sample matrix and overlay.


The company commander uses a unit order to exercise unit control over engineer units remaining under his command. At the outset of an operation, the company commander uses his order to--

  • Effect the necessary task organization of engineers in the brigade.
  • Assign initial missions.
  • Establish sustainment integration with the FSB.

Once the task organization is effective and during combat operations, the company commander directs subsequent unit orders only to those engineers under his command. Orders, missions, and instructions to engineers supporting maneuver battalions in command relationships are included as tasks to the battalions in the brigade order.

The brigade engineer issues WARNORDs to all engineers supporting the brigade to facilitate parallel planning within engineer units and any engineer TFs. WARNORDs to engineers supporting maneuver battalions are for planning only and are not executive.


The purpose of the WARNORD is to help engineer staff officers and engineer units initiate planning and preparations for an upcoming operation. The WARNORD is critical to foster parallel planning at the engineer unit and maneuver battalion levels.

There is no prescribed format for the WARNORD. It may be either written or verbal but should include the following information:

  • Heading.
  • Situation.
  • Attachments and detachments.
  • Earliest time of move.
  • Nature and time of operation.
  • Time and place of orders group.
  • Administrative/logistical information.
  • Acknowledge.


WARNORDs must always begin with the words "Warning Order. " This is to ensure that recipients understand the information is for use only as a basis for planning and will be followed by orders. The addressees should also be listed in the heading. The brigade engineer's WARNORD to the unit should address all engineer units supporting the brigade.


This section includes a brief description of friendly and enemy situations and critical events. It may also include probable missions for the brigade and specified or implied tasks, and it may assign tentative tasks for planning only to engineer units.

Attachments and Detachments

This section gives tentative and known changes to the task organization. However, it must be clear to engineers supporting the maneuver battalions that changes in task organization are for planning and are not effective until after an order is received from the brigade by the supported battalion.

Earliest Time of Move

This section states the earliest possible time that units must be ready to move. The company commander may give actual movement times, if known, to units under his command. The earliest time of move is critical to synchronizing sustainment operations to support future missions.

Nature and Time of Operation

This section provides recipients with as much information about the brigade plan as possible to foster parallel planning and preparations and to set priorities. Depending on the maturity of the planning process, this section may include a concept of engineer operations or tentative scheme of engineer operations. Orders for preliminary action may also be included, such as--

  • Assigning engineer tasks, such as tactical/technical reconnaissance.
  • Establishing Class IV/Class V supply points.
  • Moving to linkup points.

These orders are normally qualified as "be-prepared" or "on-order" tasks, depending on how the plan is established. Orders to engineers supporting maneuver battalions are always on-order tasks, with execution instructions coming through maneuver headquarters-generated orders.

Time and Place of Orders Group

Engineer units under the brigade commander are told when and where to receive the entire order and who will attend. Units should identify the composition of the orders group in their SOP.

Administrative and Logistical Information

This includes instructions and warning information on changes in unit logistics operations and linkup with maneuver sustainment systems, as required by future operations. This information may also direct movement to assembly areas and provide instructions for sustainment after movement.


An acknowledgment of receipt is always required to ensure that the WARNORD is received by all addressees.


The DIVEN commander issues OPORDs to all engineer units under his command. Once the task organization is effected, all instructions and missions to engineers supporting maneuver battalions are conveyed in brigade orders and are addressed to the maneuver battalion commanders. The engineer company OPORD is outlined in the following paragraphs (see Figure B-4 for an example). Figure B-5 shows an engineer execution matrix. When the order is an OPLAN instead of an OPORD, the assumptions on which the plan is based are included at the end of the "Situation" paragraph.


The company commander frequently needs to modify his OPORD to make changes in engineer operations that allow the brigade to take advantage of tactical opportunities. He can do this by issuing a FRAGO. The company commander issues FRAGOs only to engineer units under his command. Changes in instructions to engineers supporting maneuver battalions in command relationships are conveyed through input to the brigade FRAGO. A FRAGO does not have a specified format, but an abbreviated OPORD format is usually used. The key to issuing a FRAGO is to maximize the use of the current OPORD by specifying only information and instructions that have changed. The company commander is rarely afforded the opportunity to issue FRAGOs to his subordinate leaders face-to-face. He normally issues them over the radio. The company commander may use his XO or 1SG to issue the FRAGO in person to subordinates. This ensures that direct coordination is made and that graphics are distributed to platoon leaders. A FRAGO usually contains the following elements:

  • Changes to task organization. Lists any required changes to unit task organizations made necessary by modifications to the OPORD.
  • Situation. Includes a brief statement of current enemy and friendly situations, which usually gives the reason for the FRAGO. It may also update subordinates on the current status of brigade-level engineer missions.
  • Concept. Gives changes to the scheme of engineer operations and the corresponding changes to subunit tasks. It must also include any changes in the brigade or company commander's intent.
  • Coordinating instructions. Includes changes to "Service Support" and "Command and Signal" paragraphs of the current OPORD made necessary by the change in the scheme of engineer operations.

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