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OBSERVATION: Current doctrinal manuals provide little detail on the specific functions of the TOC.

DISCUSSION: TOCs at the lower echelons of command are typically manned with junior and inexperienced personnel (1LTs waiting to attend the OAC, CPTs waiting on company command, or NCOs and enlisted personnel unfamiliar with staff operations). These relatively junior personnel often have never worked in a TOC and, as a result, are not familiar with the intricate details of TOC operations. Most manuals provide a general overview of TOC functions, but fail to provide detailed guidance to assist newly assigned and inexperienced personnel.

The TOC serves as the unit's command and control hub, assisting the commander in synchronizing operations. The TOC is the location where the majority of the planning, staff coordination, and monitoring of key events occurs. The personnel manning the TOC are responsible for ensuring that all resources are in the right place at the right time. They must function efficiently and effectively as a team in a fast-paced, unforgiving environment. This is no simple task for an inexperienced staff officer or NCO to accomplish. Each member of the TOC must understand the overall function of the TOC, and how they individually and collectively contribute.

There are six basic TOC functions:

  1. Receive information.
  2. Distribute information.
  3. Analyze information.
  4. Submit recommendations to the commander.
  5. Integrate resources.
  6. Synchronize resources.

Each of these functions are critical and interrelated. The order in which these functions occur may vary at times. A more detailed description of each function and their associated tasks are listed below.

Receive Information

  • Receive messages, reports, and orders from subordinate units and higher headquarters (HHQ).
  • Monitor tactical situation.
  • Maintain a journal of all significant activities and reports.
  • Maintain and update unit locations and activities.
  • Monitor enemy situation.
  • Maintain a status of critical classes of supplies.

Distribute Information

  • Submit reports to HHQs.
  • Serve as a communications relay between units.
  • Publish orders and instructions.
  • Process and distribute information to appropriate units or staff sections.

Analyze Information

  • Consolidate reports.
  • Anticipate events and activities, taking appropriate action as required.
  • Conduct predictive analysis based on the tactical situation.
  • Identify information that relates to the commander s critical information requirements (CCIRs).
  • Conduct the Tactical Decisionmaking Process.
  • Identify the need to execute contingency plans based on the current situation.


  • Submit recommendations to the commander based on information available and analysis conducted.

Integrate Resources

  • Coordinate the integration of combat multipliers.

Synchronize Resources

  • Coordinate the synchronization of combat multipliers.

These functions and tasks are not easily accomplished, nor can they be effectively accomplished by a single or small group of individuals. Each individual (especially NCOs and enlisted personnel) within the TOC serves a role that ultimately contributes to the accomplishment of these functions. Before personnel can contribute, they must possess a clear understanding of what the TOC's mission is.


1. Incorporate the six basic TOC functions in the TOC SOP.

2. Modify the existing TOC SOP, as required, to incorporate TOC functions.


1. Clearly define what you expect of the TOC. Be specific. Translate expectations into viable procedures.

2. Train TOC personnel to perform their respective tasks in the execution of TOC functions, and to understand how their tasks relate to the other TOC functions.

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