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This section discusses the duties and responsibilities of personnel who work in the TOC. Whoever in your TOC fulfills each one of these duties is a function of personnel strength, capabilities, and commander preference.

OBSERVATION: Typically at the CTCs, O/Cs observe executive officers (XOs) and battle captains attempting to accomplish many of these tasks with little or no assistance from the NCOs or enlisted personnel.

DISCUSSION: OCs report observing battalion XOs and battle captains talking on the radio, posting maps, and logging entries in journals while NCOs stand by observing. MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, THIS IS BECAUSE THE OFFICER HAS NOT TAKEN THE TIME TO TRAIN HIS SUBORDINATES, NOT BECAUSE THE NCO IS INCAPABLE. This technique often leads to inefficient operations, as well as tired and ineffective leaders. It also prevents the XO or battle captain from doing his job of integrating resources and synchronizing the fight. Lack of clearly defined roles and responsibilities is the major contributor to this problem. FC 71-6 provides a detailed list of duties and responsibilities for key personnel within the TOC. These duties and responsibilities are highlighted below:

Executive Officer:

The XO's primary responsibility is to synchronize and coordinate the efforts of all staff sections. This responsibility normally requires him to operate from, and supervise all activities within, the TOC. This is especially critical during the battle when synchronization and integration of resources are crucial. During the preparation phase of the mission, these duties can often be fulfilled by the battle captain. However, the battle captain typically lacks the appropriate experience necessary to accomplish these duties during the battle. Other important duties of the XO are:

  • Supervising and coordinating the staff during the TDMP.
  • Supervising the analysis and assessment of all information and submitting recommendations to the commander accordingly.
  • Supervising and ensuring proper information flow within the TOC.
  • Anticipating and synchronizing operations from the TOC.

NOTE: The role of the XO is METT-T-dependant. The current situation may prevent the XO from focusing all of his time and effort at the TOC.

Battle Captain:

The role of the battle captain is similar to that of the XO. The battle captain assists the XO in synchronizing and coordinating the staff's effort. The distinction between the two individuals lies in their level of experience. During the battle, synchronizing and coordinating the staff is normally best served by the XO. During the preparation phase, the battle captain can normally fulfill these duties. Experience at the CTCs shows that during the battle, the battle captain should focus his efforts on supervising the soldiers within the S3 operations cell, rather than synchronizing the efforts of other staff members. Additional duties of the battle captain include:

  • Supervising the efforts of staff NCO's within the S3 section.
  • Conducting analysis and assessment of available information.
  • Assisting in the review and dissemination of information within the TOC.
  • Assisting in monitoring the location and activities of friendly units.
  • Serving as the TOC OIC during the absence of field grade officers.
  • Assisting the S3 during the TDMP.

Operations NCO/Shift NCO:

The operations NCO is generally the most underutilized individual in the TOC. The operations NCO seldom works inside the actual TOC. He is typically only responsible for the logistics support, movement, and security of the TOC. These are important tasks, but do notrequire total commitment of the senior TOC NCO. Doctrinally for some types of units these tasks are the responsibility of the HHC XO (page B-4, FM 7-20, The Infantry Battalion, Apr 92). The TOC NCO, if trained and utilized properly, can be of much more use to the battalion in the TOC. Duties and responsibilities may include:

  • Ensuring that reports and messages are distributed properly.
  • Updating units statuses on maps and charts.
  • Supervising the publication of orders and graphics.
  • Supervising the setting up and dismantling of the TOC.
  • Supervising all enlisted personnel assigned to the S3 section.
  • Managing guard rosters, sleep plans, and shift schedules.
  • Assisting in developing and wargaming COAs during the TDMP.
  • Serving as a recorder during the TDMP.

Radio Telephone Operators (RTOs)/Clerk Typist:

The RTOs are another good example of an underutilized soldier. Typically, the RTOs do not talk on the radio. This function is often performed by officers due to a lack of confidence in the RTOs ability. Once again this lack of confidence often stems from a lack of adequate training and not a lack of capabilities. Duties of the RTOs and other enlisted soldiers can include:

  • Monitoring the radios.
  • Receiving and recording reports.
  • Updating status charts as necessary.
  • Assisting in the publication of orders and graphics.
  • Assisting in the setting up and dismantling of the TOC.
  • Serving as recorders during the TDMP.
  • Cleaning and preparing charts and overlays for the TDMP.

This list of personnel and duties is not all encompassing. It is intended to provide a framework for how the duties and responsibilities within the TOC can be delegated. This list highlights the S3 section, but can be modified, developed, and applied to any section. The matrix below reflects how these duties and responsibilities may look when consolidated.

TOCS3F1.GIF 8.82 K

TTP: After defining the specific functions of the TOC, determine who will accomplish the specific tasks. As you identify what duty position will accomplish each task, be as specific as possible. Keep in mind the capabilities of assigned personnel. Do not let lack of training or patience from leaders prevent you from utilizing your NCOs and enlisted personnel. If trained and utilized properly, based on the duties and responsibilities you have identified, these soldiers will make significant contributions to TOC operations. In today s environment where units are operating with significant personnel shortages, delegation of duties and responsibilities is crucial to effective TOC operations.

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