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Command Post (CP) Training

Basic Guidance

1. Initiate 6-8 weeks out; give one afternoon weekly to CP training.

2. For an infantry battalion, focus on training:

*assault/jump CP
*main CP
*combat trains CP
*field trains CP

3. Train, empower and trust noncommissioned officers:

* define their duties precisely.
* OPs NCOs should receive significant responsibility.
* consider making specially selected NCOs Battle Captains.
* Let NCOs do routine business in your TOCs/CPs.

4. Every week throughout CP training, practice the combat or time-compressed decisionmaking process.

* for every staff exercise, ask the XO to prepare and enforce a timeline.
* be ruthless on the use of time.
* field grade officers must be ruthless in limiting themselves on the use of time.
* brevity in orders and guidance underwrites success at the JRTC.
* you should be able to produce an effective order in 5-7 hours.


1) Determine the products you plan to give to companies and special platoons. Have them critique those products.

2) Determine what you're likely to receive from brigade and how you will handle those products.

3) If the products from higher headquarters aren't what you need, tell the senders what you do need! Don't settle for less. Don't confuse being a bad team player with insisting on what you need to do business.

4) Work at producing and giving an oral order with appropriate supporting aids within four hours.

* keep aids simple

* consider putting the topical headings of an operations order on plexiglas slides (3'x3'), e.g., task organization, mission, intent, concept, CSS concept, enemy order of battle, etc.
--keep it very simple
--use both sides of the slide to fill in the blanks
--use black or blue markers to print and draw concept figures
--use red to highlight tasks and purpose throughout the order
--design the board to be used for concept development; orders presentation; backbriefs

* ask all staff presenters, company commanders, and special platoon leaders to use miniaturized and perhaps more detailed versions of the boards for their backbriefs and their own orders presentations.
--these boards should fit in the back of a ruck sack or in a ruck sack flap.
--require use of the aids whenever leaders and staff officers are backbriefing.

*remember that all special platoon leaders (scout, mortar, signal, medical, engineer, ADA, support, reserve platoon, and other platoons or separate sections or squads) must do TROOP-LEADING PROCEDURES (TLPs) in addition to completing any Bn/TF OPORD annex requirements.
--determine who (TF commander, XO, S3) will receive his confirmation briefs and backbriefs.
--ensure each one issues a five-paragraph order and rehearses.
--the order should be oral, but complete.


* a good time for backbriefs is 1/2 to 3/4 hours before battalion rehearsals.
--don't forget to require backbriefs with briefing boards by whomever is going to run the assault, main, combat trains and field trains CPs.
--ask all special platoon leaders to backbrief also.
*don't get wrapped up in details when receiving these briefings! Just make sure things are headed the same way. Focus principally on the task organization; mission statement; intent statement; and concept diagram. Let the rehearsal unsort the rest.

6. Establish orders groups and practice calling for them in the conduct of regular meetings required for daily business.

7. Use written and hands-on tests.

* give all officers and NCOs simple fill-in-the-blank tests to verify their knowledge of your and your higher headquarter's TACSOPs.
* use simple hands-on tests to make sure every officer and NCO knows how to operate and apply immediate action to every type of comm equipment your CPs use. Don't exempt anyone from this requirement.
* continue to test and retest until every CP member has passed all of the tests.

Crawl Stage

Walk Stage

Run Stage

Still More Ideas

Table of Contents
Live Fire/Miles Drills
Mission/Task Reviews

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