Lesson 4 - Troop Leading Procedures (TLP)

These eight steps ensure that you fulfill your leadership responsibilities in a purposeful and methodical manner. Use these as a check list to keep you on track when you are hot, cold, tired, wet, hungry, thirsty causing your mind to become fuzzy. TLP was so important that in my battalion everyone E5 and above carried a card in their pocket to remind them.

 You may have seen many folks in games or even at work receive a task and then jump directly into the execution phase with no thought behind what they are doing. In the military and MILSIM, think before you leap!

 1. Receive the mission: WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and WHY. Never leave a briefing without clear answers to these five questions. Your leader is depending on you to figure out HOW to execute the mission within your resources.

 2. Issue a warning order: a brief statement of the situation, mission, general instructions and specific instructions. This gets your team out of the parking lot mentality and allows them to start preparing for the mission while you are thinking. More on a warning order later.

 3. Make a tentative plan: formulate a basic idea of how you want to do this mission.

 4. Start necessary movement: get your team into a security perimeter or move them closer to your departure point. Game faces on!

 5. Reconnoiter: basically means gather all information available that will help you plan this mission. Recon and put eyes on the objective if possible. Maps, satellite imagery, sketches, pictures, etc. are valuable sources of information. In a game environment the most critical source of information are the members of your team. I always ask the following questions. Who has played here before? What's does the objective look like? What did you do last time? Did it work?

 6. Complete the plan: take everything you have gathered and tweak your tentative plan into a final plan.

 7. Issue the complete order: the operation order (OPORD) is just that - an order from the leader to the team to execute the mission. An OPORD consists of five paragraphs - Situation, Mission, Execution, Service Support and Command/Signal. There is a following lesson on OPORDs coming, stand by.

 8. Supervise: this is the most important part. Your job as a leader is to ensure mission success. You have to maintain situational awareness to make adjustments - rarely does a plan survive first contact. It's very difficult to maintain situational awareness if you have your nose behind a rifle.

 

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