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Thawk

Interest in Leaders Course?

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In light of recent discussions such as the contact report thread and my returning to normality, is there any interest in a leadership level course aimed at section and platoon level? I'm not thinking along the lines of the classic SL course or FTL course which focused heavily on actual, on the ground tactics such as formations, ROF, etc. but one that would include that lightly but then focus more on stuff that a person in a leadership position should be doing; actual decision making at a tactical level, using subordinates, RTOs and 2iC/Pln Sgts, reporting and disseminating information, how to effectively read and understand OPORDs and be able to extract the information necessary to be able to give quick attack orders in about 10 minutes, going up to 15 with vehicular assets. Really basic things like only briefing up to, say, the first phase of the operation because of how much stuff changes as opposed to a 25 minute brief of the mission from start to finish, only to have it go out the window after 30 seconds.

 

Basically, from what I've seen I feel like a person in command who knows these basics could improve play on the server a lot. A few examples would be playing Gothic Serpent there the other day, I was Ground Coordinator and I said before going in I wanted the PL in the convoy to do two things, plan the route with report lines and as soon as they enter the city limits, contact sitreps from the RTO. It worked for a while until things got a bit hectic on the ground and the RTO either got distracted or was tasked with something else and I had to do a lot of pestering for reports and C2 was notable effected. These very simple steps allow a commander to really grip the situation together and keep things going forward.

 

Another example from the other day, a decision making one, a PL leading a platoon minus had a platoon lay up on a berm and on his go, suppress and destroy all enemies within a farm house and surrounding buildings. He then wanted to do a leaders recce of the farm buildings so took 2 with him and went forward. After I gave him a few tips on how to improve his decision making and tactical decisions. Stuff like ERVs, designating specific suppressing sections and most importantly after making contact, he should have made the tactical decision to leave a small, section minus detachment with the machine guns and taken a much larger assault force into still, very hostile territory. This kind of decision making for leaders I think is very important and see go wrong a good bit on the server causing mass casualty situations. You know, even the incredibly simple idea of always having a reserve, suppressing and assaulting elements makes life so easy.

 

I've discussed the idea with a few people and the response has been positive, but I haven't formally approached anyone in UOTC or any of that stuff as I'm not exactly sure how the course would manifest itself right now, or a lot of the finer details, it's simply just an idea now but I wanted to see if there was any interest before I go putting pen to paper.

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I'm currently trying to get something started with Weapon X and Max (who is also getting his Tank Gunnery Course back on track),

focussing on Team and Squad-Level Troop Leading Procedures, TTPs and basic Battle Drills, later to be expanded on the PLT and higher level.

 

Feel free to approach me on TS or via PM

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During a discussion with Nathan and VPope, I mentioned how there's currently a shortage of leadership and both (as GM's) were happy to consider taking further initiative in motivating new leaders along with safeguarding them from any unnecessary criticism/insubordination.  Basically, they'll be taught from direct practical experience, with fellow leadership/GM's' consulting them as requested, and people will be developed into leaders naturally as any course to teach the skills/abilities is difficult.  

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definately interested in this. Especially at the PLT+ level. I want to Pl badly but I feel like I might make a shit plan and get everyone killed at first contact.

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As the UOTC officer who hasn't been formally approached with this idea. You and Fox should talk.

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What I see a lot with inexperienced leaders is along these lines:

 

-the commander above him gives him a task to do or location to head to

 

-immediately after receiving the order, the leader basically copies what he's been told by his CO to his subordinates, without thinking how he should do it

 

-the leader effectively does not lead, merely repeats what he's been told to do down the line without first thinking how to best execute it as his level of command

 

-if all of the mission commander's subordinates are like this, then he has to do a lot of micromanagement, which takes time to plan and relay through radio and is not always the good course of action due to limited SA of the leader above

 

What we could try to teach is the ability to quickly plan the execution of a given order and brief it to your subordinates. First part should focus on the decisions being made and ability to explain why a certain couse of action was taken, in order to practice a sort of quick tactical assessment of your mission in relation to the situation around you (emphasis should be placed on making a well thought out decision, rather than time at this first stage).

 

Another part should focus on doing that under increasing time pressure and informational chaos (like a lot of chatter on the PLT net relating to what other units are doing, what contact reports they are giving etc). This part will emphasize on making a quick assessment, rather than a detailed one and briefing the plan to your subordinate team leaders. Leaders should only try to do this quickly when they can already make sound tactical decisions when given more time.

 

Yet another part can be made emphasizing on map and terrain reading skills, trying to teach leaders how to try to imagine how the terrain ahead of them looks like before they get there, reading from the map. Assessing whether or not a position they are looking at has good cover and fighting positions toward an objective. Planning movement to a battle position using terrain for cover. The effects of different terrain on movement speed, command and control (open ground vs forest, vs jungle), the effect of different terrain on communication with other units and how to cope with that.

 

 

I would suggest that you don't try to squeze as much info as possible into a single "How to lead a squad/platoon" course, but rather focus on a specific part of the picture and allow participants to practice and make mistakes in a stressless environment and being mentored by more experienced leaders. I believe the theory itself should only take about 15-20 minutes, while the entire course would be about 90 minutes, correcting errors and explaining better ways to do things during the practical part, giving each participant a chance to apply those corrections.

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I for one warmly welcome any leadership course. I'm in UO since spring and haven't noticed any so far... I understand that it takes a lot of effort to make one I'm not complaining mind you.

 

Just please wait for summer vacations to end so that anyone wishing to take part can do so.

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agree with you delta.
Commands here basically go via the radio and on every level it is on the same detail.
Everybody has this great idea that military chain of command is a do or die/court martial/ban thread centralised
institution in a circuit, fully closed.
The more modern the unit is, the more decentralised it is.
learn to follow and then how to lead.

I hereby show my interest, even when it is not formally accepted or supported by the supervising UOTC Officer in Charge of the
United Operations Training Center Officer Center.
You and Fox should Do.

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