tips for patrol leading
As my bio reads, I am currently in ROTC studying to become an officer. I am a MSIII now and will be going to LDAC this summer. I have spent a lot of time studying patrol leading and listened as much as I can to my sergeant and officer instructors, so I feel quite competent in all the basic checklist type stuff for leading a patrol. I've also been on many FTXs and feel like I've seen some good and some bad patrols (as far as cadet land goes.)
The area I would like to most direct your attention is the planning/prep phase from receiving the OPORD through rehearsals and PCI, though execution of course is important.
What I would like to know are the little innovative tricks that can be used to accomplish the mission. I'm always trying to innovate one more thing that will let it go smoothly, and I thought to myself, "Who knows patrols better than the Quiet Professionals?"
So I thought I might ask if you gentlemen have any tricks that you've seen really work well. I know everything will be different in the real world, but maybe I can just jot down notes and think of any way to apply it to my training environment. I also don't want to make you feel like I'm cheating off of your hard work, hopefully we can think of this as passing hard-earned experience down to a future Army leader.
I would start by looking in the Home> the Pipeline> 18A section.
I'd get a copy of a RANGER handbook, too.
Good luck at LDAC.
You don't have enough experience for 'tricks'....tricks kind of come to you as you experience the feel for your enemy, when you get to know him and can play him against himself.
I've been an ROTC MSIII istructor at a University and then at summer camp.
1. keep it simple...you are working with other cadets.
2. Just the basics.
3. If everything goes to shit.... assault, be aggressive, decisive.
4. Keep it simple.
Great advice right there. You have to master the basics first.
tips for patrol leading
One of the most important rules I learned about being a Patrol Leader in Ranger School was, "Don't ever violate the PRCS (Pricks) principle."
"Puerto Ricans Suck C*&$ Continuously"
5. Common Sense
I'm sure the new politically correct version works better. No offense meant to my Puerto Rican brethren. Does make it pretty easy to remember though.
Sometimes the shortest distance is through the swamp/thicket/draw or over the mountain/hill, sometimes it isn't.
Once you get comfortable with patrolling and land nav that statement will make all the sense in the world.
Thank you very much for your wisdom. I have the RANGER handbook and am familiar with the elements of patrol, but since you really have emphasized them I'll pay more attention to them than I have.
And on the last post, it drives me nuts how cadets totally ignore the map when planning a patrol. We've spent mind-numbing hours in class talking about the importance of terrain, and I understand these aren't real patrols and real lives are not on the line but you would think we would want to apply the things we learn a little more.
When it all turns to sh!t (and it will) remember the magic words.
1. There are none, You will be in somebodies AO, NOT YOURS, who do you think has the advantage? Your adversary & his associates have probably been there all of their life& will know every square meter your passing thru. 2. STUDY & Read the Ranger Handbook....TK
Tom, you are absolutely right in the real world but the young Padiwan is going into a place (LDAC) that is isn't really all that real.
LDAC is a place where young men and women bet thier entire futures on 27 day, where they are at the mercy of 49 other cadets who are betting it all, never knowing when they will be placed into a leadership position or under what conditions and most of the evaluations are remarkable subjective.
If you want to do well at LDAC.
Don't show up at 0800, we're really not ready and you look like the cadet equivalent of a Spring Butt. Your "reward" will be a stressful leadership position that doesn't count. (Disregard, if your name starts with a letter following "M" -- be there at 0900. -- leadership positions are handed out alphabetically. >M have a long wait. Take the free one so the TACs see you). Show up at about 1100. Don't show up after 1400.
In the holding area stay off your phone (you get to keep them for a couple of days) You are not ET.
When the Tac NCO walks over toward the holding area GET UP and walk over to him. Smile if you want but try to look eager and situationally aware.
Do exactly what he tells you, quickly.
Make the other bunk, your bunkmate is your Ranger Buddy. Let him know before he even meets you that you "have his back".
Don't bring extra stuff, we just take it away. We inspect it, and we laugh about it behind you. Boys bring plain underwear, girls bring plain underwear. Bring extra socks.
Don't be late, don't let your bunkmate be late or your squad.
Nothing and no one will get you through this except your squad. They are the only ones you need to worry about, or care about. If by some trick of fate another cadet from your school is in your platoon you owe him or her nothing.
If someone told you to do something, do it. Then tell them you did it and ask if they want to inspect it.
If you have nothng to do, inspect yourself and rearrange something. Invite your bunk buddy to inspect or help. Go to your squad leader and suggest something YOU can do, make it look like his idea.
Once someone does something that works, always do it that way. The wheel doesn't have to be big or pretty it just has to roll. Incrimental improvements are okay. When something doesn't work don't do it that way again.
Lock your damn wall locker, and lock your buddies.
Yes, there are gurl cadets in the barracks. They are your sisters. No peeking. AND it's a good idea to find out if one of the TACs has a teenage daughter -- they will tend to be a little more protective (after a week or so they will all remind him of his little girl), don't mess with them.
Run on your own during the little down time. FT Lewis is at sea-level and that will make a difference. Push ups and sit-ups every day. there ain't time for organized PT.
STX and Patrolling.
Know how to execute the basic missions.
Issue a good WARNO
Take your time on the OPORD (use all the 1 part of the 1/3 rule)
Briefback and rehearse and inspect and rehearse and briefback and inspect
SP means Start Point. Not Wait Around Here Point. The first person crosses ay M-minute. The PSG (or BTL) watches everyone cross then sends up the count
Know who passed LandNav the first time and make sure they are navigating.
If the STX evaluator says something like, "I want to see something Innovative." Smile, nod and then do it exactly the way you think it should be done. He's bored, but he's not betting his whole life on that card.
When the column stops move off the trail , take a knee. If you're the PSG move to the front.
Whisper in the boonies. The only time you speak above a whisper is to YELL "FOLLOW ME!"
Know how to employ a Claymore mine.
Be funny. If you are not funny like the funny guy.
I'll probably think of some more. I was a TAC and it was one of the most rewarding events of my career.
But here is the thing.
LDAC is a test. you are competing WITH the others against YOURSELF.
I have been to some cool class and schools. I always wanted to do well, do my best. but I knew that if something went wrong the worst thing that would happen was I'd go back to my unit and maybe take a ribbing or an ass-chewing. If you screw up LDAC you have nowhere to go. Never forget you are betting YOUR WHOLE LIFE on this.
I've never been to Ranger training but after reviewing your post I can sincerely say I wish I had your advice on my first patrol..........;) That was some damn good info you put out for any young trooper's first patrol...........:D
Big Teddy :munchin
Some very simple ones
The One Minute Guide to Paragraph 3 - Execution:
How am I going to get in
How am I going to do the Job
How am I going to get out
What am I going to do if it all falls apart?
Keep the sun behind you as you close on an objective in daylight (they cant see well peering into the sun and their optics are like signalling mirrors)
Put the moon behind the OBJ at night as it will silouhette them and cast shadows on you.
If you get compromised (detected) kick off your attack or break contact.
Check out the Sapper Handbook as well. I found its patrolling material to be better than the Ranger Handbook.
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