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Paving the road to the warfighter: preparing to provide legal support on the battlefield.

Center for Law and Military Operations (CLAMO) The Judge Advocate General's School, U.S. Army

Paving the Road to the Warfighter: Preparing to Provide Legal Support on the Battlefield

Lieutenant Colonel Kevin H. Govern (1) Deputy Staff Judge Advocate U.S. Army Special Operations Command Fort Bragg, North Carolina

Field Manual (FM) 27-100 defines "operational law" as "that body of domestic, foreign, and international law that directly affects the conduct of operations." (2) More precisely, FM 27-100 states that operational law is a practice that consists of legal services to support the command and control and sustainment functions of an operation. (3) Given this doctrinal charter, judge advocates (JAs), legal administrators, and paralegal specialists must be prepared to provide operational law support on the battlefield, not only understanding and applying the relevant law, but also effectively advising commanders as fully integrated members of the battle staff.

Charged with training commanders and battle staffs from the brigade to corps levels, the Army's Battle Command Training Program (BCTP) provides a unique opportunity for JAs, legal administrators, and paralegal specialists to develop and test their abilities to provide operational legal support. (4) During Fiscal Year (FY) 2001, the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, XVIII Airborne Corps (Corps OSJA), Fort Bragg, North Carolina, served as higher headquarters to subordinate, evaluated units and was evaluated itself during a series of BCTP-run, computer-simulated battles, called "Warfighter Exercises" (WFXs). (5)

The purpose of this note is to share with the operational legal community the steps that the Corps OSJA took to prepare for the WFXs. Reprinted in significant part as an appendix to this note is the BCTP Study Guide that the Corps' Chief of International and Operational Law created, in accordance with the Corps SJA's guidance, to support the Corps OSJA BCTP preparations. This Guide proved an invaluable reference for the Corps and subordinate command OSJAs, and republishing it for a wider audience will hopefully assist other judge advocates as they prepare for the BCTP or, more importantly, for actual contingency operations. (6) This note's closing comments summarize salient observations on Corps OSJA WFX preparation and exercise participation.

The BCTP Study Guide was the blueprint and foundational document for the Corps OSJA's four-month WFX training experience. Interspersed among the three WFX training events were various OSJA "brown bag lunch" and other leader development program (LDP) sessions conducted by Corps OSJA leadership, to include: an after-action review (AAR) of the WFX Seminar, AARs of each WFX experience, two "azimuth checks" of exercise operational details (following a checklist lauded by the Corps Commanding General and Chief of Staff as a model of excellence for all other Corps commanders and staff), two reporting and tracking legal issues sessions, a no-notice alert and rucksack march, two equipment layouts in the "OSJA Operational Outload Facility" (OOOF), (7) demonstrations of the Command and Control Personnel Computer (C2PC) system (8) and the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS), (9) military drivers' license qualification for nearly all OSJA personnel, and a BCTP in-briefing by the senior Observer-Trainer (OT).

The LDP sessions were designed to review and improve the OSJA's delivery of legal services and soldier skills, and addressed the BCTP mission, and how to best accomplish OSJA METL tasks. From this process, the Corps OSJA "revalidated" four fundamental principles of successful training preparation and execution.

1. Train as You Fight--and Locate Personnel Where They Will Be Needed

For the WFXs, the Corps SJA assigned legal staff to locations and elements including (but not limited to) the Corps Main Command Post (CMAIN), the Corps Rear Command Post (CRCP), the Information Operations Working Group, the Deep Operations Coordination Cell, the Combat Service Support Cell, the Battle Management Cell, separate brigade Tactical Operations Centers (TOCs), and all locations where senior commanders and staff officers made critical decisions. This arrangement ensured that legal assets were available where needed. (10) Battle Command Training Program legal OTs from Forts Leavenworth, Kansas and Eustis, Virginia came to Forts Bragg, North Carolina, and Campbell, Kentucky, to educate and evaluate legal staff efforts. The Corps OSJA staffed each TOC or cell with JAs, legal administrators, and paralegal specialists skilled in specialized and general legal support to operations concepts. Corps OSJA staff provided a continuous presence throughout the WFXs at each location. Commanders and senior staff from Corps and major subordinate commands frequently relied upon legal staffs to resolve targeting, rules of engagement, claims, fiscal, contract law, and other issues within the traditional concept of legal support to operations. They also relied upon JA advice on operational planning and execution matters, because JAs had played an integral role in the military decision making process and targeting board processes leading up to execution of each WFX operational plan (OPLAN).

2. Train Using Multiechelon Techniques--and Exploit Knowledge Management (KM) Systems and Practices

The OSJA designed a tactical secret intranet protocol router network (SIPRNET) Web site to consolidate information coming from various sources and levels of command so that legal and other staff members could find it easily. This Web site contained all of the OPLAN annexes, fragmentary orders, SJA critical information, the legal actions log, and other information necessary to foster a legal "common operational picture" (COP). The widely-dispersed Corps and subordinate command legal staffs could access the Web site to gain the current legal COP, see the status of legal opinions, and access necessary information. In accordance with the Corps OSJA Soldiers' Handbook, electronic tracking tool data was mirrored in periodically updated paper copies posted on custom-made status chart "wingboards," and augmented with direct e-mails and phone calls to subordinate and higher headquarters legal staffs. (11) In all instances of pre-WFX training and WFX participation, the Corps OSJA leadership stressed that information technology (IT)-based KM technologies and databases are no substitute for the professional judgment and expertise of each JA, legal administrator, and paralegal specialist.

3. Train to (Build and) Sustain Proficiency--Make a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Success in a WFX is not accidental. Lessons experienced during the months of preparation for the final exercise must be captured and implemented. To memorialize observations and lessons learned from the Corps OSJA's WFX experiences, the Chief, International and Operational Law, created an AAR shell before the start of the first exercise, and collected AAR comments from all echelons of legal staffs throughout train-up and WFX conduct. Throughout all of the exercises, AAR comments were collected and posted to the tactical Web site. At the end of each exercise, WFX participants discussed their experiences, leading to necessary changes to operating procedures and future training events. (12) Because many Corps OSJA personnel would permanently change station a few months after the final WFX and take their WFX-related expertise with them, the Corps OSJA recognized the need to focus on the next team-building events and the means towards achieving and maintaining requisite proficiency levels.

4. Use Performance-Oriented Training--Review and Rehearse Support Requirements Before Deployment

The Corps OSJA CMAIN and CRCP successfully planned and executed the large and small details of getting people, equipment, and work product where and when needed. Brigade Operational Law Team (BOLT) JAs and paralegal specialists also understood what "life support" their units would provide, and what BOLTs were responsible to supply. Brigade operational law teams actively integrated themselves into brigade operations, demonstrated what they would "pack out" with an OOOF layout, (13) and trained their legal staffs during a one-day legal support to operations seminar led by the Corps OSJA sergeant major. Performance-oriented training helped the Corps OSJA and BOLTs set and adhere to common standards, (14) anticipate the WFX training environment, (15) prevent problems before they arose, (16) and take what was needed where it would be needed to get the job done. (17)

The Corps SJA's vision for OSJA readiness included the concept that METL-based standards of training and operations would help OSJA personnel "anticipate and fulfill requirements with the highest levels of professional competence, personal integrity, and unflagging dedication to duty." (18) The Corps OSJA used its WFX experiences to develop future sustainment training, combining theoretical/classroom instruction with practical application and first-hand observation. The ultimate value of WFX training will lie in enhanced deployment readiness and peak performance during future real-world missions.


XVIII Airborne Corps Office of the Staff Judge Advocate Battle Command Training Program (BCTP) Study Guide

Chapter 1 The BCTP Process

Defining "Battle Command"

According to FM 3-0, Operations:

Battle command applies the leadership element of combat power. It is principally an art that employs skills developed by professional study, constant practice, and considered judgment. Commanders, assisted by the staff, visualize the operation, describe it in terms of intent and guidance, and direct the actions of subordinates within their intent. Commanders direct operations in terms of the battlefield operating systems (BOS). They directly influence operations by personal presence, supported by their command and control (C2) system.

The Battlefield Operating Systems

Army forces employ military power in the form of battlefield operating systems (BOS). The BOS are the means by which forces execute the core functions of see, shape, shield, strike, and move. The seven systems are:

* Intelligence.

* Maneuver.

* Fire support.

* Mobility and survivability.

* Air defense.

* Combat service support.

* Command and control.

While legal support to operations does not constitute a BOS, it does impact upon the effective employment of all BOS.

The three levels of war are as follows:

* The strategic level is concerned with national objectives.

* The operational level lies somewhere in between the strategic and the tactical levels. It is concerned with translating strategic objectives into tactical moves, and it usually involves a theater of operations.

* The tactical level is concerned with battles and engagements.

The Army's military leaders become proficient in the operational level of war by training military leaders in the art and science of battle command. In spite of post-Cold War employment and deployment of troops for missions such as disaster relief and stability and security operations (SASO), the Army still organizes, trains, and equips to fight and win the nation's wars IAW FM 3-0 and 10 U.S.C. 3062(b). This remains its primary mission, and the Army justifies its focus on warfighting with the rationale that the leadership, organization, equipment, discipline, and skills gained in training for war are also of use to the government in operations other than war.

Army Corps and Divisions

As currently configured, the Army's Corps and Divisions fight battles and engagements (the tactical level) to achieve success at the operational level. An Army corps is two or more divisions. An Army division is a unit that combines in itself the necessary arms and services required for sustained combat. It is also the largest organization that regularly trains and fights as a team. There are different types of divisions--armored, mechanized, light infantry, airborne, air assault, and medium--and not all of these types are exclusive; for instance, an airborne division is capable of all missions assigned to light infantry divisions.

BCTP's Role to Train Warfighting








The Battle Command Training Program (BCTP) is the Army's capstone Combat Training Center (CTC). BCTP was established in 1987. IAW TRADOC Regulation 350-50-3, BCTP provides command and battle staff training for brigade, division, and corps commanders, their staffs, major subordinate commanders (MSC), and supporting special operations forces (SOF), using simulation centers world wide. It provides the framework to conduct command and control training from brigade to JTF level operations. BCTP provides a "free thinking" opposing force (OPFOR), certified observer controllers/trainers (OTs), and senior observers as mentors and coaches. The CTC provides highly realistic and stressful joint, inter-service, and combined arms training according to Army doctrine.

The four U. S. Army CTCs are:

* The BCTP at Fort Leavenworth, KS, provides training for Army Forces (ARFOR)/Joint Forces Land Component Command (JFLCC), Corps, Divisions and Brigade Commanders and their staffs.

* The National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, CA, provides training for brigade and battalion task forces. NTC is oriented towards heavy units.

* The Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, LA, provides training for brigade and battalion task forces. JRTC is oriented towards light units.

* The Combat Maneuver Training Center (CMTC) at Hohenfels, Germany, provides training for battalion task forces (both heavy and light).

The BCTP is the Army's only mobile CTC. They bring training to the unit.

The BCTP Methodology

IAW TRADOC Regulation 350-50-3, BCTP accomplishes its corps and division training missions by providing Corps and Division commanders a series of six events. These events, conducted sequentially, are the Initial Planning Conference (IPC), site survey (IPC/site survey are done during the same trip to exercise the exercise site), the Start of Exercise (STARTEX) Conference, the Seminar, the Warfighter Exercise (WFX) or Command Post Exercise (CPX), and the Take-Home Package (THP).

The IPC is a planning conference establishing the framework for the seminar and begins the planning process for the exercise; it should occur at the training unit's location. The site survey ensures the unit's facilities are adequate to support the exercise

The STARTEX Conference establishes the framework for the exercise phase of the BCTP rotation. BCTP and the training unit's higher HQ sign a STARTEX Memorandum of Understanding (MOA) to facilitate planning, coordination, and execution of the exercise. The training unit will not participate in the STARTEX Conference, but may send a representative.

The Battle Command Seminar (a/k/a WFX Seminar) is a five-day seminar, conducted at Fort Leavenworth, KS, to assist the commander in building his command and staff team. The seminar is a battle focused, team-building experience for commander, principal staff and major subordinate commanders. IAW Chief of Staff, Army (CSA) guidance, all BCTP seminars are conducted at Fort Leavenworth, KS. The BCTP Seminar Facility (BSF) at Bell Hall, Fort Leavenworth, hosts the seminars for AC units. The Leader Development Center (LDC), Leavenworth, KS, hosts the ARNG seminars. Units who want to conduct the seminar at their home station must receive an exception to policy from the commander of BCTP. As routine exceptions, the 2d Infantry Division hosts its seminars in Korea, due to the distances involved and its unique mission. The ARFOR/JTF seminars are conducted at the unit's home station or contingency location. Exercise units may request their seminars in theater, but BCTP discourages non-standard seminars due to the benefits of training away from home station.

The WFX/CPX/BWFX is a simulation supported, multi-echelon, fully integrated tactical CPX. The BCTP WFXs are not designed to validate war plans. The Corps Battle Simulation (CBS) computer-based training program is an attrition-based training model to exercise battle command. BCTP discourages use of any unit's warplan in a WFX, which the Exercise Director's (EXDIR's) higher HQ must approve for execution. Current simulations are not analytical models. Many warplans do not present a threat or scenario that offers a rigorous/stressful exercise of full spectrum combat at the mid-to-high-intensity level, to meet the BCTP charter. BCTP discourages classified WFXes. However, many Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) directed exercises and contingency operations are classified and are considered on a case by case basis. BCTP approval for a classified exercise is determined at the IPC.

The anticipated unclassified Balkans training Scenario for XVIII ABN Corps' WFX is included at Appendix B. BCTP and the EXDIR develop and agree on scenarios, OPFOR Order of Battle (OB), and force ratios IAW AR 350-2 and TRADOC Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence (DCSINT)-approved conventions at the STARTEX conference. The training unit does not fight as the main effort during exercises. This ensures the training unit receives realistic prioritization of support from the higher HQ. The higher HQ allocates support as if all of its units are in the theater of operation.

In setting up for the WFX, the exercised unit(s) and its Major Subordinate Command (MSC) Command Posts (CPs) should displace to alternate field sites as required by the tactical situation. The OSJA's plan for setting up for the WFX will be ICW the OSJA Soldier's Handbook 2000, as adjusted by mission constraints, command direction, and the guidance of the SJA, DSJA, and OSJA SGM. The enclosed concept of legal support (COLS) at Appendix C identifies a tentative list of legal support to operations.

BCTP normally provides a formal After Action Review (AAR) two times during an exercise; Operations Group C (OPSGRP C) conducts one AAR per exercise. The senior OC for each HQ, Battlefield Operating System (BOS), and subject matter expert (SME) schedule a minimum of two informal (counterpart) AARs for each tactical operation ICW the appropriate commander and staff. The WCOPFOR portion of the AAR focuses on OPFOR CDR providing the training unit his perspective of the battle as it progressed. The OSJA AAR Process is set forth in Appendix G to this Study Guide.

Active Component (AC) units receive the Final Evaluation Report (FER) NLT 30 days after the conclusion of the exercise. It consists of VHS tapes and paper copy of slides from both formal AARs, summary of events during the WFX, comments on unit performance by BOS and a paper copy of the WCOPFOR AAR. ARFOR/JTF FER's do not include videotapes.

Chapter 2

The Road to the WFX


The OSJA XVIII ABN Corps will strive to raise the quality of individual skills and the teamwork of its Divisions and staff sections. Our many skilled legal professionals with diverse backgrounds and experiences work very well together to accomplish legal support to operations; we will work together even better in the future if we successfully maximize the training opportunities inherent in WFX preparation, participation, and the AAR process.

Our training tasks are set forth in Annex E, the Mission Essential Task Lists (METLs) to the current Soldiers' Handbook. The following is a schedule of WFX-related training events and METL-related Leader Development Program (LDP) training which will examine the OSJA METL, and Battle Drills enclosed at Appendix F of this Study Guide:
(LDP sessions 12-1300, Dragon BDE Conf. Room)
15 November 2000
22 November 2000

29 November 2000

04-15 December 2000
03 January 2001
17 January 2001
24 January 2001
28 January - 01 February 2001
07 February 2001
14 February 2001
21 February 2001

28 February 2001
03 - 09 March 2001
14 March 2001

(Ref: OSJA Soldiers' Handbook; Study Guide)
WFX Seminar AAR / Soldiers' Handbook Review
METL Review and Concept of ACP / CMAIN / CREAR
Reporting & Tracking Legal Issues (reports, logs,
"Mountain Gate" Command Post Exercise (CPX)
"Mountain Gate" AAR
Azimuth Check for "Eagle Gate" Exercise
Refinement of Reporting and Tracking Legal Issues
"Eagle Gate" Exercise
"Eagle Gate" AAR
WFX Azimuth Check
2nd Iteration of Concept of ACP / CMAIN / CREAR Set-Up
and Operations
Final Preparations for WFX
Corps WFX

How WFX Scenarios Become Part of the Exercise

* BCTP employs a computer simulation to model the enemy (as well as the terrain and troops and time factors). The WFX will be a series of training events that will test participants' ability to identify and resolve deficiencies in the very same decision-making processes, command and staff interaction, and staff coordination that would be demanded from a headquarters in a real conflict.

* The computer simulation and scripted processes have four key elements:

* The World-Class Opposing Forces (WCOPFOR) element of BCTP providing the training simulation is the "free-play" component of the Warfighter Exercise simulation. The WCOPFOR can compensate for XVIII ABN Corps' planning and decision-making processes with human reason and intuition, not just artificial intelligence (computer simulation).

* The simulation is "neutral to the decision-making processes" of both XVIII ABN Corps and WCOPFOR. That means there is no artificial "protection" of either Corps or WCOPFOR from unintended consequences (e.g., fratricide), or unforeseen or unheeded conditions (e.g., no protection from ignored or undetected minefields, air defense threats, internally displaced civilian movements, etc.).

* Expect that exercise time and space will have a direct impact on the exercise. Weather, terrain, equipment capabilities, weapon lethality, visibility, time, and space will slow down or speed up conduct of operations, as applicable. The operations tempo (OPTEMPO) will be in real-time of one hour of clock time equaling one hour of exercise) reflected in the simulation.

* There is no interface between Corps command posts ("the training audience") and BCTP computers. Controllers at the computer workstations receive orders and provide results in formats established by the unit's standard operating procedures, and they do so using the tactical communications equipment that the command posts would use in combat. The commanders and staff never see the computers and do not directly input data.


Here is how the WFX "battlefield" is set up. The JA Observer-Trainer (OT) fits in two separate places within the training environment: the "competitive zone" & the "noncompetitive zone." The competitive zone is where the overall training setting (the theater of operations and the Mission -Enemy-Terrain-Troops Available-Time-Civilian Considerations (METT-TC) simply generate events as a natural occurrence. These events may be expected as a natural dynamic of the collision of battlefield conditions and the other events that occur in real-time during conflict, inherent in the OPLAN, or present in the geographical realities of the Area of Operations (AO), but are not scripted. The "noncompetitive zone" is where scripted events are inserted through the "Green Cell." Anticipate that the senior Legal O-T will craft a large number of legal events as part of the Master Event List (MEL) for insertion during the WFX.

This is an example of such a MEL legal event and consequences of action or inaction:


How XVIII ABN Corps should approach WFX Scenarios


Above is a graphic depiction of the "Concept of Legal Support in War" text found at Chapter. 5, Par. 5.3, FM 27-100; it is an equally valid portrayal of the continuum of support for the WFX, for operations other than war (OOTW), and for legal support during combat operations. To prepare for the WFX, as well as for day-to-day garrison legal operations and legal support to deployed operations, the OSJA will:

* Study Lessons Learned (CLAMO publications & JAGCnet, Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL), Army Historical Series, etc.) and historical works with bearing on exercise scenario. Self-paced and individually chosen, as well as LDP-oriented studies, should examine lessons from all the variety of the sub-disciplines of legal support to operations, not just the law of war or military justice issues.

* Study the WFX scenario and operational plan, determining when and where realistic scripted events should occur that would confront commanders and staff, yet remaining flexible enough to allow members of EXCON to insert the events whenever the competitive action could most realistically insert events.

* Study and practice with "battle drill" checklists that identify potential issues and suggested actions with reference to the most commonly encountered scenario and exercise events/issues. (See Appendix F).

* Such "battle drills" are no substitute for primary reference research / consultation, such as Field Manuals (FMs), Tactical SOPs (TACSOPs) and Field SOPs (FSOPs).

* "Share the wealth, reap the wealth" -- offer training products "up" to CLAMO and other support organizations, as well as to subordinate units (Divisions, Brigades, Battalions), and ask for feedback, insights, comments, corrections, and other assistance not encumbered by "pride of authorship."

Chapter 3

Standards to Achieve / Pitfalls to Avoid

The following are objectives identified by the senior Legal OT during the FY 2001 JAG Worldwide Continuing Legal Education (WWCLE) conference regarding legal support to operations during WFX:

* Continuous staff integration/"staying in the information loop (paper, maps, briefings, websites, electronic collaboration).

* Knowledge of general operational terms & concepts.

* Mastery of the specific unit plan.

* Legal issue tracking.

* Internal vertical & horizontal communication.

* Inclusion of entire staff, especially 27Ds.

* Training junior JAs and 27Ds to be conversant in TOC operations and field SOPs.

* Equipment (acquisition, loadout, setup, recovery).

These are key preparatory tasks as identified by the senior Legal OT:

* Conduct an OPD on concept of exercise, order.

* Draft TOC SOPs that spell out everyone's job.

* Train your troops in regard to the TOC space and the "battle rhythm."

* Construct a legal issues tracking system.

* Construct an OSJA horizontal & vertical communication system.

* Draft ROE in "ROE cell" (not "JA vacuum").

* Reinforce consistent understanding of key terms (e.g., "observed fires, retained authority, & friendly air forces").

* Teach JAs the JCS SROE methodology.

Those preparatory tasks will help towards avoiding the following commonly-seen pitfalls:

* JAs had not studied the OPORD; OPORD Annexes were not cross-walked (e.g., ROE not staffed with other key staff sections or synchronized with other efforts/products like Chemical or Fires annexes).

* No mechanism to track legal actions (BCTP looks for means that ensure that BDE JAs have same updated information as Corps and Division TOCs, and that the information is updated every 4 or so hours).

* Staff "burnout"/degraded effectiveness due to impractical work/sleep schedule.

* No familiarity with terms and symbols (FM 101-5-1 is a critical reference for this!).

* No integration with other staff elements (working together, sharing information).

* No good use of 27Ds (leadership of people, management of assets & ensuring adequate life support for OSJA).

* No ROE Cell.

Fundamental Staff Skills and Relationships

As members of the Corps' special and personal staff, JAs, Legal Administrators, and Paralegal Specialists / NCOs have key roles in the following five common functions: providing information, making estimates, making recommendations, preparing plans and orders, and supervising the execution of decisions.
Providing Information The staff collects, collates, analyzes,
 and disseminates information that flows
 into the headquarters. The staff rapidly
 processes and provides significant
 elements of this information to the
 commander. The staff is always sensitive
 to changes in the battle that may warrant
 the commander's attention.

Making Estimates The staff prepares estimates to assist
 the commander in decision-making. A staff
 estimate consists of significant facts,
 events, and conclusions (based on current
 or anticipated situation) and
 recommendations on how available
 resources can be best used. Efficient
 planning depends on continuing estimates
 by staff officers. Failure to make these
 estimates may lead to errors and
 omissions in the development of a course
 of action.

Making Recommendations Staff officers make recommendations to
 assist the commander in reaching
 decisions and establishing policies.
 Staff officers also offer recommendations
 to one another and to subordinate
 commanders. In the latter case,
 recommendations are for assistance only;
 they do not carry implied command

Preparing Plans and Orders The staff prepares and issues plans and
 orders to carry out the commander's
 decisions, ensuring coordination of all
 necessary details. The commander may
 delegate authority to staff officers to
 issue plans and orders without his
 personal approval.

Supervise the Execution of The staff assists the commander by
Decisions ensuring that subordinates carry out the
 command decision. Staff supervision
 the commander of much detail, keeps the
 staff informed of the situation, and
 provides the staff with the information

At battalion level and higher, the commander is authorized a staff to assist him. The basic model within the United States Army for staff structures at all levels of unit command is that shown below. This is called the "general staff" structure, which includes a Chief of Staff (executive officer at brigade and battalion), three staff groups (coordinating, special, and personal), and liaison officers.


The number of coordinating, special, and personal staff officers differs between the various levels of command.

The Chief of Staff directs, supervises, and ensures coordination of the work of the staff, except in those specific areas reserved by the commander. He frees the commander from routine details. He formulates and announces staff operating policies, ensures that the commander and staff are informed on matters affecting the command, represents the commander, when authorized, maintains the master policy file and monitors the standing operating procedures, and ensures that necessary liaison is established. He also requires that all coordinating and special staff officers, unless instructed otherwise by the commander, inform him of any communications they have with the commander. Finally, he exercises direct supervision over the main Command Post and its operations.

The Coordinating Staff Group consists of the principal assistants to the commander. The officers forming the group--the G1, G2, G3, G4, and G5 at Division and Corps, S1, S2, S3, S4, and S5 at Battalion and Brigade--are concerned with broad fields of interest. They coordinate the plans, activities, and operations of the command. Together, they assist the commander with his or her entire field of responsibility, except for those functional areas the commander chooses to control personally or those reserved by law or regulation for specific staff officers, such as the inspector general and the staff judge advocate (SJA). Each coordinating staff officer establishes procedures to ensure that the activities of special staff officers who fall within his or her field of coordination are integrated. Coordinating staff officers are responsible directly to the Chief of Staff, but the commander may consult them directly.

The Assistant Chief of Staff (ACofS), G1, Personnel, is the commander's principal staff officer for all matters concerning human resources. The G1 has primary coordinating staff responsibility for unit strength maintenance, personnel service support, discipline, law and order, civilian personnel, administrative support, safety, and headquarters management.

The ACofS, G2, Intelligence, is the commander's principal staff officer for all intelligence matters. He acquires information, analyzes it, and presents his or her evaluation and recommendation to the commander. He coordinates with other command and staff elements and uses plans, orders, and SOPs to direct all elements in the unit to support intelligence and counterintelligence functions. He also coordinates intelligence and CI training, as well as the development of intelligence products.

The ACofS, G3, Operations, is the commander's principal staff officer in matters concerning operations, plans, organization, and training. The G3 is the staff officer who takes the lead in coordinating with other staff members to get the job done.

The ACofS, G4, Logistics, is the commander's principal staff officer for the commander in matters of supply, maintenance, transportation, and services. In order to plan the logistical support of the unit, he must maintain close and continuous coordination with the support command commander, because the latter is responsible for logistic support operations (as opposed to staff coordination). The G4 must also coordinate continuously with the G3 to ensure support of tactical operations, and need to report on the status of procurement contracts to the SJA.

The ACofS, G5, Civil Military Operations, is the commander's principal staff officer in matters concerning the impact of civilians on military operations and the political, economic, and social effects of military operations on civilian personnel.

The Special Staff Group assists the commander in professional, technical, and other functional areas. Its members assist the coordinating staff officers in preparing plans, orders, and reports. They also plan and supervise training in their own staff sections, and also provide input to the commander on their training and readiness. The size and composition of this group will vary based on the mission of the unit, the level of command, and the desires of the commander. Special Staff Officers may include the SJA, the Inspector General, the Public Affairs Officer, the Chaplain, the Finance Officer, the Division Surgeon, the Fire Support Coordinator (FSCOORD) and Division or Corps Artillery Commander, the Air Defense Artillery Battalion Commander, the Provost Marshal and Military Police Battalion / Brigade Commander, the Signal Battalion / Brigade Commander, the Engineer Battalion/Brigade Commander, and the Aviation Battalion / Brigade Commander.

The Personal Staff Group consists of officers who work under the immediate control of the commander and assist him directly, instead of working through the Chief of Staff. Typical members are the SJA, the Command Sergeant Major, the Inspector General, and the chaplain. Personal Staff officers may perform some of their duties as such but other of their duties as special staff officers. For example, the SJA is responsible for operation of his or her staff section and thus is a member of both the personal and special staffs.

Liaison Officers are representatives of the commander at other headquarters. The Chief of Staff, the G3, or another designated individual directs them in their duties. Through personal contact, the liaison officers promote cooperation, coordination, and exchange of essential information. Upon arriving at a headquarters, a liaison officer reports to the Chief of Staff or a designated representative.

Command and Support Relationships

The BCTP Seminar Decision Exercises presumed that participants completely understood the following four standard command relationships:
Organic A unit that forms an essential part of
 an Army unit and is listed in its table
 of organization and equipment (TO&E) or
 table of distribution and allowances

Assigned A unit that is placed in an organization
 on a permanent basis and is controlled
 and administered by the organization to
 which it is assigned for its primary
 function or the greater portion of its

Attached A unit that is placed in an organization
 on a temporary basis. Although subject to
 limitations specified in the attachment
 order, the commander to whom the unit is
 attached exercises the same degree of
 command and control, as well as
 responsibility for the attached unit as
 he does over organic units. However, UCMJ
 responsibility and promotion of personnel
 normally will be retained by the original
 command. The attachment order should
 state clearly the administrative and
 support responsibility of the gaining
 unit to the attached unit.

Operational Control A unit provided to another commander to
(OPCON) accomplish specific missions or tasks
 that are usually limited by function,
 time, or location. The commander may
 deploy the unit concerned and retain or
 assign tactical control of the unit.
 OPCON does not include administrative and
 logistic responsibility, discipline,
 internal organization, and unit training

The following three standard relationships between supporting and supported units also were presumed knowledge:
Direct Support A unit in direct support of a specific
 unit or force is required to give
 priority of support to that unit or
 force. The supporting unit will take
 support requests directly from the
 supported unit or force, normally will
 establish liaison and communication, and
 will provide advice to the supported
 unit. A unit in direct support has no
 command relationship with the supported
 force and therefore cannot be sub-
 allocated, reassigned, or reorganized by
 the supported force.

General Support A unit in general support will provide
 support to the total force and not to any
 particular subdivision of the supported
 force. Subdivisions/subordinate units may
 request support through the supported
 force headquarters, but only the
 supported can determine priorities and
 can assign missions to general support

General Support Reinforcing This relationship is used primarily with
 artillery units. The GSR artillery unit
 is required to support the force as a
 whole and to provide reinforcing fires to
 another artillery unit as a second

The Military Decision Making Process (MDMP)


The MDMP process is an art and science put into practice daily by commanders and staffs, and studied and taught at the basic and advanced levels at Combined Arms and Services Staff School (CAS-3), the Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC), at the School for Advanced Military Studies (SAMS), and at Senior Service Colleges such as the Army War College. Commanders and staffs will continually face situations involving uncertainty, questionable or incomplete data, and multiple alternatives. They must determine not only what to do, but also whether a decision is necessary. JAs and Paralegal Specialists / NCOs are expected by the SJA, the G-3 Chief of War Plans, and indeed even by the current Corps Commanding General, to actively participate in the Corps' MDMP and provide analytical skills, attention to detail, and subject matter expertise.

Army doctrine is consistent with modern decision theory. According to FM 101-5, amongst other references, finding solutions to problems results from a logical and orderly process that consists of

* Recognizing and defining the problem;

* Gathering the facts and making assumptions needed to determine the scope of and the solution to the problem;

* Developing possible solutions to the problem;

* Analyzing and comparing possible solutions; and

* Selecting the best solution to the problem.

Military command posts typically apply this basic decision making and problem-solving model in two contexts: first, when they are preparing estimates of the situation prior to issuing an operations plan or order, and, second, when they are preparing staff studies in search of solutions to specific problems. The estimate is the principle problem-solving vehicle in tactical and operational settings; the staff study is the norm in administrative settings. Those JAs and Paralegal Specialists / NCOs not familiar with the MDMP, as set out in FM 101-5, Staff Organization and Operations, must study and seek out MDMP practical exercise opportunities.

Plans and Orders

Appendix H of FM 101-5 provides a detailed analysis of plans and orders -- JAs and Paralegal Specialists / NCOs will be integrally involved in the planning, drafting, and execution of such documents. Plans and orders are the means by which the commander expresses to subordinates battlefield visualization, intent, and decisions, focusing on the results the commander expects to achieve--a vision of the end state of an operation. This gives subordinates the maximum operational and tactical freedom to accomplish the mission while providing only the minimum restrictions and details necessary for synchronization and coordination. Plans and orders should provide the what rather than the how to encourage initiative. Plans and orders are the method the commander uses to synchronize military actions. They also help the staff synchronize the commander's decisions and concepts.

Plans and orders:

* Permit subordinate commanders to prepare supporting plans and orders.

* Implement operations derived from a higher commander's plan or order.

* Focus a subordinate's activities.

* Provide tasks and activities, constraints, and coordinating instructions necessary for the successful completion of missions.

* Do not inhibit agility, speed, and initiative in carrying out missions.

* Are communications conveying instructions in a standard, recognizable, clear, and simple format.

* Provide a clear, concise mission statement, based on the mission assigned by the higher headquarters, which includes execution time and date.

* Convey the commander's intent and concept of operations.

* Usually include an overlay.

Principles of Training

Annex A of the OSJA Soldiers' Handbook is the OSJA's Deployment and Field Standard Operating Procedures. Appendix 8 of that Annex sets forth practical considerations for legal support to Command Posts (CPs), Status Reports, and Briefing Slides. Appendix F of this Study Guide contains "battle drills" which are a series of issue-identification checklists for a variety of commonly encountered legal aspects of operations, and the Status Reports and Briefing Slides which should be used to track such legal aspects of operations. The OSJA METL, as identified in Annex E of the OSJA Soldiers' Handbook, sets forth our missions, tasks, and conditions of performance. Field Manual 25-100, Training the Force, expresses nine guiding principles of training which should guide our efforts to prepare for, conduct, and evaluate any training.

* Train as a combined arms and services team. "Combined arms and services" is a technical term referring to military actions that integrate combat functions (infantry, armor, and aviation), combat support functions (field artillery, air defense artillery, engineers), and combat service support functions (logistics, personnel services, and health services). The example provided in Field Manual 25-100, Training the Force, is that of the division commander who trains regularly with an entire "slice" of "basic combat, combat support, and combat service support systems." For JAs, Legal Administrators, and Paralegal Specialists / NCOs, we should conduct collective training with a full "slice" of judge advocate support, and also integrate all the core disciplines of legal claims, legal assistance, military justice, administrative law, and all other aspects of operational law. This principle also means that reserve component legal elements should participate, if possible, in the WFX as they would in a real large-scale deployment of the Corps.

* Train as you fight. Legal issues, which are some of the most challenging the command and staff will face, will be incorporated into collective training events, just like smoke, noise, chemical attacks, battlefield debris, loss of key leaders, and cold weather. For this reason, every OSJA Division will have a role in participating in the WFX, so superlative garrison performance will be mirrored into field support.

* Use appropriate doctrine. Training must conform to Army doctrine, and when fighting as a joint (multi-service) or combined (multinational) force, we must train and fight according to joint (e.g., Joint Publications) and combined (e.g., NATO) doctrine. We are a doctrine-based Army. Army doctrine is contained in Field Manual 3-0, Operations and supporting doctrinal manuals, such as Field Manual 27-100, Legal Operations. Army training doctrine is contained in Field Manual 25-100 as well as in Field Manual 25-101, Battle Focused Training. We can and should seek out expert advice through our technical chains to understand, implement, and improve Army (and other applicable) doctrine.

* Use performance-oriented training. Sweat in training saves blood in combat. A large variety of training aids, devices, simulators, and simulations (TADSS) are available to simulate actual conditions. Just as a Chief of Criminal Law will encourage trial counsel to practice opening statements, examinations, motions arguments, or closing arguments, the entire OSJA can and will bring its automation support, legal references and forms, and necessary furniture to the WFX to replicate the full range of legal support to operations expected and required during combat operations.

* Train to challenge. No matter how proficient or accomplished a JA or Legal Specialist may be, there is always room for personal and professional improvement. Tough, realistic training should present a physical and intellectual challenge. At the same time, repeated "training to muscle failure" (physical and mental) without adequate rest, refreshment, and reflection will cause a degradation in performance rather than an improvement. Leaders within the OSJA should set the example and expect enthusiasm, eagerness to learn, and best personal and professional efforts. Having said that, JAs, Legal Administrators, and Paralegal Specialists / NCOs should never confuse enthusiasm with capability.

* Train to (build and) sustain proficiency. The parenthetical addition to this training tenet reflects the fact that team-building takes time and effort. Much has been done already to build and sustain OSJA Divisional and office-wide capability. Much can and still will be done to ensure that proficiency does not "peak," then drop as time passed, skills decay, or experience dwindles with PCS and ETS movements. The LDP training done ICW this WFX is designed to sustain collective proficiency.

* Train using multiechelon techniques. During the WFX, JAs, Legal Administrators, and Paralegal Specialists / NCOs will perform individual tasks (e.g., disassemble and assemble M16 rifle, fill in the blocks of a nonjudicial punishment form, serve as OSJA "battle captains" or "battle NCOs"). They will also perform collective tasks (e.g., process, investigate, adjudicate, and pay a foreign claim, administer the military justice system, etc.). Cross-training between staff sections and legal disciplines, and the ability to work "outside one's lane" will allow for flexibility and depth of legal support to operations, as well as leader development.

* Train to maintain. Upkeep of equipment and weapons is as much a part of training as expert use of that equipment. Every soldier, from clerk to SJA, are stewards of valuable resources (the tents, vehicles, weapons, and equipment the OSJA will need in a real deployment). We must ensure that all equipment within our areas of responsibility is used effectively and kept ready for deployment.

* Make commanders the primary trainers. Leaders are responsible for the training and performance of their units or organizations. Leaders personally ensured that training is based on their unit or organization mission requirements, identify applicable Army (and other applicable) standards, assess the current level of proficiency, provide the required training resources, and develop training plans designed to create proficient individuals, leaders, and units. The SJA is the primary trainer of the OSJA and mentor of all his or her subordinates. Each subordinate leader, whether enlisted, noncommissioned, warrant, or commissioned officer, has a critical training, but an SJA never relegates the responsibility of primary trainer.

Chapter 4

The After-Action Review (AAR)

Chapter 5 of FM 25-100 notes that the after-action review provides feedback for all training. An AAR is a structured review process that allows training participants to discover for themselves what happened, why it happened, and how it can be done better. The AAR is a professional discussion that requires the active participation of those being trained. An AAR is not a critique and has the following advantages over a critique:

* Focuses directly on key METL-derived training objectives.

* Emphasizes meeting Army standards rather than pronouncing judgment of success or failure. Uses "leading questions" to encourage participants to self-discover important lessons from the training event.

* Allows a large number of individuals and leaders to participate so that more of the training can be recalled and more lessons learned can be shared.

The after-action review (AAR) consists of four parts:

* Establish what happened. The evaluator and the participants determine what actually happened during performance of the training task. For force-on-force training, OPFOR members assist in describing the flow of the training event and discuss training outcomes from their points of view.

* Determine what was right or wrong with what happened. The participants establish the strong and weak points of their performance. The evaluator plays a critical role in guiding the discussions so that conclusions reached by participants are doctrinally sound, consistent with Army standards, and relevant to the wartime mission.

* Determine how the task should be done differently the next time. The evaluator leads the group in determining exactly how participants will perform differently the next time the task is performed. This results in organizational and individual motivation to conduct future sustainment training at desired levels of proficiency.

* Perform the task again. This is done as soon as possible to translate observation and evaluation into corrective action. Additional training allows the participants to apply the lessons learned during the AAR. Leaders understand that not all tasks will be performed to standard. Therefore, during the short-range and near-term planning process, leaders should plan for flexibility in training events and schedules to allow for additional training immediately following the AAR.

(1.) Formerly Chief, International and Operational Law, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, 2000-2001. Special thanks to the following judge advocates for their assistance in preparing this note: Lieutenant Colonel Rich Whitaker, Lieutenant Colonel Mark Martins, Lieutenant Colonel Tom Ayres, Colonel Marty Mayes, and Brigadier General Dan Wright. The author alone is responsible for any errors or omissions.

(2.) U.S. DEP'T OF ARMY, FIELD MANUAL 27-100, LEGAL SUPPORT TO OPERATIONS [paragraph] 3.2 (1 Mar. 2000) (to be renumbered FM 1-04).

(3.) Id. at vii.

(4.) For a brief history of the BCTP's inception, see Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Thomas D. Morgan, BCTP: Training Leaders, LXX MILITARY REVIEW 7, 42-52 (July 1990). See CENTER FOR LAW & MILITARY OPERATIONS, THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL'S SCHOOL, U.S. ARMY, IN THE OPERATIONS CENTER: A JUDGE ADVOCATE'S GUIDE TO THE BATTLE COMMAND TRAINING PROGRAM (17 June 1996) [hereinafter In THE OPERATIONS CENTER], for a highly instructive, hypothetical account of legal support during BCTP "Warfighter" training,.

(5.) The XVIII Airborne Corps' first WFX evaluation as a Corps headquarters took place in FY 2001. Previous WFX evaluation cycles from BCTP's inception in 1987 onward coincided with major contingency operations, which made WFXs for the Corps staff impossible or impracticable. Operation Mountain Gate was the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) WFX during FY 01, and the initial exercise component of the Corps FY 01 WFX series. Operation Dragon Comet was the culminating exercise, during which the Corps' FY 01 WFX was "embedded" (higher and lower headquarters simultaneously exercised/evaluated) with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) WFX.

(6.) Various BCTP Study Guide appendices and supporting references are not reprinted in this note (for example, resource materials and concepts derived from IN THE OPERATIONS CENTER, supra note 4, and the XVIII Airborne Corps Soldiers Handbook), but are available on the CLAMO Web page or from CLAMO by e-mail request to Several minor revisions to the original November 2000 Study Guide text reflect Army doctrinal changes at the time of this note's publication (for example, FM 100-5 revision and republication as FM 3-0, changes to Department of the Army Pamphlet 611-21 and deletion of 71D military occupational specialty (MOS)/creation of 27D MOS).

(7.) The OOOF was a converted storage/attic space above the Corps OSJA building, configured and equipped to replicate the CMAIN, CRCP, and brigade operational law team (BOLT) legal operations for equipment layout, inspections, and work center rehearsals.

(8.) See, e.g., Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL), Information Sharing in a Coalition/Joint Headquarters, CALL Training Techniques List, Training Techniques 1st Quarter FY02, at (last visited Feb. 2, 2002). For a description of C2P2, see Northrup-Grumman's Web site at


(10.) Subordinate command legal staffs were also with: the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment TOC, the 82d Airborne Division Main (DMAIN) and Division Rear (DREAR) elements at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) DMAIN and DREAR at Fort Campbell, Kentucky; and numerous National Guard and reserve units at both Fort Bragg and Fort Campbell. The Corps' higher headquarters for the WFX was U.S. Army Central Command/Third U.S. Army at Fort McPherson, Georgia.

(11.) Knowledge management has been defined as "cater[ing] to the critical issues of organizational adaption, survival and competence in face of increasingly discontinuous environmental change. Essentially, it embodies organizational processes that seek synergistic combination of data and information processing capacity of information technologies, and the creative and innovative capacity of human beings." TOOLS@WORK: Deciphering the Knowledge Management Hype, 21 J. QUALITY & PARTICIPATION 4, 58-60 (July/Aug. 1998).

(12.) Practical orientation and education led up to WFX participants deploying on exercises. New soldiers and those not slated to participate in the WFXs made orientation trips to observe OSJA operations in the field. The various training events for WFX participants and other OSJA personnel helped build an exceptionally cohesive team.

(13.) See supra note 7.

(14.) Deploying OSJA staff must read and keep on hand (not leave back in garrison or in their rucksack) OSJA and command-common policies, procedures and guidance manuals (for example, the Soldiers' Handbook and BCTP Study Guide), and basic orders, plans, and execution documents.

(15.) Anticipating the environment includes: checking power supplies, outlet locations, and keeping surge suppressors and charged battery packs on hand in the event of power supply interruptions; investigating phone line and local area network capabilities; keeping equipment and critical components together (for example, STU III (secure telephone unit, third generation) with key); having back-up systems (for example, systems software, portable lights, and speakers); and protective carrying boxes and equipment covers/protective wrappings. Equipment should have "expansion" capability wherever possible (computer memory, for example). Train to proficiency on baseline systems (for example, MicroSoft (MS) Office applications) and gain familiarity with other systems impacting on legal support to operations (for example, AFATDS). Proactively seek out and use new tools that enhance legal support to operations (for example, FalconView flight planning/mapping software).

(16.) Put in work orders or seek assistance immediately when there is an automation, power supply, or telephone problem--do not leave for another shift or another person to do. Log the problem and solution. When one system fails, go to an alternate system (for example, if MS FrontPage-based Web Log fails, start a MS Word or paper log).

(17.) Never underestimate supply consumption rates, or assume you can readily replenish exhausted supplies. Good stewardship of resources starts with soldier accountability for sensitive/hand-receipted items. Mark, maintain, and safeguard your equipment, and seek immediate assistance if equipment is lost, damaged, or stolen.

(18.) Memorandum, Staff Judge Advocate, XVIII Airborne Corps & Fort Bragg, subject: Introduction to the OSJA XVIII Airborne Corps Soldiers' Handbook--2000 Edition (10 Oct. 2000).
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Date:Mar 1, 2002
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