Infantry Drills

A-103: Risk Assessment

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A-103. Risk assessment is the identification and assessment of hazards allowing a leader to implement measures to control hazards. Leaders assess risk to protect the force and aid in mission accomplishment. The leader must consider two kinds of risk: tactical and accident. Tactical risk is associated with hazards existing due to the enemy’s presence. The consequences of tactical risk take two major forms:

  • Enemy action where the leader has accepted risk such as an enemy attack where the friendly leader has chosen to conduct an economy of force.
  • Lost opportunity, such as movement across terrain severely restricts the speed of traverse. This then would restrict the unit’s ability to mass the effects of combat power.

A-104. Accident risk includes all operational risk other than tactical risk and can include hazards concerning friendly personnel, equipment readiness, and environment. Fratricide is an example of an accident risk.

A-105. The leader must identify risks based on the results of his mission analysis. Once identified, risk must be reduced through controls. For example, fratricide is a hazard categorized as an accident risk; surface danger zones and risk estimate distance are used to identify the controls, such as TRP and phase lines, to reduce this accidental risk. When the leader decides what risks he is willing to accept, he also must decide in his COA how to reduce risk to an acceptable level.

Next: A-106: Identify Tentative Decisive Points

Go Back To: U.S. Army FM 3-21.8: The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad