Infantry Drills

A-138: Rehearsals

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A-138. Rehearsals are practice sessions conducted to prepare units for an upcoming operation or event. They are essential in ensuring thorough preparation, coordination, and understanding of the commander’s plan and intent. Leaders should never underestimate the value of rehearsals.

A-139. Rehearsals require leaders and, when time permits, other platoon Soldiers to perform required tasks, ideally under conditions as close as possible to those expected for the actual operation. At their best, rehearsals are interactive; participants maneuver their actual vehicles or use vehicle models or simulations while verbalizing their elements’ actions. During every rehearsal, the focus is on the how element, allowing subordinates to practice the actions called for in their individual scheme of maneuver.

Note. Rehearsals are different from a discussion of what is supposed to happen during the actual event. Leaders can test subordinates understanding of the plan by ensuring they push the rehearsal forward rather than waiting to dictate each step of the operation.

A-140. The leader uses well-planned, efficiently run rehearsals to accomplish the following:

  • Reinforce training and increase proficiency in critical tasks.
  • Reveal weaknesses or problems in the plan, leading to more refinement of the plan or development of additional branch plans.
  • Integrate the actions of subordinate elements.
  • Confirm coordination requirements between the platoon and adjacent units.
  • Improve each Soldier’s understanding of the concept of the operation, the direct fire plan, anticipated contingencies, and possible actions and reactions for various situations may arise during the operation.
  • Ensure seconds-in-command are prepared to execute in their leaders’ absence.

Next: A-141: Rehearsals Types

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