A-15. In Step 1 of TLP, leaders determine their units’ missions and assess the time
available to accomplish them. They can conduct an initial (light) analysis of the order using METT-TC. They conduct detailed METT-TC analyses only after they issue the first WARNORD (Step 2). Rarely will they receive their missions until after higher command issues the third WARNORDs or the OPORDs themselves. However, in the course of parallel planning, small-unit leaders already will have deduced their tentative missions.
A-16. Leaders can receive their missions in several ways. They can get them in the form of WARNORDs or, if higher chooses to wait for more information, an actual OPORD. Sometimes higher chooses not to send WARNORDs, opting instead to wait and send a full OPORD. Worst case, leaders receive new missions due to situational changes occurring during the execution of a prior mission. In addition to receiving (or deducing) their missions during this step, the leaders must also—
- Assess the time available to prepare for and execute the mission.
- Prepare an initial timeline for planning and executing the mission.
- Conduct an initial planning-time analysis.
- Determine the total amount of time to plan and prepare.
- As planning continues, use the initial planning-time analysis to conduct a detailed time analysis.
- Analyze the time his unit has available.
- Prepare an initial timeline.
A-17. The most important element of the leader’s WARNORD is the initial timeline for planning. They also may convey other instructions or information they think will help their subordinates prepare for the upcoming mission.