Infantry Drills

A-31: Tasks

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A-31. Leaders must identify and understand tasks required to accomplish a given mission. The three types of tasks are specified, implied, and essential.

A-32. Specified Tasks. Specified tasks are specifically assigned to a unit by a higher headquarters and are found throughout the OPORD. Specified tasks also may be found in annexes and overlays; for example—”Seize OBJ FOX.;” “Reconnoiter route BLUE;” “Assist the forward passage of 1st platoon, B Company.” “Send two Soldiers to assist in the loading of ammunition.”

A-33. Implied Tasks. Implied tasks are those being performed to accomplish a specified task, but that are not stated in a higher headquarters’ order. Implied tasks derive from a detailed analysis of higher up orders, from the enemy situation and COA, from the terrain, and from knowledge of doctrine and history. Analyzing the unit’s current location in relation to future area of operation as well as the doctrinal requirements for each specified task might reveal the implied tasks. Only those requiring resources should be used. For example, if the specified task is “Seize Objective Fox,” and new intelligence has OBJ FOX surrounded by reinforcing obstacles, this intelligence would drive the implied task of “Breach reinforcing obstacles vicinity Objective Fox.”

A-34. Essential Task. The essential task is the mission task􀊊it accomplishes the assigned purpose. It, along with the platoon’s purpose, is usually assigned by the higher headquarters’ OPORD in concept of the operation or Tasks to Maneuver Units. For decisive operations, since the purposes are the same (nested concept) the essential task also accomplishes the higher headquarters’ purpose. For shaping operations, it accomplishes the assigned purpose, which shapes the decisive operation. For sustaining operations, it accomplishes the assigned purpose, which enables both the shaping and decisive operation (again, nested concept).

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