Infantry Drills

A-38: Defined Operational Environment

Previous: A-36: Analysis of Terrain and Weather

A-38. Leaders to have starting points for terrain analysis must first define their operational environment. They must know their areas of operation and areas of interest:

  • Areas of operation. Higher commanders use boundaries to define their platoons’ and companies’ areas of operations. Assigning areas of operations to subordinates lets the subordinates use their initiative and supports decentralized execution.
  • Area of interest. An area of interest is a geographical area, usually larger than the leader’s area of operation. The area of interest includes threat forces or other elements characterizing the operational environment and greatly influencing the accomplishment of the mission.

Next: A-39: Prioritization of Terrain Analysis

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