Infantry Drills

6-68: Orders, Briefings and Rehearsals

Previous: Section II: Patrol Preparations

6-68. Patrol orders, pre-patrol briefings, and rehearsals should cover—

  • Environment, local situation and possible threats. The patrol leader should coordinate an intelligence briefing covering the operational environment, local civil situation, terrain and weather which might affect the patrol’s mission, general and specific threats to the patrol, suspect persons, and vehicles and locations known to be in the patrol’s area.
  • Mine and IED threat. The patrol leader should make a mine and IED risk assessment based on the latest information available. This will determine many of the actions of the patrol. Patrol members must be informed of the latest mine and IED threats and restrictions to the unit’s tactical SOPs.
  • Operations update. The patrol leader should coordinate for an up-to-date briefing on the location and intentions of other friendly patrols and units in the patrol’s area. This briefing should include the existing fire and maneuver control measures in effect, no-go or restricted areas, special effects of the patrol’s area, and all other operational issues affecting the patrol and its mission.
  • Mission and tasks. Every patrol leader should be given a specific task and purpose to accomplish with his patrol. Accordingly, each patrol member knows the mission and is aware of his responsibilities.
  • Locations and route. The patrol leader must brief his patrol on all pertinent locations and routes. Locations and routes may include drop-off points, pick-up points, planned routes; rally points, exit and re-entry points, and alternates for each should be covered in detail.
  • Posture. This is a vital consideration during a civil reconnaissance patrol. (Refer to FM 3-57 for more information.) The patrol leader should not depart until he is sure he completely understands what posture or attitude the leader wishes the patrol to present to the populace it encounters. The posture may be soft or hard depending on the situation and environment. The patrol posture may change several times during a patrol.
  • Biometric enrollments/BEWL. An additional consideration during civil reconnaissance may be the number of biometric enrollments accomplished as well as how many people were identified with organic biometric devices as Tier/Level 1-6 Targets on the BEWL.
  • Personnel recovery. Operations that focuses on recovering isolated or missing personnel before becoming detained or captured and extracting those detained or captured personnel through coordinated and well-planned operations.
  • Actions on contact and actions at the scene of an incident. These are likely to be part of the unit’s tactical SOPs but should be covered especially if there are local variations or new patrol members.
  • Rules of engagement, rules of interaction, and rules for escalation of force. Each patrol member must know and understand these rules.
  • Communications plan/Lost communications plan. Every patrol member should know the means in which the patrol plans to communicate, to whom, how, and when it should report. The patrol leader must ensure he has considered what actions the patrol will take in the event it loses communications. The unit may have established these actions in its tactical SOP, but all patrol members should be briefed on the communication plan and be given the appropriate frequencies, contact numbers, and passwords in effect.
  • Electronic warfare countermeasures plan. This is especially important if the IED threat level is high. The patrol leader should clearly explain to all patrol members which electronic warfare devices are being employed and their significant characteristics. These issues may be covered by the unit’s tactical SOP, but all patrol members should be briefed on the electronic warfare plan in effect during the patrol.
  • Standard and special uniforms and equipment. Equipment should be distributed evenly among the patrol members. The location of essential or unique equipment should be known by all members of the patrol. SOPs should be developed to stipulate what uniform is to be worn for various types of patrols. The dress state will be linked to threats and posture of the patrol, so patrol members should be briefed in sufficient time to enable proper preparations. All patrols must have a day and night capability regardless of the expected duration of the patrol.
  • Medical. Every Soldier should carry their own individual improved first aid kit per unit tactical SOP. The leader should ensure that every patrol has a medic and one CLS qualified Soldier with a CLS bag. All patrol members must know who is responsible for carrying the pack and know how to use its contents.
  • Attachments. The patrol leader must ensure all personnel attached to the patrol are introduced to the other patrol members and briefed thoroughly on the tactical SOP; all patrol special orders; and existing chain of command. The following personnel may be attached to a unit going out on patrol:
    • Interpreters
    • Host-nation police, military police or local security forces.
    • Explosive ordnance disposal teams.
    • Female Soldiers specifically designated and trained to search local women.
    • Military working dog teams.
    • Foreign security forces.
    • Host-nation forces.
    • Provincial reconstruction teams.

Next: 6-69: Equipment

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