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Leading elements and chain of command misconceptions?

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So I've seen that argument in last thread in war stories about leading where Dachi and Berenton got into a peaceful argument but war stories is not really the place for that so I made this thread. I'm just gonna pick it up from there so for the context go on last war stories thread.

I have to side with Berenton on this one. SL has the authority to command each and every soldier within their squad (a.k.a micromanagement) but this should be avoided at all costs. There is a chain of command that you have to follow. About 95% of the time SL is there to give orders to FTL. Let's use that example with 1 element moving and 1 element covering. Platoon gives a general order to do something, SL creates a plan in their head and tells FTLs: alpha 1 get a position to cover alpha 2 as they cross. At this point it's FTL's job to say: alpha 1 on me, we're going to move there, get a position and cover alpha 2. FT members are to wait for FTL to say something like "we're doing this now". Order might be more specific like "I want you to go to this exact location and cover alpha 2" but then again FTL says when the team moves and when they get to the place he decides(or not) where to put his soldiers so they are the most effective.

If you want to break down fireteams to do some partial micromanagement you should say "alpha 1 I need 2 of your guys to watch my SW and I also need 2 guys from alpha 2 to watch my SE", the FTL then says "you and you, go and do what SL says" and those 4 guys are supposedly under full SL command until told to go back to their teams.

If you don't do it more or less how it's described above then it becomes chaotic. The statement that FTL is there keep an eye on their team is ridiculous Let's go back to the example, SL says "alpha 1, cover alpha 2 as they cross" and alpha 1 just start moving as soon as they hear it and they don't get any formation going, not planning any route, just going as they think they should go. FTL at this point feels like he has 3 dogs on a leash with a guy blowing his dog whistle so the animals come towards him.

So to sum it up, PLT: gives more or less general orders following the plan from briefing or a modified one(since original plans almost never work out in 100%)
SL: Creates a plan of movement and tells fireteams what to do(again, can be a general order or more specified)
FTL: follows orders and micromanages his fireteam members and if orders are not specified enough he creates movement plan for his team

Micromanaging 9 people is very bad, giving out orders to people that are supposedly under management of FTL is bad(usually), FTL is not a grenadier that keeps an eye on 3 other people, FTL does micromanagement of his 3 people.
Posted Jan 12, 18 · OP
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Just one side note from me; there was a brief moment I used to play as FTL right after we made the squad restructure (when FTLs became more like riflemen and less like leaders), before we regressed back to the idea of FTL being a full blown team leader (that we used to have with 6-man fireteams and that we essentially have now with 4-man ones).

This was because the FTL role allowed me to be a much more "hands on" leader, without having to pause to look at the map to mark targets, without having to think much about movement and coordination with other elements, etc. ... I could just shoot and range targets for my guys and order them around when they couldn't do it on their own. This is my idea of an FTL.

Then somebody started promoting "initiative" and more cooperation between fireteams, which lead to FTLs planning more and moving more on their own (often with SLs approval because the movement made sense) and generally being more autonomous. This made sense as they had the fresh front line info, together with SL being generally in the back to not get killed. And it IMHO brought us back to the original 6-man-style FT leadership of fairly abstract squad leading.

Is it a good thing? I don't know, I don't play FTLs anymore. I've heard other people like having more authority as FTLs, though.
Posted Jan 12, 18
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As someone who has been squad leading quite often recently, I find that both micromanagement and semi-autonomous fireteams have their uses. Some situations call for more micromanagement while others call for moved by an FTL.
For example if I want to go do something as a squad lead I can just ask a random rifleman to help me without asking an entire fireteam to come, however when clearing a town a fireteam can be moving within a given sector quite independent from me.
But that's my take
Posted Jan 12, 18
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wrote:
So I've seen that argument in last thread in war stories about leading where Dachi and Berenton got into a peaceful argument but war stories is not really the place for that so I made this thread. I'm just gonna pick it up from there so for the context go on last war stories thread.

I have to side with Berenton on this one. SL has the authority to command each and every soldier within their squad (a.k.a micromanagement) but this should be avoided at all costs. There is a chain of command that you have to follow. About 95% of the time SL is there to give orders to FTL. Let's use that example with 1 element moving and 1 element covering. Platoon gives a general order to do something, SL creates a plan in their head and tells FTLs: alpha 1 get a position to cover alpha 2 as they cross. At this point it's FTL's job to say: alpha 1 on me, we're going to move there, get a position and cover alpha 2. FT members are to wait for FTL to say something like "we're doing this now". Order might be more specific like "I want you to go to this exact location and cover alpha 2" but then again FTL says when the team moves and when they get to the place he decides(or not) where to put his soldiers so they are the most effective.

If you want to break down fireteams to do some partial micromanagement you should say "alpha 1 I need 2 of your guys to watch my SW and I also need 2 guys from alpha 2 to watch my SE", the FTL then says "you and you, go and do what SL says" and those 4 guys are supposedly under full SL command until told to go back to their teams.

If you don't do it more or less how it's described above then it becomes chaotic. The statement that FTL is there keep an eye on their team is ridiculous Let's go back to the example, SL says "alpha 1, cover alpha 2 as they cross" and alpha 1 just start moving as soon as they hear it and they don't get any formation going, not planning any route, just going as they think they should go. FTL at this point feels like he has 3 dogs on a leash with a guy blowing his dog whistle so the animals come towards him.

So to sum it up, PLT: gives more or less general orders following the plan from briefing or a modified one(since original plans almost never work out in 100%)
SL: Creates a plan of movement and tells fireteams what to do(again, can be a general order or more specified)
FTL: follows orders and micromanages his fireteam members and if orders are not specified enough he creates movement plan for his team

Micromanaging 9 people is very bad, giving out orders to people that are supposedly under management of FTL is bad(usually), FTL is not a grenadier that keeps an eye on 3 other people, FTL does micromanagement of his 3 people.


I think you will find tropical this whole post duplicates every thing I wrote in wars stories thread where I specifically say that the SL can micromanage if needed but this should be avoided and FTL's used to delegate tasks. The argument we was having is that Berenton said the SL has no authority to order a FT member to do a task where I was saying of course he can they are his men and he just needs to do it the way you have said above informing him so all are in the loop.
Posted Jan 12, 18
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I have illustrated the issue below, basically there are people either in your chain of command i.e. under your command or those outside your chain of command (CoC).

Here is how my version of CoC should look like.

Dachi_Co_C.jpg


Here is Berentons.

Berentons_Co_C.jpg


Here is a simple example of mine, You as SL want to grab two guys from A1 the AR buddy team for example and you want them to cut off a crossroads, you inform your squad that you want this to happen over the radio, you could also if you wanted to delegate the task to the FTL this means telling him to get it done either way in both examples it is still the FTL's job to make it happen.

Now if I want to order B1 to do something as ASL then they are outside my CoC so I have to go through BSL first I can not order them to do anything.

What Bereton was saying is that as ASL, A1 members are not in my CoC so I have to go through the A1 FTL to give them order this is what I disagreed with. I think they are in the SL's CoC and I should be able to give them orders if required.

Regards,
Dachi
Posted Jan 12, 18 · Last edited Jan 12, 18
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Flo
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wrote:
Then somebody started promoting "initiative" and more cooperation between fireteams, which lead to FTLs planning more and moving more on their own (often with SLs approval because the movement made sense) and generally being more autonomous. This made sense as they had the fresh front line info, together with SL being generally in the back to not get killed. And it IMHO brought us back to the original 6-man-style FT leadership of fairly abstract squad leading.

Is it a good thing? I don't know, I don't play FTLs anymore. I've heard other people like having more authority as FTLs, though.

Cooperation between fireteams is great but FTLs planning shouldn't be a thing. It takes their attention away from the many things they must pay attention to. That’s the job of SL. The more time an FTL spends on the map the less he is informed where his guys/girls are, how the actual terrain looks, etc. In a quiet moment, FTLs can plan together with SL, but they shouldn't use the SL just as a man to put his signature under their plan. On the point of initiative: This really depends on the situation. SL and with that PL put the FT on this very position for a reason, that the FTL might not know. If however the FTL sees a great opportunity, then i can ask SL and he will either approve if it fits in the bigger plan or deny if not.

Posted Jan 12, 18
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Exactly right Flo.
Posted Jan 12, 18
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I am inclined to agree that anyone in the CoC has authority to micromanage people below them as much as they please. If he wanted, PLT could meticulously place every single soldier in the platoon, but that would be totally pointless, because that's what SL and FTL are for. However, when the shit hits the fan, FTL and SL have the authority to say "Nope, bollocks to this", in order to preserve the lives of themselves and their subordinates; the fewer people you have under your command, the more immediately you can act and react, which makes you better suited to making snap decisions in the heat of battle. The FTL reacts the quickest, then passes info up the chain.

And to reiterate my point in the war stories thread, the platoon leader gives orders on the map, the squad leader gives orders through binoculars, and the FTL gives orders by pointing.
Posted Jan 12, 18
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Discharged (CNTO Alumni)
Tropical, you don't "side" with anyone. Doctrine was adopted by Dachi "back then". That means it's how he says - the problem is that we don't have that written anywhere. It would be good to have a CNTO field manual but let's be honest, who will have the time to write it?

A lot of stuff is doctrine specific and depends on bigger picture. For example:

In US Army fireteam is self reliant element. Field manual FM 3-21.8 - The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad says:

1-72. The Infantry fire team is designed to fight as a team and is the fighting element within the Infantry platoon. Infantry platoons and squads succeed or fail based on the actions of their fire teams.

1-73. The Infantry fire team is designed as a self-contained team. The automatic rifleman
(AR) provides an internal base of fire with the ability to deliver sustained suppressive small arms fire on
area targets. The rifleman provides accurate lethal direct fire for point targets. The grenadier provides high
explosive (HE) indirect fires for both point and area targets. A team leader (TL) who provides C2 through
leadership by example (“Do as I do”) leads this team.

Then it goes on about different roles in a team and I'll take the part about team leader:

1-77. The team leader leads his team members by personal example. He has authority over his subordinates
and overall responsibility for their actions. Centralized authority enables the TL to maintain troop discipline
and unity and to act decisively. Under the fluid conditions of close combat, the team leader must
accomplish assigned missions using initiative without needing constant guidance from above.

1-78. The team leader’s position on the battlefield requires immediacy and accuracy in all of his actions.
He is a fighting leader who leads his team by example. The team leader is responsible for all his team does
or fails to do. He is responsible for the care of his team’s men, weapons, and equipment. During operations,
the team leader—

- Is the SME on all of the team’s weapons and duty positions and all squad battle drills.
- Leads his team in fire and movement.
- Controls the movement of his team and its rate and distribution of fire.
- Employs digital C2 systems available to the squad and platoon.
- Ensures security of his team’s sector.
- Assists the squad leader as required.
- Is prepared to assume the duties of the squad leader and platoon sergeant.
- Enforces field discipline and PMM.
- Determines his team’s combat load and manages its available classes of supply as required.
- Understands the mission two levels up (squad and platoon)

1-79. When maneuvering the team, the team fights using one of three techniques:
(1) Individual movement techniques (IMT, the lowest level of movement).
(2) Buddy team fire and movement.
(3) Fire team fire and movement (maneuver).

1-80. Determining a suitable technique is based on the effectiveness of the enemy’s fire and available
cover and concealment. The more effective the enemy’s fire, the lower the level of movement. Because the
team leader leads his team, he is able to make this assessment firsthand. Other leaders must be sensitive to
the team leader’s decision on movement.

But in the Russian army it's a completely different ball game.
Posted Jan 12, 18
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But in the Russian army it's a completely different ball game.

Completely different ball game here in the British Army too mate we have Fire Teams but they don't do anything on there own they are literally only there to enable the section to perform Fire and Manoeuvre.
Posted Jan 12, 18
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