• Considering the task allotted together with restrictions on the method of carrying it out to get the TERMS OF REFERENCE/LIMITATION AND AIM
• Collecting and collating all relevant info under appropriate FACTORS and arranged at relevant DEDUCTIONS, towards achieving the aim
• Review of the deductions to bring out possible ways of achieving the aim to give the COURSES OF ACTON
• The elaboration of the course selected to give the OUTLINE PLAN
LAYOUT AND SEQUENCE
Aim is a statement of what is intended to be achieved. A clear and concise formulation of the aim is an essential pre-requisite of any military appreciation. A faulty aim will lead to a faulty plan. The task may be clearly laid down by higher commander. If so, the task will become the aim. If not, a review of the situation will be required to set the aim.
FORMULATION OF THE AIM
At higher levels, review of the overall sit obtaining at that time may be carried out under the following heads:
• A general review of the situation and environment.This may include terrain evaluation,weather, political and
• Terms of reference
• En forces and intentions
• Own forces and higher intentions
At lower levels, Div and below, review of the sit normally limited to listing the Terms of Reference/Limitation only
REVIEW OF THE SITUATION
TERMS OF REFERENCE / LIMITATION
• Time Stipulation
• Restrictions on use of troops and
• Purpose of an operation
• Ground stipulation
• Amplification of task
• Administration stipulation
AIMThe Aim must be simple, clear and concise. It should satisfy the following:
• Must be single
• Must not indicate the method of achievement
• Must be positive. No negative verbs should be used
• Must be capable of being attained with the existing resources
• Must be confined to the boundaries of immediate planning
• What exactly is to be done?
• What does this involve?
• How far can I plan now?
QUESTIONS TO BE ASKED TO BRING OUT THE AIM
If the task laid down by the higher commander is ‘To capture Green Hill’, the task itself may become the aim, as the answers to all the three questions are the same, ie, ‘To capture Green Hill’. At Bn level, selection of aim is often simple, the task itself becoming the Aim.
Example Two. The task laid down by higher commander is ‘To capture Brown Hill’. The answer to first question remains the same, ie, to capture Brown Hill. However, the answer to second question brings out - that capture of Brown Hill also involves capture of Mound and Knoll since the latter two are in close proximity of Brown Hill and will interfere in its capture and subsequent holding. The answer to third question is that the capture of all the three features can be planned now. Thus the Aim is this case would be ‘To capture Mound, Knoll and Brown Hill’.
The task laid down by the higher commander is, ‘Act as advance guard and establish a firm base in area Metipihibiya’. The answer to first question is, ‘To act as advance Guard’ and’ To establish firm base in Area Metipihibiya’. The next question ‘What does this involve?’ brings out ‘To act as advance Guard upto area Metipihibiya and then secure Metipihibiya’ The answer to ‘How far can I plan now ?‘ is that I can only plan to act as advance Guard.
A factor may be defined as a series of statement of facts or reasonable assumptions bearing on the aim, from which deductions also having a bearing on the aim can be drawn.
PURPOSE The purpose of examining factors is to carry out an analysis of all available relevant info, facts and “ possibilities, whether known or surmised, with a view to deriving definite and relevant conclusions ‘(deductions), towards determining the courses of action. Deductions that emerge enable us to suggest the possible courses that the en may adopt, to know clearly what options are available to own forces to achieve, the aim and finally to select the best option or course of action to realise the aim.
SELECTION OF FACTORS
Selection of factors is dependent on the aim of the appreciation only relevant info and facts having a beating on the attainment of aim should be considered. All irrelevant matter not having a bearing on the ‘aim or not leading to useful deductions should be ruthlessly discarded.
• The Question Method
THE PROCESS OF SELECTION
• The Plan ingredient/Execution Paragraph Method
CONSIDERATION OF FACTORS
• There is no cover on Northern Approach (A statement of fact), So what?• During day, enemy will be able to observe my move on Northern Approach (An effect), So what?• Move on Northern Approach is likely to draw heavy enemy interference (An inference), So what ?• I should move on Northern Approach during night or I should cover my move with arty fire. (These suggest a course of action and there is no further answer to ‘So what?’ Therefore, these are deductions)
METHOD OF DRAWING DEDUCTIONS
• Always use the word ‘should’ for wording deductions
• Deductions should always be positive. Never draw negative deductions
• Do not include facts from which no useful deductions can be drawn
• Do not arrive at deductions without first considering the relevant factors. Such deductions may be termed as unsupported deductions. Unsupported deductions go against the technique of a written appreciation
IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER WHILE DRAWING DEDUCTIONS
• Do not confuse statement of facts with deductions
• Deductions are conclusions leading to courses of action. A statement which is a fact and not a conclusion is not a deduction as it does not lead to a course of action
• Deductions pertain to own courses of action. Do not include deductions pertaining to enemy courses of action in the Factors
• Do not draw deductions from the wrong factors/sub factors
• Courses of action are the various options available to achieve the aim. Factors have to be considered logically, the likely courses, both own and enemy, will be derived by considering the factors
• Most suitable course to attain the aim has to be selected by detailed consideration of the merits of each and weighing it against likely en action
• Courses, which are obviously unworkable, must not be included
COURSES OF ACTION
• When En Has the Initiative:* State and examine en courses* Determine en’s most probable Course* State and examine own courses* Decide own best course of action in
relation to enemy’s most probable course
• When We Have the Initiative:* State and examine own courses* State and examine en courses* Determine en’s most probable course* Decide own best course of action in
relation to enemy’s most probable course
EN COURSESEn courses are discussed under the headings ‘Likelihood’ and ‘Effect’. Under ‘Likelihood’, discuss the likelihood of adoption of that course by the enemy and under ‘Effect’, examine the fleet of
that course on the attainment of our aim.
ENEMY’S MOST PROBABLE COURSE
If no concrete indication of the enemy’s most probable course may be forthcoming from the consideration of factors, assess the enemy’s most dangerous course as his most probable course.
• Own courses are the various methods of achieving the aim, derived from consideration of factors• A course is a plan in nut shell. Hence while describing own courses, describe briefly the full essentials of each course • No new own courses to be introduced it should be a logical outcome of all factors considered in the appreciation • Each course should be examined in the light of the aim under the headings ‘Advantages’ and ‘Disadvantages’ • Combination of courses may be considered if they more likely to achieve the aim, such a combination course should have been discussed in the factors before hand
OWN BEST COURSE OF ACTION
The plan is a statement of the method by which derived through an elaboration of the course selected to achieve the aim. It is a logical outcome of the consideration of factors.
• Aim• Mission• Execution• Service Support• Command and Signals
THE GROUP HEADINGS USED IN THE PLAN
An appreciation may be re-appreciate at any stage prior to execution of the plan if warranted by change in original situation or factors. It is a matter of judgement as to when and under what circumstances re-appreciation may be necessary.
DOs AND DONTs
DOs• Evolve a clear, concise and simple aim
• Keep the terms of reference at the back of your mind while discussing factors
• Give due importance to all the factors, courses of action and the plan
• Be brief and to the point
• Be neat and tidy in your writing
• Follow the rules of minor Staff Duties
• Do not situate an appreciation but appreciate the Situation
• Do not include information facts in factors from which no useful deductions can be drawn
• Do not draw negative deductions• Do not draw unsupported deductions • Do not draw deductions from the wrong factors• Do not produce ‘Courses of Action’ out of
nowhere. These must be based on consideration of factors