Train the Force and METL Development

OK, good news here. Youwon’t have to mess with developing a METL; there is no such thing as a Platoon METL.  Platoons have Battle Tasks that are made up of Collective Tasks which build on Individual Tasks.  All of those different levels of tasks feed a process called the METL crosswalk.  The process “starts” with Individual Tasks.  These are the tasks that each Soldier needs to know how to accomplish.  Once these are mastered, the team and squad start conducting Collective Tasks, tasks that require more than one person to conduct.  Once those are done the platoon conducts Battle Tasks.  Some could argue that the process starts from the other end.  Company develops a METL (derived from Battalion METL) and Battle Tasks are developed that support it.  From there it goes down to Individual Tasks, all connected and supporting the previous level.  Where do these tasks come from?  They come from Army ARTEPs or MTPs.  These are documents that formally associate Battle tasks, Collective Tasks and Individual tasks with METL tasks.  Confused?  Let me try this another way…think of an individual range card (individual tasks).  To make a squad range card (collective tasks) you combine those individual ones, right?  To make a platoon range card (Battle tasks) you take all of the squad range cards.  So if I look at a Company METL task…lets say Maintain Bathroom Operations.  A Battle Task may be Maintain Shower operations, with collective task of maintain floor integrity, with individual tasks of mopping floor, identifying mission or broken tile and replace broken tile.  Each level builds on itself.  In order to be successful as a Company at a METL task, you have to start at the bottom and “train your way up” the tasks.  You can’t Maintain Bathroom Operations without maintaining the showers, sinks, and toilets right?  Without any of those three being clean and functioning then the Bathroom doesn’t operate.  Now, what a CO will do is develop an overall plan on how to improve in training areas…he will use his assessment of the level of training in METL tasks to identify weak spots and determine what tasks need to be trained on.  Using the bathroom example, the company Soldiers may all be well trained at Toilet operations but are horrible at Shower Operations.  So he may task a PL to come up with a training plan that will train Soldiers on individual tasks and culminate in STX lanes that “test” individual tasks and put them together to achieve collective tasks.  Make sense?—-MAJ Heverly

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    • Sigfried
    • September 21st, 2009

    One question, if the country was in a stable peace spectrum how would we know what type of training is needed? More than just using the METL, and I know this is higher than company/platoon level. For instance, we did not always use to fight insurgents. How do we know whether to focus training on urban warfare or for total war when we fight another nation?
    On the PL site one post asked about what to do if soldiers are sneaking off to their cars or the barracks before COB. Would adding classes on non-METL related tasks appropriate? Adding variety would seem my solution to that problem.

      • MAJ Thornhill
      • September 22nd, 2009

      Sigfried,
      First question–What kind of training? Bottom Line is you will normally have Battalion Training Guidance and a Company Commander to guide you as a platoon leader. The long answer is that it all starts with the National Security Strategy, then National Defense Strategy, then National Military Strategy, then through the Combatant Commanders and the Military Services and eventually to your division and brigade and finally battalion. At each level it gets more detailed based on areas of responsibility and unit missions.
      Second question–soldiers sneaking off? Accountability formations. Failure to repair is punishable by Article 15 (loss of pay and/or extra duty) but can sometimes be handled at platoon level with counseling and corrective training. It is not the leader’s job to entertain although you should make the training interesting and challenging. As to non-METL related tasks…you have more mandatory annual briefings, individual, and unit level tasks than you can reasonably train on in 12 months. This is where the Battalion Training Guidance comes in; it should prioritize where to focus. Formal and informal training assessments on your platoon will help you target specific needs in your soldiers and platoon as a whole.

    • deathstroke13
    • September 22nd, 2009

    So at basic soldiers are familiarized with basic soldiering skills and at AIT they learn there trade. So how much of the training done is refining and how much is going to be new to the soldiers? Or is it just a constant cycle of training on new systems and retraining and refining skills already possessed?

      • MAJ Thornhill
      • September 22nd, 2009

      deathstroke13,
      I am prior-service. It has been a long time since I was in basic and AIT; however, I expect that the training approach has not changed significantly. Basic and AIT for soldiers is not too different from what you see at the Officer Basic Course. There is so much information that much of it will be an overview, sometimes described as the waterhose method. Some people can soak up more than others but the training will not be refined. The schoolhouse exposes the students to a broad range of knowledge and provides some basic skills training but expects the refinement to happen “on-the-job.” New soldiers will need a lot of training from the NCOs. Experience and confidence comes from good unit training. Soldiers do not get that from Basic or AIT. This is just like your Officer Basic Course; you will not know everything when you get to your unit. You will have some head knowledge but you must continue to build the knowledge while you gather as much experience as you can from your commander, your peers, and your NCOs.
      –MAJ T

    • CDT Coco
    • September 23rd, 2009

    Do the CO and BN METLs come under review annually or just when a change needs to be made? If there is a review meeting who would be there?

      • kuarmyrotc
      • September 26th, 2009

      The tasks themselves rarely change…that change would be driven by BN or Higher. The review meeting comes in to play every three months. It is called a Quarterly Training Brief. The Company Cdrs give their companies “grades” as far as how they see their level of training…U-untrained, P-practiced, T-trained. This meeting also drives the next quarter’s training priorities and approves any major training events.

    • Halo33
    • September 23rd, 2009

    When organizing a METL what type of format do you use, more clearly how do you organize noting your priorities are in order? What type of advice would you give to me on preparing a METL?

      • kuarmyrotc
      • September 26th, 2009

      No real “format” other than the tasks themselves. There really is no priority set either…. These are a few tasks that are your priority; one really doesn’t take priority over another, big picture. In the “grading” of the tasks and the CO’s plan to increase that grade is where the priority is set. So if you are a U in a couple and a T in the others than the Us get the focus for that upcoming Quarter. Bottom line…if you platoon is not so good at something than that becomes the priority. But as you don’t have time to do everything, then you prioritize what you aren’t that good at and then as your skill decrease in what you were good at, those tasks become the priority. It is cyclical depending on what you company is doing.
      MAJ H

    • shake and bake
    • September 24th, 2009

    As a PL, how much oversight and actual training will you do with a platoon, and how much input will your NCOs have, or should they have, in that process?

      • kuarmyrotc
      • September 26th, 2009

      As a PL you ought to be doing everything or most everything your Platoon is doing. You plan the training with input from your PSG on what needs to be done and then he and the Squad Leaders, if they are on the ball, figure out how. For instance, you decide you want to train on refueling tank missions…they figure out a STX lane that will give the crews a chance to practice. They may need your help to coordinate with a tank crew to be used as a training aid. But on the day of training, you ought to be there. Shoot, your troops will love it if you ask them to teach you how to do their job. Plus, they see you sharing “their pain” so there is some team building going on too.

      MAJ H

    • warriorpoet
    • September 24th, 2009

    I liked the examples with the Range card and putting together everything to make one master Range card. Should my unit have a overall mission for the year to train the soldiers and how would i get that as a new LT? Or does each Platoon leader have control over the training and how it is run?

    I understand all of this with the examples in soldier life terms

      • kuarmyrotc
      • September 26th, 2009

      See some of the previous answers about the QTB. Your training will focus on different things each quarter, along with the stuff you do every week/day, maintenance, PT, barracks upkeep (cleaning), etc. As far as PL control over training, that is different for every branch. Some let the PLs come up with or conduct most of the training themselves, some are very specific on how and what needs to be done. It is easier, as far as resources are concerned, to have a whole company training on the same thing vs three or four platoons doing different things. In certain things you can always ask to “step it up a notch.” For instance, ask for permission to show up to work at 0930 because you want to throw in a STX lane or reaction drills to the road march that the company is doing for PT.

      MAJ H

    • Johnny B. Green
    • September 24th, 2009

    The analogies of shower operations and range cards helped immensely in my understanding of a METL. As a PL we will be developing battle tasks that feed into collective tasks which feed into individual tasks. All these tasks come from ARTEP MTPs? What is an example of a Battle Task that a PL would be implementing in training his platoon?

      • kuarmyrotc
      • September 26th, 2009

      The ARTEPS or MTPs are where the tasks come from and give you the individual tasks and steps that are required to conduct the Battle Tasks. Battle Tasks could be as simple as conducting a Platoon size movement or tactical road march (mounted). They vary widely among branches.

      MAJ H

    • Hiphopapotamus
    • September 25th, 2009

    It seems that with the 2 current theatres of operations; that 2 completely different METL’s would be in place since terrain is a major distinction & diffrece in both. Does something like terrain get consideration or affect a METL?

      • kuarmyrotc
      • September 26th, 2009

      Granted there are two different theaters but your unit will still be asked to do the same thing (METL). Now, how you accomplish that may mean different Battle Tasks or individual tasks. Think of them as a recipe. You have to make a Pizza (METL) but what kind of pizza depends on METT-TC for a mission so the ingredients may change. This is very over simplified but I hope you get the right idea.

      MAJ H

    • stweigriffin519
    • November 11th, 2009

    With all the different forms that an officer fills out such as a METL, how much time are we actually spending just sitting in an office trying to plan for all of these? It seems like organizing a battle task list alone would take several hours a week. Is this true? I know these are more general questions but it just seems like we, officers, do nothing but sit in an office all dang day.

    • Ahhhhh!!!
    • November 29th, 2009

    I like the way you put it sir, in terms of the bathroom operations example. I believe that would be the best way, to start with a platoon level task, and then peel back the onion to reveal what tasks are added together to make that platoon task happen. You would then make sure that the individual tasks were mastered first and then move your way up the list.

  1. I must say, as a lot as I enjoyed reading what you had to say, I couldnt help but lose interest after a while.

  1. November 21st, 2017
    Trackback from : iphone news apps

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