Operational Planning Class

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
-President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Today was “planning” day for the 119th. Since B-12 is not just a “teaching” organization – we actually go out and do a number of pretty interesting things – each member needs to be able to participate in the planning of the events B-12 runs. To that end, Wojo and Lin received two briefings which should help them plan and execute B-12 operations and events next semester, when they will constitute the entire company.

As the quote at the top alludes to, the planning process itself is critical because it familiarizes the key players with the operation as a whole, along with its various imperatives, parameters, and contingencies. This familiarity then allows the leader to adapt on the fly to the inevitable obstacles and changes that soon render the original plan irrelevant during almost every operation.

The 119th’s first briefing covered the MDMP, or Military Decision Making Process, which is the process a staff in the Army goes through whenever it plans any type of operation. Although this is not usually taught in ROTC until MSIV/Senior year, the 119th are getting it as Freshmen so they will understand the general concepts behind operational planning.

The second briefing covered a more company-specific planning method which B-12 uses in planning its particular operations, many of which are well templated after having been run through so many iterations over the years. The 119th got to look “behind the scenes” of the various B-12 operations, and understand how they would need to go about preparing for them as a planner, commander, or officer-in-charge.

Future training will (among many other things) consist of planning simulated operations, in addition to performing terrain walks to familiarize them with the area and the sequence of events for each operation.