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Troop Leading Procedures

Troop Leading Procedures (TLP) are a dynamic process used by small-unit leaders to analyze a mission, develop a plan, and prepare for an operation. 

  • TLPs provide leaders with a systematic and consistent approach to prepare for both training and combat operations. 
  • Army Troop leading procedures (TLP) form the backbone of military operations, providing leaders with a systematic approach to translate the commander’s intent into specific actions. 

The process consists of the following eight procedures:

Receive the Mission

Receive the Mission: The leader receives an initial briefing or order which contains the unit’s next mission.

  • The first step in Army Troop leading procedures  involves understanding the objective. 
  • Leaders typically receive the mission through a warning order, an operation order (OPORD), or a fragmentary order (FRAGO)

Critical in this step is the analysis of the METT-T factors:

METT-T Analysis

MISSIONWhat is the main objective?Capture a strategic point
ENEMYGather intel on opponent’s strengths/capabilitiesEnemy troop numbers, weapons
TERRAINEvaluate the geographical featuresMountains, rivers, open fields
TROOPSAssess the troops availableNumber of squads, special units
TIMETime available for the missionDuration, deadlines

Key Takeaway: Time management is pivotal. Leaders should allocate one-third of the total time for planning, leaving two-thirds for subordinates to prepare.

Issue a Warning Order

Issue a Warning Order: The leader provides preliminary instructions in a warning order format that describes the upcoming operation. It allows subordinates to begin their preparations early.

  • This order ensures that troops can start their preparations immediately.

Components of a Warning Order

Mission/NatureBrief on what the operation entails
ParticipantsWho is involved in the operation
TimeWhen the operation will take place
PlaceWhere the operation order will be issued

Make a Tentative Plan

Make a Tentative Plan: Based on the initial analysis of the mission and the unit’s current situation, the leader develops an initial plan. This plan will likely undergo changes as the TLP process progresses

  • This involves a detailed situation estimate, often through the military decision-making process.

Estimate Development Process

Step #Process StepObjective
1Detailed mission analysisUnderstand the core objective of the mission
2Situation analysis & course of action developmentEvaluate the current situation and propose action plans
3Analysis of each course of actionEvaluate the pros and cons of each proposed action plan
4Comparison of each course of actionCompare each action plan to choose the best
5DecisionFinalize the tentative plan based on analyses

Key Point: Continuous updating of the situation estimate ensures the plan remains relevant.

Initiate Movement:

Initiate Movement: Begin movements as necessary, whether it’s relocating the unit, moving to a better vantage point for reconnaissance, or other necessary relocations..

  • Subordinate leaders often oversee this preparatory movement, ensuring men and equipment are mission-ready.

Conduct Reconnaissance

Conduct Reconnaissance: If time and the situation permit, the leader physically inspects the objective and surrounding area to gain a clearer understanding of the situation, thereby refining the plan.

  • Reconnaissance is crucial for confirming assumptions made during planning. Leaders ideally conduct a personal reconnaissance. 
  • However, if time or risk factors prevent this, map reconnaissance or reliance on scout reports becomes necessary.

Complete the Plan

Complete the Plan: After reconnaissance and considering all available information, the leader completes the plan, solidifying details of how the unit will execute the mission.

  • Post-reconnaissance, leaders refine the plan, ensuring it aligns with both the mission and the commander’s intent. 
  • This completed plan serves as the foundation for the next step.

Issue the Order

Issue the Order: The leader delivers a complete and clear briefing to subordinates to ensure they understand their roles and tasks within the operation.

  • Here, the refined plan is communicated to all involved. 
  • Typically, leaders give an oral operation order.

Key Consideration: For clarity, leaders should issue the order in a location resembling the mission area, using terrain models or sketches when possible.


Supervise: This step is ongoing. The leader checks to ensure that all preparation activities are completed correctly and that subordinates understand the plan. 

  • As needed, the leader revisits previous steps in the TLP to refine the plan and ensure mission success.
  • The final step in TLP emphasizes supervision through rehearsals and inspections, ensuring troops are prepared and any weaknesses in the plan are addressed.

Rehearsal and Inspection Checklist

Task TypeTask DescriptionCheck (✓/X)
RehearsalActions on the objective 
RehearsalAssaulting a trench, bunker, or building 
InspectionWeapons and ammunition 
InspectionSoldier’s understanding of the mission/responsibilities 

Critical Insight: Rehearsals on similar terrain, under comparable light conditions, greatly enhance mission preparedness.

Supervision Checklist

TaskDescriptionResponsibleStatus (Complete/In-progress/Not started)
RehearsalsConduct mission-specific rehearsals[Name] 
InspectionsCheck weapons and ammunition[Name] 
Communication ChecksEnsure communication lines are intact[Name] 
Ration DistributionEnsure all soldiers have rations[Name] 

8 Army Troop Leading Procedures
8 Army Troop Leading Procedures

Army Troop Leading Procedures Examples

1. Receive the MissionThe leader receives an initial briefing or order.Order received: “Secure Bridge Alpha by 0600 tomorrow morning.”
2. Issue a Warning OrderThe leader gives preliminary instructions.Warning Order: “Prepare to secure Bridge Alpha. Gather intel and equipment.”
3. Make a Tentative PlanLeader drafts an initial plan based on the mission.Plan: “First Platoon will secure the north end, Second Platoon the south end.”
4. Initiate MovementBegin necessary movements for the operation.Action: “First Platoon, move out to your forward staging area.”
5. Conduct ReconnaissanceLeader inspects the objective area if possible.Recon Data: “Bridge is lightly guarded with two watchtowers.”
6. Complete the PlanFinalize the operational details based on all info.Final Plan: “We’ll initiate a diversion to the east while moving in on the bridge.”
7. Issue the OrderLeader briefs subordinates to ensure understanding.Briefing: “We move at 0500. First Platoon from the north, Second from the south.”
8. SuperviseOngoing step to ensure preparations are complete and the plan is understood.Check: “Has First Platoon completed equipment checks? Do they know the diversion plan?”

This table provides a simplified example of how TLP might be applied in a tactical scenario. Actual military operations would involve more complexity and detail in each step.

1. Receive the MissionTime of order received0800 hrs, 12th June
2. Issue a Warning OrderNumber of subordinate units briefed3 (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie teams)
3. Make a Tentative PlanKey objectives identified1. Secure building, 2. Establish perimeter, 3. Neutralize threats
4. Initiate MovementTime taken for units to mobilizeAlpha: 10 mins, Bravo: 12 mins, Charlie: 8 mins
5. Conduct ReconnaissanceIntel assets utilized2 Drones, 3 Scouts
6. Complete the PlanTime taken to finalize plan after recon25 mins
7. Issue the OrderTotal duration of briefing session18 mins
8. SuperviseNumber of preparatory checks made per team before operationAlpha: 4, Bravo: 3, Charlie: 5

Army Troop Leading Procedures 

In conclusion, the Troop Leading Procedures offer a systematic pathway for military leaders to prepare and guide their troops effectively. 

  • Each step, from receiving the mission to supervision, ensures meticulous planning and execution, culminating in mission success
George N.