(U) TIME ZONE: Enter if area of operations is different than place of issue.
(U) TASK ORGANIZATION: Annex A.
1. (U) Situation
a. (U) General. (May be omitted.) Describe the general politico-military environment
that would establish the probable preconditions for execution of the plan. If
applicable, state U.S. policy goals and the estimated goals of other parties and outline
political decisions needed from other countries to achieve U.S. policy goals
and conduct effective U.S. military operations to attain U.S. military missions. Specific
details are found in Annex B (Intelligence).
b. (U) Battlespace
(1) (U) Joint Operations Area/Higher Commander’s Area of Operations. Describe
the higher commander’s area of operations. A map may also be included
as an attachment.
(2) (U) Area of Interest. Describe the commander’s area of interest covered by
the basic operation order or plan. This description should address all air, ground,
and sea areas that directly affect the operation. A map may also be included as
(3) (U) Area of Operations. Describe the specific area covered by the operation.
A map may also be included as an attachment.
c. (U) Enemy Forces. Identify the opposing forces expected on execution (location,
disposition) and appraise their general capabilities (defend, reinforce, attack,
withdraw, delay). Limit this information to what is vital for the entire command or
what is likely to affect mission accomplishment. See Annex B (Intelligence) for details.
Address known or potential terrorist threats. When applicable, identify the enemy’s
operational and tactical center(s) of gravity.
d. (U) Friendly Forces
(1) (U) This paragraph provides information on nonorganic forces having a
bearing on the operation. The information is presented in the following order:
(a) (U) Higher. State the mission statement and commander’s intent of
the higher commander.
(b) (U) Adjacent. State the mission statement or relevant tasks of adjacent
(c) (U) Supporting. State the command relationship with the supporting
commanders (operational control, tactical control, tactical missions, general
support, direct support, etc.), or relevant tasks of supporting commanders.
(2) (U) Identify applicable friendly centers of gravity that require support and
protection for successful mission accomplishment.
(3) (U) If applicable, list the tasks of government and nongovernmental departments,
agencies, and organizations associated with the operation (e.g., Department
of State, Doctors Without Borders, Red Cross).
e. (U) Attachments and Detachments. List nonorganic units attached to or units
detached from the issuing headquarters. If no units are attached or detached, state
f. (U) Assumptions. (Omitted in orders.) List all assumptions on which the plan
g. (U) Legal Considerations. List those significant legal considerations on which
the plan is based (e.g., status of forces agreements, Law of Land Warfare).
2. (U) Mission. A concise statement of the tasks and purpose of the operation. State
the who, what, when, where, why, and as much of the how as necessary to ensure
command, control, and coordination. The who, what, when, and where are derived from
the essential tasks. The why is derived from the purpose of the operation.
3. (U) Execution
a. (U) Commander’s Intent. Commander’s intent is the commander’s personal
expression of the purpose of the operation. It must be clear, concise, and easily understood.
It may also include how the commander envisions achieving a decision as
well as the endstate or conditions, that when satisfied, accomplish the purpose.
b. (U) Concept of Operations. A description of how the operation will be conducted
to accomplish the mission. It includes a narrative of the actions to be taken
and a generic organization for combat (main and supporting effort, reserve, etc.).
The concept of operations is the course of action approved by the commander during
planning. It may be summarized here if a detailed concept of operations is
contained in Annex C (Operations). The concept of operations provides a basis for
supporting concepts such as—
(1) (U) Concept of Maneuver. See Annex C (Operations) and Annex W (Aviation
Operations) (if applicable) for detailed description.
(2) (U) Concept of Fires. See Annex C (Operations) and Annex W (Aviation
Operations) (if applicable) for detailed description.
(3) (U) Concept of Support. See Annex D (Logistics/Combat Service Support)
for detailed description.
(4) (U) Other Concepts as Required. See appropriate annex for detailed description.
c. (U) Tasks
(1) (U) List the tasks assigned to each subordinate commander in separate,
numbered subparagraphs. Tasks are listed in order of priority or accomplishment.
Tasks may be listed by phase. Designation of main effort or supporting
effort is noted in tasking.
(2) (U) Some actions are so critical that the commander may assign them as
missions. These should be assigned as task and purpose (in order to . . .). Other
actions are assigned simply as tasks because the purpose is understood. The
commander assigns subordinate commanders tasks he deems necessary to fulfill
his concept of operations.
(3) (U) Unit or element task assignments are listed in the following order:
(a) (U) Offensive operations: ground combat units or elements (infantry
first followed by artillery and combat support units numerically or alphabetically),
aviation combat units or elements (aircraft units, combat support,
combat service support), combat service support units or elements.
(b) (U) Defensive operations: units or elements closest to the enemy are
listed first, ground and aviation combat units in the forward defense area are
then listed in numerical order, other units are then listed alphabetically.
(4) (U) Each task assignment may begin with the assets (attached or in support)
available to the unit or element.
d. (U) Reserve. List the tasks assigned to the reserve force. List all units or elements
to be in reserve when the order is in effect. If the unit or element will be the
reserve in the future, its current assigned tasks will be listed in paragraph 3c. If a
unit or element in reserve is given a future mission or ordered to prepare plans for
possible reserve missions, it is included in this subparagraph.
e. (U) Commander’s Critical Information Requirements. Commander’ critical information
requirements identify information on friendly and enemy activities and
the battlespace that the commander deems as critical to maintaining situational
awareness, planning future activities, and assisting in timely and informed decisionmaking.
They help the commander tailor the command and control organization
and are central to effective information management, which directs the
processing, flow, and use of information throughout the force.
f. (U) Coordinating Instructions. List the instructions applicable to the entire
command or two or more elements of the command that are necessary for proper
coordination of the operation but are not appropriate for inclusion in a particular annex.
They should establish the conditions for execution and provide information
about the timing of execution and deployments.
4. (U) Administration and Logistics
a. (U) Personnel. In preparing this paragraph, refer to Annex E (Personnel). Identify
detailed planning requirements and subordinate taskings. Assign tasks for establishing
and operating personnel facilities, managing accurate and timely
personnel accountability and strength reporting, and making provisions for staffing.
Discuss the administrative management of participating personnel, the reconstitution
of forces, command replacement and rotation policies, and required individual
augmentation to command headquarters and other operational requirements.
b. (U) Logistics. In preparing a basic operation order or plan, refer to Annex D
(Logistics/Combat Service Support). Logistic phases are normally concurrent with
operational phases. This subparagraph should address sustainment priorities and resources,
base development and other civil engineering requirements, host nation
support, and inter-Service responsibilities. Identify the priority and movement of
major logistic items for each option and phase of the concept. Identify strategic and
theater ports for resupply. Outline transportation policies, guidance, and procedures
for all options. Identify logistic and transportation assumptions and include them
with other plan assumptions in subparagraph 1.f (Assumptions). Identify detailed
planning requirements and subordinate taskings.
c. (U) Public Affairs. Include appropriate information in this subparagraph or refer
to Annex F (Public Affairs).
d. (U) Civil Affairs. Include appropriate information in this subparagraph or refer
to Annex G (Civil Affairs).
e. (U) Meteorological and Oceanographic Services. Include appropriate information
in this subparagraph or refer to Annex H (Meteorological and Oceanographic
f. (U) Geospatial Information and Services. Include appropriate information in
this subparagraph or refer to Annex M (Geospatial Information and Services).
g. (U) Medical Services. In preparing the basic operation order or plan, refer to
Annex Q (Medical Services). Identify planning requirements and subordinate taskings
for hospitalization and evacuation. Address critical medical supplies and resources.
Refer to wartime host nation support agreements or provisions to support
in Annex P (Host Nation Support).
5. (U) Command and Signal
a. (U) Command Relationships. Include appropriate information in this subparagraph
or refer to Annex J (Command Relationships). Indicate any changes to major
commands and the time of the expected shift. Identify all existing memorandums
of understanding and those that require development.
b. (U) Command Posts and Headquarters. The command post is the headquarters
echelon (forward, main, rear) where the commander is located. List the designations
and locations of the issuing commander’s headquarters echelons and appropriate
senior, adjacent, and subordinate commanders’ headquarters echelons. When
headquarters are to be displaced, indicate the location and time of opening of the
new headquarters and closing of the old headquarters.
c. (U) Succession to Command. Designate the succession of command for the
d. (U) Signal. Include appropriate information in this subparagraph or refer to
Annex K (Combat Information Systems). Provide instructions or restrictions about
communications-electronics (radio restrictions), pyrotechnic signals, lasers, etc. Include
a general statement concerning the scope of communications and information
systems and procedures required to support the operation. Highlight any communications
and information systems or procedures requiring special emphasis.
A – Task Organization
B – Intelligence
C – Operations
D – Logistics/Combat Service Support
E – Personnel
F – Public Affairs
G – Civil Affairs
H – Meteorological and Oceanographic Operations
J – Command Relationships
K – Combat Information Systems
L – Environmental Considerations
M – Geospatial Information and Services
N – Space Operations
P – Host Nation Support
Q – Medical Services
S – Special Technical Operations
U – Information Management
W – Aviation Operations
X – Execution Checklist
Z – Distribution
USMC 5 Paragraph Order Format
From MCWP 5-1