Combat Orders

Combat orders are the means by which the scout platoon leader receives and transmits information, from the earliest notification that an operation will occur through the final phases of execution. They are absolutely critical to mission success. All members of the scout platoon must be familiar with the formats of warning orders, OPORDs, and FRAGOs.

Section 1 Warning Orders
Section 2 Operation Orders
Section 3 Fragmentary Orders


The scout platoon leader will use warning orders to alert his platoon of upcoming missions. The guidelines and directions in the warning order will allow the platoon to begin its planning and preparation activities. The platoon leader then can use a series of warning orders to provide additional information to the platoon as he receives it or as he further develops his plan. The warning order should provide answers to the following questions:

At a minimum, all scout platoon warning orders will include the following elements:


The OPORD provides the platoon with the essential information required to conduct the operation and to carry out the higher commanderís intent. The scout platoon leader should provide subordinate leaders with a copy of his OPORD format to facilitate note-taking. All scout platoon OPORDs will use the format shown in Figure A-1 to present the necessary operational information.


  • Time(s) of attachment.
  • Time(s) of detachment.
  • Support relationship(s).


a. Enemy forces (and battlefield conditions).

(1) Weather and light data.

  • Precipitation.
  • Temperature.
  • Other weather conditions (such as wind, dust, or fog).
  • Light data:
  • BMNT: ___________. Sunrise: __________.
    Sunset: ___________. EENT: ___________.
    Moonrise: _________. Moonset: _________.
    Percent Illumination: __________.

(2) Terrain (factors of OCOKA).

  • Observation and fields of fire.
  • Cover and concealment.
  • Obstacles.
  • Key terrain.
  • Avenues of approach.

(3) Enemy forces.

  • Identification.
  • Composition/order of battle.
  • Recent activities.
  • Strength/weaknesses.
  • Current location.
  • Most probable course of action.

b. Friendly forces.

  • Brigade mission and commanderís intent.
  • Task force/squadron mission and commanderís intent.
  • Task force/squadron commanderís concept of the operation.
  • Adjacent unit missions/locations.
  • Unit(s) providing fire support.
  • Other units supporting the task force/squadron.



Commanderís intent.

a. Concept of the operation.

(1) Scheme of maneuver.

  • Offensive operations.
    -- Passage of lines.
    -- Axis or route.
    -- Movement formations.
    -- Movement techniques.
    -- Actions on contact (prior to the objective
    -- Actions at obstacles.
    -- Actions on the objective (decisive point).
    -- Consolidation and reorganization.
    -- On-order and be-prepared missions.
  • Defensive operations.
    -- Security operations.
    -- Passage of lines of forward forces.
    -- Battle handover.
    -- Defense of initial and successive BPs.
    -- Displacement.
    -- Counterattack.
    -- Consolidation and reorganization.

(2) Fires.

  • Purpose of indirect fires.
  • Priority of fires.
  • Allocation, including use of special fires (such as smoke, illumination, or cas).
  • Triggers.
  • Restrictions/coordinating instructions.

(3) Engineer support.

  • Priority of effort.
  • Priority of support.

b. Tasks to maneuver units.

(1) Task for each of the platoon's sections/squads.

(2) Purpose for each of the platoon's sections/squads.

c. Tasks to combat support units.

(1) Engineers.

(2) ADA.

d. Coordinating instructions.

(1) Movement instructions.

  • SP/RP time and location.
  • Order of march.
  • Movement route.
  • RP time and location.
  • Limit of advance (attack position, tactical assembly area, or other control measure).

(2) Passage of lines.

  • Linkup time and location.
  • Passage point/passage lane locations.

(3) Priority intelligence requirements (PIR).

(4) Troop safety.

  • Exposure guidance (in cGy).
  • MOPP level(s) and initiation times.
  • Direct fire weapons control status and warnings.
  • ADA weapons control status and warnings.


a. Concept of support.

  • Current location of task force/squadron combat field trains.
  • Current location of task force/squadron UMCP.
  • Current location of task force/squadron aid station(s).
  • Scheme of support.

b. Materiel and services.

(1) Supply.

  • Class I.
  • Class III.
  • Class V.
  • Class IX.

(2) Transportation.

  • Location of task force/squadron supply route.
  • Location of LRPs and collection points.
  • Priority of movement on task force/squadron MSR.

(3) Service.

  • Location of mortuary services.
  • Procedures for evacuation of KIA personnel.

(4) Maintenance.

  • Location of UMCP during the battle.
  • Method of marking damaged vehicles.
  • Task force/squadron recovery plan.

c. Medical evacuation and hospitalization.

  • Location of task force/squadron aid station(s) during the battle.
  • Method of marking vehicles carrying WIA/KIA personnel.
  • Procedures for evacuation of WIA/KIA personnel.

d. Personnel.

  • Procedures for handling EPWs.
  • Location of task force/squadron EPW collection point.
  • Personnel replacement.

e. Civil/military cooperation.

  • Curfews.
  • Collateral damage restrictions.


a. Command.

  • Location of platoon leader and PSG.
  • Location of task force/squadron commander.
  • Location of task force main CP/squadron TAC CP.
  • Succession of command.

b. Signal.

  • SOI in effect.
  • Radio communications restrictions.
    -- Radio listening silence and the time it is in effect.
    -- Alternate frequencies and time or condition for changing frequency.
  • Visual and pyrotechnic signals.
    -- During passage of lines.
    -- During movement.
    -- During breaching operations.
    -- On the objective.
    -- During defensive operations.
    -- Emergency signals.
  • Code words and reports specific to the operation.
  • Electronic protection, including COMSEC guidelines and procedures.

Figure A-1. Sample scout platoon OPORD format.


The FRAGO is a brief oral or written order that serves to update or clarify a previous order. During the execution of an operation, FRAGOs are the medium of battle command. The company team commander uses them to communicate changes in the enemy or friendly situation and to retask his subordinate elements based on changes in the situation. FRAGOs can serve any of the following purposes:

The content of each FRAGO will depend on the specific operational and tactical situation. In general, scout platoon FRAGOs will include the following information: