Lesson 1/Learning Event 1
LEARNING EVENT 1:
DESCRIBE BASIC PLANNING PRINCIPLES
A plan is a method or a scheme for a military action. It is a proposal to carry out a command decision or
project, including chemical and radiological surveys. As part of the planning process, it represents the
command's preparation in a specific area to meet a particular event. A plan may be written or oral.
Although plans are based on specific conditions or assumptions, they are not static. By continuing
estimates, analyses, and studies within the overall planning process, plans are changed, refined, and kept
Many methods may be used to determine the actions, units, sequences, and procedures which must be
developed to accomplish an assigned mission. One way is to begin with the objective and the time it is
to be attained and work backwards. This technique develops the units, organization, combat service
support and other essentials needed to gain the objective. The relative time sequence and organizational
placement will emerge from this technique. As the visualization continues, the need for specific tasks,
conditions, or assumptions and their relative placement become apparent. Another method is to be
begin with the current position and plan through each intermediate step to the final objective.
Characteristics of Plans
The essential element of a plan is that it offers a definite course of action and a method for execution.
The characteristics of a good plan are that it:
Provides for accomplishing the mission, which is the objective of all planning.
Is based on facts and valid assumptions. All pertinent data have been considered for their
accuracy, and assumptions have been reduced to a minimum.
Provides for the use of existing resources. These include resources organic to the
organization and those available from higher headquarters.
Provides for the necessary organization.
It clearly establishes relationships and fixes
Provides for continuity, i.e., the organization, personnel, materiel, and arrangements for the
full period of the contemplated operation.
Provides for decentralization. It delegates authority to the maximum extent consistent with
the necessary control.
Provides for direct contact permitting co-ordination during execution between co-equals and
counterparts at all levels.