APC Leadership Development Forum #1: Tactical Decision Game


I think this could be interesting and fun for some of you. I am hoping you ex military guys will respond to this in the comments and I will gather them together for a part 2 if a few of you chime in. This was posted over on good old B-arfcom the other day by one of the military members there.

Good afternoon all,

On account of our limited ability to meet in person at the moment due to current events, there is going to be a handful of online leadership development forums over the next few weeks.  This forum is an introductory exercise, in the following weeks we will post a combination of readings, videos, and live classroom exercises.

What follows is a Tactical Decision Game, or TDG.  TDGs are utilized by the armed forces as educational exercises, especially for student officers.  Developing your ability to rapidly evaluate a situation, come to a decision, communicate it to others, and take action has positive benefits both inside and outside the military- especially in an organization like the American Pioneer Corps where you may be operating in chaos in response to an emergency situation.

Please post your responses to the below TDG.  Do not simply explain what you will do, but explain in as much detail as possible your train of thought that brought you to your posted conclusion.  Please do not edit posts- make corrections via subsequent posts.  You should be done typing within 5 minutes of reading the TDG, and should only make corrections for spelling at that point prior to hitting submit.


  1. My thoughts:

    The enemy may have bumped accidentally into the ORP, or may have detected my ambush and be trying to dislodge it.

    Or it may all be unrelated to my units.

    I would start by advising Plt HQ of the situation and my plans below:

    The 240Bs and claymores would take time to reposition and they constitute the bulk of the ambush firepower.

    I would leave the 240B teams and 1 of my fireteams in position, along with the claymores. They may yet be able to complete the ambush mission.

    I would move 2 of my fire teams in a leapfrog directly from the ambush to the ORP.

    This is risky. It does split my forces.
    However if the ORP does require assistance it will probably require it urgently.

    I am already starting to second guess myself, but there it is…

    If the fire teams make contact moving to the ORP then my ambush is kaput. The 240Bs and remaining fire team would need to reinforce failure, but I don’t think leaving the ORP on it’s own would be great for morale.

    I didn’t opt to use the terrain, given the short visibility.

  2. I would’ve positioned the ambush about 150m to the west on the bend in the road, giving my left hand gun about 400m of enfilade grazing fire along the road to towards the east, and my right hand gun extra coverage along the road to the NW.

    As for the question… possible options are to stay in place and continue the ambush, bug out back to the platoon loc or elsewhere, or head for the ORP.

    Ambushes rely on stealth. This one is compromised so no point in continuing. I have mates at the ORP who may be in the shit so abandoning them is out.

    I’d call off the ambush, move to a flank then put the ambush party into a 1-up 1-back assault formation then dry fire and move to the ORP not from the direction of the ambush loc, expecting contact.

  3. Not to be a major d-bag, but What was the GOTWA (Going, Others taking, Time expected, What to do if take contact, Actions on contact) you gave prior to departing on ambush? That should have provided what to do in the even of contact. So it should have provided them with distance and direction to the next location. Contact platoon hq Break down the ambush, head to the rally point traveling overwatch. Although today you would have a radio with each element so call them and see if they are still alive.

    • I was sort of wondering the same thing, but since I’ve never served, I have no training in this matter. But from talking to friends who have served recently, they all tell me that they all have personal radios on them on a setup like this, if not at least one radio per group as troops are divided up.

      I’d have a call over to the two Marines who were left up-sloope with the packs. If they don’t respond, then I would abandon the ambush, because someone knows we’re here, and it is better to go back, find out what happened to the two men with the packs, retrieve the packs, and then work over to the main group to the east.

      My thought on how to work back over to the Marines/packs is to move along the road until the ambush group is on-contour with the two Marines/packs area, then move southeast. This way, if contact is made with whoever the two Marines bumped into, the ambush group isn’t fighting uphill.

        • Not finished yet. I’ve written a snootful of text, but I need to add photos, and it does need photos. So I’m going to take apart a S&W N-frame to photograph to show the details of what I’m talking about in the text, and with the furor that’s on just now, I’m not fully able to get my bench cleaned off to make that happen.

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