Example task verbs and related map symbols. Canadian Land Forces Command and Staff College, Mission and Task Verbs, Task Verbs Directory (c. 2005). This 93 page document set out compiled definitions for 31 task verbs.
Befuckled, and other Mission Task Verbs
In our generalized societal memory of past wars, the missions issued to troops and units were direct, simple, and clear to everyone watching the Hollywood blockbuster war movie of the moment. In the First World War, commanders chose between defend against the Hun, or attack the bastards. In the Second World War, the defence was mostly set aside for Hollywood's recreations, and the attack was nuanced into a variety of options: attack across the beach, attack up the cliffs, attack across the airfield, attack through the town. Rinse and repeat until Berlin. Korea was mostly cold and static, broken only by homemade martini binges with Hawk-eye and B.J.
In more modern times, the melding of the commander, the manager, and the marketer of "ops and plans" has resulted in those formerly simplistic mission verbs being supplanted by lengthy lists of options requiring reams of descriptive definitions to satisfy the need to have an exquisitely detailed plan of operations ready to be amended on the fly as soon as a Line of Departure is crossed and contact made. There doesn't seem to be a Canadian version of a task verbs reference available on line, but see this American publication Annex on Tactical Mission Tasks, and this set of flash cards to help young officers expand their tactical vocabularies.
Invariably, when young (and some not so young) officers arrive in Staff College to be met with challenges not of tactics to be employed, but of the semantical manipulations needed to describe intentions to the satisfaction of he Directing Staff, humour is often a result. The following are some examples of the lighter treatments of task verbs and definitions that have been created. Two are excerpts from The Frontenac Times, unofficial newsletter of the CLFCSC courses LFSC 9801 and TCSC 0101. The third, a lengthier and decidedly less politic presentation (you have been warned), is by an unknown hand.
The Frontenac Times, Volume 1, Issue No. 5.
The Frontenac Times, Volume 2, Issue No. 8.
Mission and Task Verbs; Befuckled and More.