SH 21-76 United States Army; Ranger Handbook, July 1992
The most important element of combat power is competent and confident leadership. Leadership provides purpose, direction, and motivation in combat. It is the leader who will determine the degree to which maneuver, firepower, and protection are maximized; who will ensure these elements are effectively balanced; and who will decide how to bring them to bear against the enemy.
- Terrain (OCOKA)
- Observation and Fields of Fire
- Cover and Concealment
- Obstacles (man made and natural)
- Key or Decisive Terrain
- Avenues of Approach
While leadership requirements differ with unit size and type, all combat leaders must be men of character who must know and understand soldiers and the tools of war. They must act with courage and conviction during the uncertainty and confusion of battle. The primary function of tactical leaders is to inspire soldiers to do difficult things in dangerous, stressful circumstances.
A good leader will:
- Take charge of his unit by issuing appropriate orders, establishing priority of tasks, and establishing / maintaining security.
- Motivate his men by setting the example and always maintaining a positive can-do attitude.
- Demonstrate initiative by taking positive actions in the absence of orders and by making sound and timely decisions based on METT-T.
- Effectively communicate by giving specific instructions to accomplish the mission, keeping the unit informed, and by involving key leaders in the decision-making process.
- Supervise by inspecting to insure tasks are accomplished to standard, making appropriate corrections, and holding immediate subordinates responsible for assigned tasks.