Cadet Summer Training ROTC (CST) Tips & Tricks – Platoon Leader

This is #5 (not in order of importance) of Tips & Tricks needed for SUCCESS at CST.  Over the coming weeks I will post several idea’s to think about.  Follow the page, share it with your fellow Cadets or Cadre.

ATP 3-21.8


1-46. The platoon leader leads his/her Soldiers by personal example and is responsible for all the platoon does or fails to do, having complete authority over his subordinates. This centralized authority enables him/her to maintain unit discipline, unity, and to act decisively. He/she must be prepared to exercise initiative within his/her company commander’s intent and without specific guidance for every situation. The platoon leader knows his/her Soldiers, how to employ the platoon, its weapons, and its systems. Relying on the expertise of the platoon sergeant, the platoon leader regularly consults with him on all platoon matters.

During operations, the platoon leader:

-leads the platoon in supporting the higher headquarters missions. He/she bases his/her actions on his/her assigned mission and intent and concept of his/er higher commanders.
-Conducts troop leading procedures.

-Maneuvers squads and fighting elements. Synchronizes the efforts of squads.
-Looks ahead to the next “move” of the platoon.
-Requests, controls, and synchronizes supporting assets.

-Employs mission command systems available to the squads and platoon.
-Checks with squad leaders ensuring 360-degree, three-dimensional security is maintained.
 -Checks with weapons squad leader controlling the emplacement of key weapon systems.
 -Issues accurate and timely reports.
 -Places himself where he is most needed to accomplish the mission.
 -Assigns clear tasks and purposes to the squads.
 -Understands the mission and commander’s intent two levels up (company and battalion).
 -Receives on hand status reports from the platoon sergeant and squad leaders during planning.
 -Coordinates and assists in the development of the obstacle plan.
 -Oversees and is responsible for property management.

1-47. The platoon leader works to develop and maintain situational understanding. This is a product of four elements. First, the platoon leader attempts to know what is happening in present terms of friendly, enemy, neutral, and terrain situations. Second, he/she knows the end state representing mission accomplishment. Third, he/she determines the critical actions and events occurring to move his unit from the present to the end state. Finally, he/she assesses the risk throughout.

Simple stuff, reading the manuals actually will help these roles and then being rated in these role, make more sense.


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