We have discussed the primary causes of fratricide and the consequences of adverse preconditions and contributing factors. Now we will describe the process by which the battalion commander and his staff anticipate these circumstance along with other risks, assess the relative impact of each contributing factor, and employ risk-reducing measures.

Address fratricide contributing factors, preconditions and other elements operational risk early in and throughout the decisionmaking process. You the commander must develop your concept for accomplishing a mission and provide commander's guidance, including your statement of intent, to the staff. Following the initial METT-T analysis, you must state where and to what extent you will accept risk. Commanders will refine guidance throughout war gaming, order development, rehearsals and execution. As part of accomplishing the mission while preserving combat power, you should eventually identify and incorporate all necessary risk-reducing measures.

According to FM 25-101, Battle-Focused Thinking, commanders must consider the following points when integrating risk assessment:

The risk assessment and management methodology we provide in this chapter will allow you to address the following steps outlined in FM 25-101:

"Risk Assessment is the Thought Process of Making Operations Safer without Compromising the Mission."


Operational risk assessment helps leaders weigh the relative risk associated with each METT-T factor. Whether used for an actual combat operation or a training event, this thought process complements the commander's estimate phase of the decisionmaking process and can be a powerful tool for force protection. Each organization must tailor the specifics of this mostly subjective analysis to its own strengths and vulner abilities. A single comprehensive, highly numeric approach cannot meet all units' needs under all circumstances. Adverse terrain and weather for a tank task force may be optimal for a light force. Adequate planning time for a logistic operation may be marginal to high risk for an aviation cross-FLOT operation. Although this is a simplified approach for wide application, it exploits the potential of the war-gaming process and leader's experienced judgment.

    METT-T:... the factors that must be considered during the planning or execution of a tactical operation.

--FM 101-5-1, Operational Terms and Symbols

While countless individual factors impact upon risk levels, we offer METT-T as the logical structure to use during the staff planning process. The commander should make necessarily subjective assessments of each factor, its related issues, and its impact. He must consider the most probable enemy course of action and the worst-case alternatives with major branches and sequels. A proposed matrix structure for this METT-T risk analysis accompanies this chapter followed by an example of its application.

MISSION factors include those that elevate the command and control difficulties of executing your mission. Risk depends upon the answers to questions such as:

There is inherent risk in enemy contact and ENEMY factors may generally apply to other areas of METT-T as a perceived enemy strength or advantage. Address these questions only once in your METT-T analysis (for training and Live-Fire Exercises (LFXs), apply factors as appropriate for OPFOR and targetry):

"The commander's decisions are based on his analysis of the factors of METT-T, staff input, information gained through reconnaissance, analysis and comparison of feasible courses of action, war gaming, and his personal judgment."

--FM 71-2

The degree of risk to your force from TERRAIN and WEATHER factors stems from your answers to questions such as:

TROOPS is a key area in which leaders assess all aspects of soldier readiness not associated with time available for one mission:

The availability of mission-related EQUIPMENT (not aggregated readiness rates or C-ratings) can dramatically affect your operational risk -- consider these questions:

"Anticipate events on the Battlefield."

--AirLand Battle Imperative, FM 100-5

The amount of TIME AVAILABLE to you will decisively impact on any mission. Important associated questions are:

After assessing each METT-T factor, you and the battle staff can consider specific measures to mitigate the risks identified. Incorporate these controls into the plan and rehearsals as appropriate. Remember, the cost-benefit analysis may dictate not using additional controls. In this case, heightened risk awareness is an automatic measure. We recommend a standardized approach with questions tailored to your organization. This will help you to perform operational risk assessment and develop general guidelines for risk-reducing measures. Eventually, many techniques will warrant inclusion in your unit and section SOPs. As with the Troop-Leading Procedures, the final phase of Risk Assessment and Management is to supervise and enforce the provisions of the plan. During execution, as significant components of the estimate change, you the commander will need to reconsider risk levels and reduction measures currently in place. This continuing "in-stride" assessment of risk is an integral component of the Command and Control Battlefield Operating System (BOS).

This discussion reflects the combined efforts of several proponent schools and organizations within TRADOC. We have also published a combined arms command approach for company-level fratricide risk assessment that complements this discussion. We solicit feedback from organizations in the field and the training base. If you try this or another means of addressing the risk of fratricide or other operational risks during the Troop-Leading process, please send us your comments for review and dissemination in future CALL products.

"Risk Management is Smart Decisionmaking."

--FM 25-101

MISSION (and C2)
Nature of Operation Individual proficiency and experience
Complexity of Plan or Intent Collective proficiency
Adequacy of Reconnaissance Leader competence
Direct Fire Control Plan or Measures? Leader Experience (seasoning)
Adjacent Forces Intermingled Situational Awareness
360o Fight? Rehearsals Adequate
Are we the flank unit? Clearance of Artillery Fires
Unit position with respect to main body Fatigue or Physical Condition or Endurance
Weapons systems density Effective SOPs
Converging Forces Acclimation to region
Are stragglers present? Habitual Attachments
Control of Space Location of Tactical Air Control Party
Rules of Engagement Weapons Errors (Accidents, charge errors, wrong deflections, etc.)
Communication or Reporting Failures Unit manning level
Crosstalk Lacking Soldier's Load
Synchronization failure Anxiety, Confusion, Fear
Detached or Reconnaissance Element involved Combat Identification (ground to ground and air to ground)
Dissemination of Plan Friendly Weapons effects (Penetration, blast, ricochet)
LOs or Adequacy of adjacent unit coordination Communication Redundancy
Guidance to Attached or Detached elements Availability of Protective Equipment(MOPP, Flack Vests, Hazardous material)
Disruption of C2 Availability of Task-Related Equipment
Feasibility of Fratricide Risk Reduction Availability of Navigation and Positioning Equipment
IFF expedient for ground forces
Enemy or Friendly Forces Intermingled
Enemy has similar equipment Planning Time
Enemy activity Continuous, operations with minimal sleep
Continuous operations without sleep
Day versus Night Operation Duration and Intensity of Operation
NBC environment Soldier and Leader Rest
Land Navigation
Terrain (OCOKA)
Orienting Terrain
Engagement Ranges
Compartmented vs Featureless terrain
Obscuration (Fog, Smoke, Dust)
Battlefield hazards (unrecorded or marked minefields, submunitions, etc.)


(From CALL Handbook, 92-3)


MISSION (and C2)
Tactically Sound and Simple Scheme of Maneuver Always Rehearse--Don't accept excuses
Complete and Concise Orders Consider Limited visibility rehearsal
Doctrinally correct clearance of fires Situational Awareness--Units, Enemy,Hazards
CPs and TOCs accurately track the battle; render timely reports Know your weapon and vehicle orientation
Maintain graphics two levels down Anticipate where weapon system density will be highest
Use large scale battalion and brigade sector sketches for detail Recognize Battlefield Stress
Coordinate with adjacent units; track adjacent battle Use validated SOPs to simplify operations
Subcompartment sectors and assign responsibility during LIC Know Rules of Engagement
Aviation and maneuver elements must coordinate and communicateAccurate and timely spot reports
Get Air Tasking Order day prior and see what's flying Positive Target Identification--Don't shoot first, ask questions later
FA Bn HHB Cdr clears fires around BSA--he is FSO for the FSB Sustain good aircraft idenfication training program
Only allow the QRF in the BSA perimeter Train BSA troops in threat ID and survivability skills
Anticipate or assess fratricide risk during planning Know friendly weapons effects
Train worst-case MOUT--flimsy structures or high fragmentation
SOCCE is the key to coordination of SOF and conventional unit maneuver
Know enemy characteristics and equipment Maximize Planning Time
Know hostile criteria and enemy aircraft flight profiles Prioritize Tasks or Rehearsals or Reconnaissance
Send key leader on objective reconnaissance-(e.g., squad leader from lead platoon) Multiple WARNORDs and FRAGOs to save time
Additional recognition signals or markers Adjust pace and Tempo
Navigate Accurately--Know your Location
Fire control measures on identifiable terrain
**Derived from JRTC "Tips to Prevent Fratricide" and TRADOC Fratricide Prevention Measures
Redundant navigation aids or checks
Control the MSR--Know what should be on it and what shouldn't

APPENDIX D: 20th CENTURY FRATRICIDE STATISTICS (Combat Studies Institute, LTC Charles Schrader, 1982)

APPENDIX E: TRADOC and CALL FRATRICIDE STUDY (Fratricide Rates by Mission Type, 1986-1988)

NTC CALL TRADOC Study (1986-1988)
Fratricide by Mission: Frat/MP %Frat Kills/MP %Frat Kills
Defend Battle Psn 45/639 7.0% 18/639 2.8%
Defense in Sector 123/2190 5.6% 67/2190 3.1%
Hasty Attack 14/154 9.1% 5/154 3.2%
Mvt to Contact 92/644 14.3% 45/644 7.0%
Reconnaissance 49/333 14.7% 24/333 7.2%
Counterattack 38/240 15.8% 22/240 9.2%
Deliberate Atk 183/720 25.4% 104/720 14.4%
AVERAGE 544/4920 11.0% 285/4920 5.8%

The NTC instrumentation can 'match' the firer with the target and highlight fratricidal matched pairs (MP) for many engagements 25-40% of the time). This study shows the relative risk of fratricide by mission type. It also shows the relationship between fratricidal engagements that are MILES kills and all engagements to include near misses (52%*). These fratricide percentages may not apply to all engagements, but even the 544 total recorded friend-on-friend engagements in two years is too high


I. Definition
II. Primary Causes of Fratricide
A. Direct fire control
B. Land navigation
C. Combat Identification
D. Inadequate control measures
E. Reporting or Communication problems
F. Weapons errors
G. Battlefield Hazards
III. Effects of Fratricide
A. Loss of confidence
B. Leader self-doubt
C. Hesitation
D. Over command and control
E. Loss of aggressiveness
F. Loss of initiative
G. Disrupted operations
H. Degradation of cohesion, morale and combat power
IV. Reduction Measures
A. Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures
  1. Combat identification training
  2. Assembly area procedures
  3. Crew drill or battle drill
  4. Training devices
  5. Rehearsals
  6. Reconnaissance Priorities
  7. Field training
  8. Live fire
  9. Training literature
B. Equipment Solutions
  1. Thermal beacons
  2. Thermal tape
  3. Navigation aids
  4. Combat Vehicle Marketing System
  5. Combat Identification Marking System


APPENDIX G: COURSE OF ACTION (COA) DECISION MATRIX (Generic Example Incorporating Risk Considerations)

                      Note: TRADOC Command Safety Office derived this generic example
                              from FM 101-5, pg E-9, and FM 7-10, pg 2-32

APPENDIX H: WEAPON AND NIGHT ACQUISITION TEMPLATE Friendly/Threat Weapons Ranges and Night Vision Planning Factors (Not to Scale)

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    Apr 92 92-4 Fratricide: Reducing Self-Inflicted Losses
    Apr 92 92-3 Fratricide Risk Assessment for Company Leadership
    Feb 92 92-2 Mobilization of the Reserve Components (RC) for Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM
    Jan 92 92-1 Joint Tactical Communications
    Dec 91 91-5 Battlefield Logistics
    Nov 91 91-4 Counterdrug (CD) Operations
    Oct 91 91-3 The Ultimate High Ground!(Space Support to the Army)
    Jun 91 91-2 The Yellow Ribbon (Army Lessons from the Home Front)
    Apr 91 91-1 Rehearsals
    Dec 90 90-11 Getting to the Desert (Deployment and Selective Callup Lessons)
    Nov 90 90-10 Inactivation
    Oct 90 90-9 Operation JUST CAUSE (Vols I, II, III)
    Sep 90 90-8 Winning in the Desert II (Tactics, Techniques and Procedures for Maneuver Commanders)
    Aug 90 90-7 Winning in the Desert
    Jun 90 90-6 The Musicians of Mars (Synchronization for the Company/Team Commander)
    May 90 90-5 Fire Support
    May 90 904 Introduction to Low Intensity Conflict
    May 90 90-3 "The Stone Forest" (A Heavy/Light Combat Narrative)
    Mar 90 90-2 Reserve Component Deployments
    Feb 90 90-1 Fire Support for the Maneuver Commander
    Nov 89 89-5 Commander's Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC) System
    Nov 89 894 Corps/Division Lessons Learned
    Oct 89 89-3 NCO Lessons Learned
    Aug 89 89-2 Heavy-Light Lessons Learned
    Spring 89 89-1 Non-Mechanized Forces
    Apr 89 1-89 RC Brigade Rotation to the NTC
    Fall 88 88-3 Heavy Forces
    Jul 88 3-88 Deception
    Jun 88 2-88 Light Infantry in Action - Part II
    May 88 88-2 Minefield Breaching
    Apr 88 1-88 Light Infantry in Action
    Jan 88 88-1 Command Continuity on the AirLand Battlefield
    Jul 87 No. 5 Leadership
    May 87 Commander's Comments - The CS Team
    Apr 87 1-87 Lessons Learned (General)
    Feb 87 No. 4 Command and Control System
    Nov 86 Fort Hood Leadership Study (Condensed)
    Nov 86 2-86 Rear Operations
    Sep 86 No. 3 Combat Support Systems
    Sep 86 Lessons Learned by/for Division Commanders
    Jul 86 1-86 Initial Bulletin (General)
    Jun 86 Multiple Integrated Laser System (MILES) Checklist
    May 86 No. 2 Intelligence
    Jan 86 No. 1 Seven Operating Systems
    Nov 85 Commander's Memorandum - CG, NTC