In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Joy of SMESC

My BOTC is progressing well. I only got snarled at by the Sergeant-major once and quite frankly that was enough. We were all amazed this past weekend that we were into a routine, knew how to keep our sticks in a pile and actually had time to enjoy our breakfasts.

I've also managed to get a couple of good cups of tea too.

The recent lessons have been on writing and delivering orders. Warning orders and Operations orders mostly and writing them in the NATO standard SMESC format. SMESC is a handy matrix for the confused OCdt to basically fill in the blanks, if all the blanks are full then he hasn't missed anything (hopefully). SMESC stands for:
  • Situation
  • Mission
  • Execution
  • Service Support
  • Command and Signals
The bulk is the Execution part obviously and gets broken down into fun little subsections like 'Groupings and Timings' and 'Phases'.

So we have all been assigned small party tasks and have to write the Ops O, deliver the O Group and then direct our syndicate of 5 other OCdts in the execution of our grandiose plan. Mine is setting up a tabloid sports event for 30 cadets using a box of random stuff. It isn't quite the invasion of Normandy, but I'll work up to that.

The others in my course are quite an interesting bunch. I was expecting more teachers and youngsters that were only cadets themselves a few years ago. There are a handful of parents with no prior military or cadet experience who wanted to get more involved, a mill wright who has built components for Mars probes, another fellow who just spent a year at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the US, a financial advisor with expensive hobbies (polo, yachting, vintage cars), and a woman who served 5 years in the US Navy as a Corpsman with the Marines. The ages range from students to almost ready to retire. There are a few annoying personality quirks but nothing I can't work with and some of them are top notch people. Even the ones I initially thought "Who the hell is this clown?" all demonstrate unique strengths and abilities.

Initially I thought I wanted to compete for a parade appointment for the Graduation Parade, but on reflection I'm glad I didn't get selected. Too much pressure and the ones they did choose are both brilliant young people. I'm really glad I wasn't chosen to be the PMC for the Mess Dinner on our last weekend. THAT would have been a lot of pressure. Mess Dinners are a mine field of social faux pas that make High School look like a Care Bears convention.

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