Patrol Leader: How to Write a Mission Statement | Blood Stripes

Patrol Leader: How to Write a Mission Statement

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I heard Marine non-commissioned officers could be patrol leaders. How does a Marine sergeant come up with a mission statement when planning a patrol?

During the operations order…

Mission – provides a clear and concise statement of what the unit must accomplish.  The mission statement is the heart of the order, and should provide information on who, what, when, where, and why of the order.

During METT-T analysis within BAMCIS, the patrol leader’s timeline.


Mission: mission directive

Take into account the objective of the patrol. If the objective is to recon an area, the patrol needs to go through certain, known, enemy locations; to recon further enemy activity.

If the objective is to cordon and clear a structure, the route is limited to where the structure is located. There may be access point considerations that need to be made when conducting actions on the objective.

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Let’s say the objective is to conduct vehicle checkpoints (VCP), a VCP must be located in a main thorough fare with a bottle neck; so that traffic is corralled to the teams location. Each mission has a different consideration.

Perhaps the mission calls for multiple teams to come together for a reconnaissance patrol. There must be a designated patrol leader assigned to the task. This patrol leader works with all of the other team leaders to create a plan which, achieves all of the teams individual objectives. This was the case while my team was operating in Kajaki. We needed to escort other leadership around our battlespace. I sat down with the other teams and was issued a mission brief explaining the directives we needed to achieve. As the escorting unit, we would be lead element. I was put to the task of being patrol leader. I put the op order together explaining everyone’s roles in the various teams. The mission statement read like this.

At 0830 August 2, 2011 PAT 2 will escort ODA1, RED 6 and, Snipers 1.1, by vehicle to ‘Unknown Left’ in order to establish over-watch and conduct reconnaissance of the surrounding area.

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In a clear concise way, the mission statement conveys the 5 Ws of the mission. All of the details for the patrol are not in the mission statement. Other team directives are discussed in later portions of the op order. The mission statement gets the basics of why the patrol is taking place. The mission statement must be laid out in the ‘Warning Order” and the “Op Order” so others can better understand what needs to happen.


For more on patrolling see these other articles.

BAMCIS For The Patrol Leader

METT-T For The Patrol Leader

posted on May 30, 2015 under Q&A
Michael J. Penney
Michael J. Penney is a former infantryman and Marine Corps Combat Arms instructor. During his eight year career in the Marines, he served with distinction on the battlefields of Ramadi Iraq 2005-2006/ 2007 and Kajaki/Sangin Afghanistan (2011). Learn more about Michael at

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