Army FM 5-19: Composite Risk Management

As a small unit leader, you should take a few hours and read FM 5-19: Composite Risk Management.  It will help educate you about your responsibilities as a leader, concerning risk management.   It’s filled with great tips, training and resources that you can reference when needed.

Here’s a brief overview of what you will find in FM 5-19:

Chapter # 1: The CRM Process

The first chapter talks about the steps of Composite Risk Management, which include:

  • Step 1 – Identify hazards
  • Step 2 – Assess hazards to determine risk
  • Step 3 – Develop controls and make risk decisions
  • Step 4 – Implement controls
  • Step 5 – Supervise and evaluate

This chapter will walk you through the steps so you understand the “process” you should go through when you are doing your safety planning.

Chapter # 2: Responsibilities

In this chapter you will learn the responsibilities of commanders, the S3, staff, the leader and the individual.  It gives examples and is very specific about who is responsible for what.

Chapter # 3: Application to Troop Leading Procedures

This chapter is really beneficial for anyone at the company level and lower, who utilizes the Troop Leading Procedures to do their mission planning.  It will teach you how to integrate the CRM Process into the Troop Leading Procedures.

Chapter # 4: Application to the Military Decision Making Process

This chapter talks about how to implement the CRM Process into the Military Decision Making Process.  This is an important chapter for personnel serving on staffs at the battalion level and higher.

Chapter # 5: Application to Training Management

This chapter talks about the SAT Process used in the Total Army School System Training battalion.  It talks about how CRM is used in product development and training. 

Chapter # 6: Application to Other Functional Areas

This chapter talks about how to use the CRM Process to minimize sexual assaults, suicides, POV accidents, and other issues that affect unit morale.  It’s really focused on the individual soldier.

Appendix A: Instructions and Sample Forms

I think the sample forms in here are priceless.  There are tons of forms you can see that serve as examples.  If you need to do a Risk Assessment form, this would be a good starting point.

Appendix B: Glossary / Key Terms / Acronyms

This chapter gives you all of the important definitions and acronyms.

Final Thoughts

I understand that reading FMs isn’t always fun to do, but I realize that it is a great way to learn new skills and educate yourself about your job as a leader.  As a small unit leader, risk management is an important part of your job, whether you are a Team Leader or Commanding General.  This FM will serve as a good building block to teach you the fundamental principles of risk management.

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6 thoughts on “Army FM 5-19: Composite Risk Management”

  1. As I was looking this post over again, I was drawn to the Chapter #6 part. It talks about minimizing sexual assaults, suicides, and POV accidents. Now what I am wondering is: either leaders are not reading and implementing Chapter 6, or the system isn’t working. With the high rates of sexual assaults and suicides, it made me question this part. What do you think? Is it from leaders not implementing, or is the system failing?

      1. Yes, you are absolutely correct. Hopefully they address those issues as they arise. I believe there should be a review board of some kind that keeps track of statistics and if certain areas like these need improvement.

        Suicide has been a huge problem as of late with service members.

        I pray that anyone who is in a leadership position and suspects one of their soldiers is suicidal, that they will not overlook the problem, but will handle it properly.

        Thank you for giving me your opinion on this Chuck.

  2. While the military certainly runs itself differently than a traditional business, what the CRM provides is something all businesses should invest in– there would be so much less bad decision making and more happy employees. But on a military level, I do wish some of these skills were used more widely and wisely. Or that perhaps more people in leadership positions were acquainted with these. I have had the unfortunate experience of watching a dear friend be thrown under a bus when, if leadership had truly used Composite Risk Management skills, there was really no problem at all.

      1. You hit a nail on the head about safety. I don’t know how many times leaders did not study safety oriented literature and a soldier or employee was hurt or even killed. The guilt from such a thing can be overwhelming. If every leader would consider the ramifications in neglecting to read these CRM manuals, many more would probably take the time to study them and learn.

        Yes, they can be monotonous, but if it keeps your men and women safe, it is a small price to pay.

        Do yourself and your soldiers a favor….read FM 5-19

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