As a new Platoon Leader, one of your first objectives is to create a Leader Book.
The purpose of the Platoon Leader – Leader’s Book is to have a single resource for all important platoon information.
In other words, your Platoon Leader – Leader book will allow you to reference any important Soldier information in one spot.
Whether you choose to utilize a folder, three-ring binder or other format is irrelevant.
You simply need to find something that works for you.
At a minimum, your Leader Book should have four major sections.
They include Training, Readiness, Soldier Care and Misc.
Within these four sections you should have the following information:
Training Schedule: You will need a copy of your Company and Platoon Training Schedule, minimum for the next 90 days.
If you can get the entire training year’s training schedule, that’s even better.
Unit OPORDs: Keep a section in your Leader’s Book for your Company and Platoon OPORDs.
That way, you can refer to any OPORD, when necessary.
Yearly Training Guidance: This is typically a Battalion sized element document, unless your unit is a separate company.
This document outlines your Battalion Commander’s training guidance for the upcoming year.
Yearly Training Calendar: Get a copy of the Company’s and Battalion’s YTC and file it away in your Leader’s Book.
Company & Platoon METL: Ask your Company Commander for a copy of his or her Company METL.
Once you have this document, create your own unique Platoon METL.
Chances are there is already a Platoon METL in place.
If not, sit down with your Platoon Sergeant and draft one up.
Once that’s done, seek input from your Company Commander.
After Action Reviews: Filed copies of your Platoon AARs into your Platoon Leader – Leader’s Book.
After 30 days, remove the AAR from your Leader’s Book and keep it in a separate folder.
Training Meeting Notes & Agendas: Keep copies of all training meeting notes and agendas in your Platoon Leader – Leader’s Book.
Platoon Roster: Also known as the manning roster, your Platoon roster lists the full name, SSN, DOB, HOR, and contact information for every Soldier in your platoon.
Equipment Roster: The equipment roster is simply a copy of the unit MTOE.
It lists all property your platoon is authorized and also identifies what is on hand and what shortages you might have.
APFT Information: Your Leader Book should have current, updated APFT information for every Soldier in your platoon.
This includes HT/WT and tape test information.
APFT failures must be identified and supervised closely.
Weapons Qualification Information: Your Leader Book must have updated weapons qualification information.
This includes individual weapons qualification and crew served weapons qual.
That way, you know when your Soldiers’ qualification expires.
Soldier Profiles: Your Leader Book should have a section for Soldier profiles.
This includes temporary and permanent profiles.
Equipment Readiness Roster: Also known as the 026 report, this document provides the updated readiness status.
Family Readiness: This includes any information on Soldiers who require a Family Care Plan.
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Personnel Data Sheets: Your Leader Book should have personnel data sheets that have the contact information for your Soldiers, spouses and family members.
Promotion Eligibility: You should have a print-out of all Soldier dates or rank.
This will tell you what Soldiers are eligible for promotion.
At this point, you can talk with your Platoon Sergeant and First Sergeant about who to recommend for promotion.
Counseling: Keep all counseling sessions that you conduct in this section.
This would include counseling for your Platoon Sergeant and any negative (or positive) counseling you administrated with a Soldier.
Also, keep the counseling sessions you receive from your boss.
ETS Roster: The ETS roster provides ETS dates for all Soldiers in your platoon.
Each month, you can track ETS dates up to 120- days out.
This enables you to conduct ETS counseling with each Soldier, way before their ETS date.
OER & OER Support Form: At a minimum, keep a copy of your rater’s OER Support Form and your OER Support Form.
If you have completed OERs, keep records of those too.
Once again, the items listed above are just a minimum.
If you choose to add other items, that’s fine.
The secret to creating an effective Leader Book is to utilize a format that works best for you.
Personally, I utilize a three ring binder for my leader book.
Next, you must ensure your Platoon Leader – Leader Book is updated regularly.
At a minimum, you should update it once per month.
If possible, every two weeks is better.
Set aside some personal time to update your book each month.
Once you have a good, updated Platoon Leader – Leader Book, you must keep it with you at all times.
Remember, if you don’t use it or have it with you, what good is it?
Bring it to all meetings, training events, etc.
If you have any other ideas for your Leader Book, please post them below.