As a small unit leader, your primary responsibility is to ensure your unit is prepared to accomplish its wartime mission. The best way to do that is conduct tough, realistic training while maintaining a high level of unit readiness.
So, what is unit readiness? In layman terms, unit readiness is your unit’s ability to perform its wartime mission. It consists of personnel readiness, training readiness and equipment readiness. In addition, it’s a key indicator to whether or not you are doing your job effectively.
If you are a new Platoon Leader or Company Commander, one of your top priorities is to get an accurate assessment of your unit’s readiness. To do this, you should secure a copy of your Unit Manning Roster, 026 report, and Report. Next, you need to assess your unit in the following four categories.
Personnel – Do you have your authorized personnel? Are they deployable? Are they MOS qualified? If you have personnel shortages, is there a game-plan to fix the problem?
Equipment on Hand – In other words, do you have the equipment you are authorized? If you don’t have your authorized equipment, is there a plan in place to get it soon?
Equipment Readiness – Is the equipment that you do have fully mission capable? In other words, does it work? Could you deploy with it right now and perform your wartime mission?
Training -Can your unit accomplish its wartime mission? In other words, can your unit accomplish its mission essential tasks (METL)?Can your Soldiers perform their MOS and warrior tasks, too?
In addition, you might also want to assess retention and morale. They play an important role in unit readiness.
Once you have a starting point, your next step is to establish goals and create an action plan to improve your unit readiness. You should prioritize. Decide which area you need to improve the most and focus on that one first. If that approach doesn’t work for you, choose the area that is “closest” to the standard and focus their first. Either approach will help you improve your unit readiness.
Here are some simple things you can do to improve unit readiness.
Review Your UMR for Quick Fixes – Sometimes the UMR has people in the wrong positions. If you see a Soldier who is slotted in the wrong position (or is non DMOSQ), move him or her over to a position where they would be MOSQ. In addition, check for Soldiers who might be excess, to see if they could transition to a vacant slot with the same MOS.
MOSQ – Send Soldiers to school. Sit down with your Soldiers and counsel them on the importance of DMOSQ. Find a slot in ATTRS and get them enrolled immediately.
Maintenance Program – You must have an effective Army Maintenance Program. This includes PMCS and scheduled services. Everything starts with you. You must make maintenance a top priority. During Motor Stables put on your overalls and work in the motor pool. Spot-check your Soldiers to make sure they are using the right TM to conduct PMCS. You might also want to take your Maintenance Sergeant or Warrant Officer out to lunch to pick their brain and get help.
Meet with Property Book Officer – If your unit has equipment shortages, you should find out why. You should sit down with your Supply Sergeant and Property Book Officer to find out what the game plan is to fill those shortages. If there is no available equipment, find out if there are authorized substitutions.
Validate METL – Review your platoon or company METL. Validate the METL tasks. Refer to your ARTEP and ensure that your METL hasn’t changed. If you make any revisions, submit those changes to your supervisor for approval.
Conduct Warrior Task Training Monthly – Whenever possible, incorporate Warrior Task Training into your training schedule. When time permits, schedule Warrior Task Training as hip-pocket training. Remember, the Warrior Tasks are some of the most important things a Soldier needs to know how to do: shoot, move and communicate.
Finally, you should create a simple Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that you can update each month. This spreadsheet will be utilized to track your unit readiness. Your spreadsheet should include:
- APFT Results
- Soldier Profiles
- Individual Weapons Qual (IWQ) %
- Warrior Task Training (WTT)%
- Eligible for Promotion
- Dead-lined Equipment
- Company METL status
- Equipment on Hand & More!
On the last day of each month, you should update your spreadsheet. That way, you can track your unit readiness progress each month. You can identify trends and also see where you are making improvements. In addition, when your OER is due, you can record the improvements you made during your time in command.
If you are a Company Commander already in command, you should still follow the same advice I listed above. Even if you never did anything with unit readiness before today, you can start fresh. Make an assessment in each area, set goals and create an action plan. You will notice an immediate improvement in your unit readiness.
If you need additional information about unit readiness, you should refer to Army Regulation 220-1.
Do you have any questions? Maybe you have some added tips for unit readiness. Just post them below. Thank you.