Chapter 7

Develop a Course of Action

Six Steps of Planning

1. Determine the mission objective.
2. Identify the threats.
3. Identify your resources.
4. Evaluate lessons learned.
5. Develop a course of action.
6. Plan for contingencies.

We have reached the point where the rubber meets the road. With all the threats, resources, and lessons learned that you have considered up to this point, it is now time to put it all together into a plan. We call this the course of action, but before you get started drafting the specific tasks you will need to take to get to your HDD, take a few minutes to consider how one veteran, Maria, assembled all the separate parts of the planning process together into a seamless whole.

Maria's Story: Getting Started

Before enlisting in the U.S. Army, Maria worked in her parents' paint store on weekends and during the summer for many years in her small town in western North Carolina. It was a family business. She could remember the smell of fresh paint, the ring of the door chime, and her father's belly laughs as he shook hands with dozens of customers every day. She especially remembered the professional painters who would come into the store almost daily to pick up paint and supplies. They usually came in early in the morning or around lunch. Some would even bring their lunch and sit out behind the store on a picnic table with a bright red umbrella that her dad had set up just for them. Her parents would often sit with the painters and let Maria mind the ...

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