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Aar Lesson

In: Business and Management

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AFTER ACTION REVIEW

SECTION I. ADMINISTRATIVE DATA

Task(s) Task Number Task Title
Taught or After Action Review
Supported

Task(s) Task Number Task Title
Supported N/A NA

Academic The academic hours to teach this class are as follows:
Hours

PEACETIME HOURS/METHODS 100 mins/CO/PE/ 20 minutes video

Total Hours 2 hrs

Test Lesson Type of Test: Brigade Certification Test
Number Total Hours: 3 hours

Prerequisite Lesson Number Lesson Title
Lesson(s) None None

Clearance There are no clearance or access requirements for this lesson. and Access

References

|NUMBER |TITLE |DATE |PARA/ |
| | | |PAGE |
| | | |NO. ALL |
|TC 25-20 |A Leader’s Guide To After Action Reviews |Sept 93 |All |
|TC 25-10 |A Leader’s Guide To Lane Training |Aug 96 |Chapter 5 |

Student Provide Slides to students one day prior to the start of class. Students
Study must be prepared to discuss the Slides during class. Scan TC 25-20.

Assignments

Instructor One instructor, familiar with TC 25-20,
Requirements

Additional None
Personnel
Requirements

Equipment Overhead Projector, Screen
Required

Materials INSTRUCTOR MATERIALS: After Action Review Transparencies
Required

STUDENT MATERIALS: None

Classroom, One Standard Classroom
Training Area, and Range
Requirements

Ammunition None
Requirements

Instructional Note: Before presenting this lesson, instructors must thoroughly prepare by
Guidance studying this lesson and identified reference material.

Proponent DCO, 2d Brigade, 75th Division
Lesson
Plan
Approvals

SECTION II INTRODUCTION

Method of instruction: CO Instructor to student ration is: 1:25 Time of instruction: 2 hrs 25 minutes Media: Viewgraph

NOTE: Show Viewgraph #1

NOTE: Instructor reads - Modern combat is complex and demanding. To fight and win, we must train our soldiers during peacetime to successfully execute their war-time missions. We must use every training opportunity to improve their individual and collective task performances to meet or exceed the Army standard, soldiers and leaders must know and understand what happened or did not happen during every training event.

Key is the spirit in which AARs are given. The enviornment and climate surrounding an AAR must be one in which the soldiers and leaders openly and honestly discuss what actually transpired, in sufficient detail and clarity that not only will everyone understand what did and did not occur and why, but most importantly leave with a strong desire to seek the opportunity to practice the task again.

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 2

NOTE: (Instructor) Direct one of the students to read this slide out loud.

Ask the students if they agree with the statements and solicit reasons why.

Ensure to use the Ask, Pause and Call (APC) technique to ask all questions and acknowledge all good answers.

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 3

NOTE: (Instructor ) read the TLO aloud and answer any question regarding the Action, Condition/Standard.

Terminal At the completion of this lesson you [the student] will:
Learning
Objective
|Action: |Identify the procedures for planning,preparing,and conducting a After Action Review |
|Condition: |In a classroom environment,student handout and access to TC 25-20 |
|Standard: |The OC/T will be able to plan prepare,and conduct a After Action Review |

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 4

NOTE: (Instructor) read the agenda aloud to the class cover each point.

SECTION III PRESENTATION

NOTE: Before showing Viewgraph # 5 ask the question what is an AAR? After soliciting several responses, show Viewgraph # 5.

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 5 and read definition aloud.

NOTE: After reading the second bullet, add the following:

"AARs provide- • Candid insights into specific soldier, leader and unit strengths and weaknesses from various perspectives. • Feedback and insight are critical to battle-focused training. • Details are often lacking in evaluation reports alone.

Evaluation is the basis for the commander's unit-training assessment. No commander, no matter how skilled, will see as much as the individual soldiers and leaders who actually conduct the training. Leaders can better correct deficiencies and sustain strengths by carefully evaluating and comparing soldier, leader and unit performance against the standard.

The AAR is the keystone of the evaluation process."

***Before next slide, ask: "What is the objective of an AAR?" (REF TC 25-20, page 1-1)

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 6

NOTE: After you have solicited several answers (Using APC), show the above slide.

(Instructor should feel free to elaborate and have students give examples of tasks, etc. examples of individual tasks would be: Prepare a range card, apply a pressure dressing. Examples of a collective task would be: Move tactically and react to contact. Leader tasks would be: Call for and adjust indirect fire.

Before you show next slide ask: "What is the purpose of the AAR?" (REF TC 25-10, page 88)

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 7

NOTE: Instructor should cover each point and ask : "How can confidence in the unit leadership be increased through an AAR?" The answer is, Confidence is increased when a unit leadership displays their technical and tactical competence through discussion generated by the AAR.

**Instructors should feel free to elaborate on any or all of the above points**

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 8

NOTE: Instructor should cover each point and answer any questions. (REF TC 25-20, page 1-3)

Emphasize that the AAR involves all participants, not just key leaders.

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 9

NOTE: Instructor should cover each point and ask for examples of open-ended questions. Ensure students have a firm grasp of what open-ended questions are. Some examples of what open-ended questions are: What caused the platoons to have a break in contact with the company? Why are the squads range cards not done to standard?

**Before showing next slide ask: "What are some additional guidelines that OC/Ts should observe while conducting an AAR?" (REF TC 25-20, page 1-3)

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 10

NOTE: Instructor: Cover each point in detail (drawing from your personal experience) and ask thought-provoking questions. For example:

Question: "Why should we emphasize meeting the Army standards for a task?"

Answer: The ARTEP-MTP standards are the standards we try to achieve while conducting training.

Question: "How do you avoid embarrassing the soldiers or leaders?"

Answer: Do not put leaders or soldiers on the spot and acknowledge good answers.

Question: "Why do you avoid unnecessarily long AARs?"

Answer: Most soldiers span of attention is only one hour.

**Before showing next slide, ask "What are some of the characteristics of a formal AAR?" Solicit answers. (REF TC 25-10, page 90)

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 11

NOTE: "Leaders plan formal AARs at the same time they finalize the near-term Training plan (six to eight weeks before execution). It involves the use of complex training aids." (Ask the students for examples, i.e. terrain models, map blow-ups and video equipment.)

Instructor: Cover remaining points and clarify any questions

Question: "When might a formal AAR be conducted for element smaller than a company?"

Answer: "Possibly for a crew, section or platoon after gunnery tables or after a platoon situational training exercise (STX) before showing slide # 12, ask the students "What are some of the characteristics of an informal AAR?" (REF TC 25-10, page 89 and TC 25-20, page 1-4)

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 12 and # 13

NOTE: Instructor: Cover each point listed both slides, and ask the students to compare Characteristics of the formal AAR. (REF TC 25-10, page 89 and TC 25-20, page 1-4)

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 13

NOTE: Instructors cover each point on the slide and then state “formal and informal AARs follow the same general sequence.” Leaders must plan and prepare before they can conduct an effective AAR. The amount of the planning and preparation depends on the type of AAR to be conducted and the resources available. (REF TC 25-20, page 1-5)

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 14

NOTE: (Instructor) State there are four phases to the AAR, and read the slide aloud to the students.

**Before showing the next slide, ask: "When does an OC/T begin the Planning Phase?"

Answer: "As soon as they are made aware of the units requirement to conduct a task. This is done at the home station. Do not wait for the actual unit link- up."

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 15

NOTE: (Instructor) Read the slide aloud to the students and answer any questions concerning Action, Condition/Standard.

Enabling
Learning
Objective
|Action |Identify the steps followed during the After Action Review planning phase |
|Conditions |In a classroom environment, student handout, and access to TC 25-20 |
|Standard |Successfully describe the steps followed during the planning phase of the AAR |

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 16

NOTE: Instructor: The following is some information to be mentioned with the above points. Involve the students by asking open-ended questions in order to obtain the knowledge they already posses.

Point 1 "Leaders and OC/Ts should establish certain objectives for an AAR and ensure it accomplishes the objectives to promote learning."

Point 2 "Selected observers should: Be able to perform the tasks to be trained, experienced in the duties they are to evaluate and knowledgeable in the current doctrine. Observers should be trained in the methods techniques and procedures found in TC 25-20, TC 25-10 and FM 25-101. New OC/Ts should get the opportunity to observe a properly conducted AAR."

Point 3 "OC/Ts should always review the appropriate ARTEP, MTPs and STPs to ensure he or she is aware of the standards to be met. If possible, the OC/T should create a "checklist" of the steps to be accomplished. (We use a "green-book" to assist our unit.)"

Point 4 "Formal AAR times are usually scheduled well in advance and the attendance is usually limited to key players. However, many of the AARs we conduct will be informal, conducted at the conclusion of the lane or task and will involve the entire unit. The OPFOR Leader will usually be present to provide insights on- OPFOR doctrine/plans, the unit's actions and OPFOR reactions to what the unit did." (REF TC 25-20, pages 2-2 thru 2-5 and FM 25-101, pages G-2 thru G-4)

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 17

NOTE: Instructor: This slide is some information to be mentioned with the above points. Involve the students by asking open-ended questions in order to obtain the knowledge they already posses.

Point 1 "Leaders must schedule time for AARs as an integrated part of overall training. When possible, they should plan for an AAR at the end of each critical phase or major training event."

Point 2 "Ideally, the AAR site should allow soldiers to see the terrain where The exercise took place. If this is not possible, the trainer or OC/T should find a location where the most critical or significant actions took place. Make the environment as conducive to learning as possible. Look for possible areas to preposition vehicles or equipment."

Point 3 "Training aids add to an AAR's effectiveness. The OC/T should Choose them carefully and request them, if necessary, well in advance. Terrain visibility, group size, suitability to task and availability of electrical power are all things to consider when selecting training aids." Ask students "What are some training aids we may use for AARs?" "We will discuss training aids further in the PE portion of this class."

Point 4 Show the next slide and discuss. (REF TC 25-20, pages 2-4 thru 2-7 and FM 25 101, pages G-4 and 5)

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 18

NOTE: Instructor: "A key element in an evaluation plan is the AAR plan. The AAR plan provides the foundation for each training event. Trainers draft and review the plan to identify critical places and events they must observe to provide the unit with a valid evaluation. Examples include operations orders, rehearsals, maintenance collection points, etc." the following slide is an example of an AAR plan.

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 19

NOTE: (Instructor) Read the ELO aloud to the students and answer any questions regarding the Action, Condition/Standard.

Enabling
Learning
Objective
|Action |Identify the steps followed during the conduct of the AAR |
|Condition |In a classroom environment, student handout, and access to TC 25-20 |
|Standard |Correctly identify the steps followed during the conduct of the AAR |

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 20

NOTE: Point 1: "The unit's training objectives focus on the specific actions and Events which the OC/Ts must observe to provide valid observations and to effectively lead the AAR. The unit's orders establish initial conditions for the tasks the units must perform. OC/Ts review the unit's METL and appropriate doctrine to brush up on their knowledge before the training event."

Point 2: "OC/Ts must focus their observations on the actions required to perform tasks to standard and to accomplish TNG Obis. They must identify key events, which are critical to mission success and position them to observe them (for example-Operations and FRAGOs, TLPs.. contact with OPFOR, etc.)

Point 3: "One of the most difficult tasks an OC/T must perform is to position himself to observe training. You don't always need to stay close to the unit leader. Sometimes you can see more from locations to observe critical tasks or the overall flow of the unit's actions. He must look and act as a member of the unit (IM, camouflage, cover and concealment). Another way to observe training is to monitor radio nets. OC/Ts should take detailed written notes using a notebook, 3x5 cards or prepared forms. He should keep an accurate record, by time sequence, of what he sees/hears and record the events, actions and observations to prevent loss of valuable information."

Point 4: "The OC/T conducting the AAR must coordinate a time and place to collect observations from the other OC/Ts and OPFOR leaders. This will give him a complete picture of what happened."

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 21

NOTE: Instructor: "Here is an example of an observation worksheet. The format may be adjusted to meet a specific unit's needs."

Discuss each entry briefly.

"It is important that anytime you give recommendations to a unit, you Reference specific doctrine and stress the difference between doctrine and Technique."

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 22

NOTE: Instructor: Discuss each point.

Point 1: "After the OC/T has gathered all necessary information, he puts his Notes in chronological sequence so he can understand the flow of events. He

then selects and sequences key events in terms of their relevance to training objectives, identifying key discussion and/or teaching points."

Point 2: "The OC/T should select a site on or near the area where the training took place or where most of the critical events took place. We will look closer at the site set-up in a moment."

Point 3: "After thorough preparation, the OC/T reviews the AAR format, rehearses at the site (with the other OC/Ts and OPFOR representatives), and gets ready to contact the AAR." Pre-brief CO/PL prior to the AAR.

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 23

NOTE: Instructor: Show this slide as an example of an AAR site set-up and ensure the students understand all the elements.

Ask the students: "At what unit level is this AAR being conducted? How do you know?" Answer: Company level there are reserved seating spots for the company commander, first sergeant, and four platoon chains of command.

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 24

NOTE: Instructor. Cover each point.

Point 1: "Ask leading and thought-provoking questions that focus on the training objectives. Ask squad leaders what METT-T factors influenced their decisions."

Point 2: "Have the unit members describe what happened in their own words and from their point of view. They should feel free to discuss not only what happened, but also why it happened."

Point 3: "Explore alternative courses of action that might have been done effective. "How could you have done that better?)"

Point 4: "Another technique we have found to be successful is to spend 25% of the AAR on what happened, 25% on why it happened and 50% on how to fix the problems."

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 25

NOTE: (Instructor) Read the ELO aloud to the students and answer any questions regarding the Action, Condition/Standard.

Enabling
Learning
Objective
|Action: |Identify the steps followed during the follow up phase of the AAR |
|Condition: |In a classroom environment, student handout, and access to TC 25-20 |
|Standard: |Correctly identify the steps followed during the follow up the AAR |

NOTE: Read Viewgraph # 26

NOTE: Instructor: Cover each point

Point 1; "We will cover the introduction and ROE in detail on the next slide."

Point 2: "The OC/T should restate the training objectives, including the tasks, conditions and standards. Have the commander or platoon leader come forward and use the training aids to restate his Higher's mission and his mission and intent (what was supposed to happen). Have the OPFOR leader do the same. (This will require that you brief the two of them prior to the AAR. Having them arrive a few minutes before everyone else is one method of ensuring a smooth transition.) Reviewing relevant doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures will add to the professionalism of the AAR.

Point 3: "The OC/T guides the discussion to discover what happened. You should avoid "yes" or "no" questions and ask leading and open-ended questions. Be careful not to put someone on the defense. (For example a good question might be: SGT Johnson, what happened when your squad was given the order to move forward and conduct the breech? On the other hand, you might put SGT Johnson on the defensive if you ask: SGT Johnson, when your squad was given the order to breech, why did you wait so long to react?) Remember, this not a critique, however, the OC/T must ensure specific issues are revealed, both positive and negative."

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 27

NOTE: Instructor "During the introduction, ensure you introduce yourself, all OC/Ts in attendance and the OPFOR representative. Then show the list of the rules of engagement (ROE) for the AAR. Here is an example of an AAR ROE list."

Point 1: "An AAR is not a critique. No one has all the information or answers. AARs maximize training benefits by allowing soldiers, regardless of rank, to learn from each other.

Point 2: "This is a dynamic, candid, professional discussion of training which focuses on unit performance against the Army standard for the tasks being trained. Everyone can, and should, participate if the have an insight, observation, or question which is aimed at improving unit performance."

Point 3: "An AAR does not grade success or failure. There are always weaknesses to improve and strengths to sustain." Discuss the remaining points briefly. (REF TC 25-20, page 4-1)

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 28

NOTE: Instructor: Discuss each point.

Point 1: "The purpose of the discussion is for participants to discover strengths and weaknesses, propose solutions, and adopt a course of action to correct problems, Leaders can organize the discussion using a chronological order of events, battlefield operating systems (BOS). or key events/ themes/issues. A chronological order of events is a logical, structured and easy to understand technique. It follows the flow of training from start to finish and allows soldiers to see the effects of their actions on other units and events. To focus and structure the AAR, the OC/T can also use the seven BOS. (**Intelligence, Maneuver, Fire support, Mobility and survivbility, Air defense, Logistics, Battle command) By focusing on BOS and discussing it across all phases of the training exercise, participants can identify strengths and weakness. This is an effective method for staff sections, but you must be careful not to lose sight of the big picture. The OC/T can also use the key events/themes/issues technique. This method is particularly effective when time is limited. This technique focuses on critical events which directly support the training objectives. You may also use the Plan, Prep and Execute technique. This method allows the participants to look at the three different phases of the mission separately and in detail. Fratricide incidents or near incidents will be discussed in detail. The following questions should be answered: How and why did the incident occur? How were friendly personnel and equipment identified? What fire control measures were in place and how effective were they? How did the commander's risk assessment and intent for the mission address fratricide?

(REF TC25-20, pages 4-4, **BOS came from FM 100-5, page 2-12)

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 29

NOTE: Instructor: "In addition to key issues, the OC/T may also address several other issues to include: soldier/leader skills, tasks to sustain/improve, statistics and numerous others. The unit can identify, through the discussion, critical soldier and leader skills which affected unit or individual performance. (Often it is best to discuss specific leader skills in a separate AAR even one-to-one with a particular leader.)

Tasks to sustain/improve focuses on identifying those tasks the unit is proficient in and tasks, which need further training. The intent is to focus training on mission-essential tasks and supporting soldier, leader and collective tasks which need improvement, rather than known strengths.

Statistics is a double-edge sword. They supply objective facts, which reinforce observations of both strengths and weaknesses. However, the danger lines in using statistics for the sake of them. Chart after chart of stats quickly obscures any meaning and tends to turn the discussion into a "grading" on the unit.

Other topics which may be discussed are TLP's, use of terrain, synchronization, etc."

REF TC 25-20,, pages 4-6 thru 4-8

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 30

NOTE: Instructor: "Here is an example of a Key Leader Assessment Chart. You may ask different key leaders for their assessments. One technique is to let the leaders know prior to the AAR that you will be asking them for a task to improve and one to sustain.

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 31

NOTE: Instructor: Discuss each point.

Point 1: Discussion of force protection and safety issues should be a part of every AAR. The OC/T must decide on what specific portions of force protection to be discussed, however, the issues should relate to the overall training objective. (Force protection involves everything a unit does to preserve its fighting force; security, health and hygiene, proper use of equipment and soldier load are examples of force protection issues.) Safety should be specifically addressed and discussed in detail when it impacts unit effectiveness or soldier health. (Safety precautions for up- coming missions should be mentioned.)"

Point 2: During the summary, the OC/T reviews and summarizes key points identified during the discussion. He should end the AAR on a positive note, linking conclusions to future training.

(REF TC 25-20, page 4-8)

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 32

(Instructor) Read ELO aloud clarify any questions concerning the Action, Condition, Standard.

Enabling

Learning
Objective
|Action |Identify the steps followed during the follow up phase of the AAR |
|Condition |In a classroom environment, student handout, and access to TC 25-20 |
|Standard |Correctly identify the steps followed during the follow phase of the AAR |

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 33

NOTE: Instructor: Cover each point.

Point 1: "Immediately or shortly after the training event, leaders or OC/Ts should conduct a trained-needs practice-untrained (T-P-U) assessment. The results of this assessment should be used to develop future training plans."

Point 2-3: "Retraining may be necessary to address particularly weak areas. By applying its learning, a unit can improve its performance to meet the Army standard. AAR's may reveal problems in the unit's SOP's. They should be revised to reflect the lessons learned and should be integrated into future training as soon as possible."

Point 4: "After-action reviews are a dynamic link between task performance and execution to standard. They provide commanders and subordinate leaders a critical assessment tool to plan soldier, leader and unit training."

SECTION IV SUMMARY

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 34

NOTE: Instructor Notes: Summarize the material covered and ask review Questions .

Question: "What is the objective of an AAR?”

Answer: To improve individual and collective task performance. Question: "What are the four phases of the AAR?"

Answer: Planning, preparation, conduct, and follow-up.

Question: "During what phase should the OC/T observe training and take notes?”

Answer: Preparation phase.

Question: "What are some of the techniques that an OC/T can utilize during the discussion of key events?”

Answer: Chronological order of events, BOS, key events or themes.

Question: "During what phase should the OC/T brief rules of engagement?”

Answer: Conduct phase.

NOTE: Show Viewgraph # 35

NOTE: Read slide aloud to students

NOTE: Conclude presentation with AAR video.

SECTION V STUDENT EVALUATION

NOTE: Students will be tested on the After Action Review under the brigade OC/T certification exam (100 questions) at the completion of the OC/T training program.

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