Unlike Hollywood so often portrays the military, orders are rarely given as part of a motivational speech played alongside the national anthem. Instead, like almost everything else green, they have their own format.
The following are discussed within the preliminary section of a formal orders briefing.
Moon state- The lighting conditions vary between a night of full moon and a night of no moon.
Weather- naturally, weather effects what equipment or clothing would be brought, as well as factors such as visibility.
First and last light- If light (or conversely, darkness) is a limiting factor in a mission, this gives a time window in which that mission can take place. Equally, a unit may be expected to be awake and in their harbor positions at first light in anticipation of an attack.
Map sheets- Ensuring everyone has the correct maps of the correct area.
Sections- How the unit of men is divided up. A section typically is comprised of 8 men.
Attachments and detachments (atts and dets)- If any additional personnel will be joining the unit for the duration of the mission, and if any personnel normally part of the unit will not be present.
Here, the ground covered is discussed, often using models as a representation. One model would be a general overview whilst another would be focused on one area in more detail. For instance, if the mission was reconnaissance on a farm compound two kilometers away, one model would be the area that must be traveled to get there, whist another would be the compound itself.
Enemy forces- Moral
Friendly forces-Other units opperating in area
-Units that can be called upon for support
-Passwords of other units (Passwords are comprised of four letters spoken phonetically)
1 up and 2 up- This is what other people participating in the operation are doing. Rather than listing the actions of everyone involved, only the two 'steps up' from the unit being directed are described. For example, if addressing a section, their 'one up' will be what the platoon as a whole is doing, and their 'two up' is the activities of their company. If addressing a company, 'one up' is the battalion and 'two up' is the brigade or battlegroup.
The mission must be simple and repeated twice.
Concept of operations- This is the What, How and Where of orders, as well as detail on where the main effort will be.
Dress- What is to be worn
Equipment- What is to be brought
Weapons- The weapon systems in use
Ammo- Availiable ammunition. The concern here would be running out
Rations- Depending on the duration of the operation, full rations may or may not be provided. Where to collect rations from will likely also be mentioned here.
Medical- The number and location of specific medics if present.
POWs - What is to be done with any enemy captured.
Transport- Available transport to and from the location. Vehicles given specifically to the unit for use will also be mentioned in the equipment section higher up.
Command and Signals
Location of HQ
Second and third in command (2ic and 3ic)- The 2ic would lead one of the fire teams if appropriate, whereas the 3ic would only take a command role if shit hits the fan.
Radios and Frequencies- Who will be equipped with radios and the frequencies to be used.
Passwords- The passwords in use by the unit being spoken to