The brigade combat service support (CSS)
rehearsal is a vital part of every brigade mission. Without
conducting a CSS rehearsal, the brigade cannot effectively
link all of its CSS assets for the fight. According to Field
Manual (FM) 6–0, Mission Command: Command and Control
of Army Forces, “Rehearsals allow staff officers, subordinate
commanders, and other leaders to practice executing the course
of action (COA) the commander chose at the end of the military
decisionmaking process (MDMP).”
Each of the five types of rehearsals—confirmation brief, back brief, combined
arms rehearsal, support rehearsal, and battle drill or standing operating procedure
rehearsal—achieves a different result and should be conducted at a specific
time. The brigade CSS rehearsal—a support rehearsal—brings together
all pertinent individuals and all units to discuss the upcoming brigade combat
team (BCT) mission. The CSS rehearsal should ensure that the CSS units can support
the operation order and accomplish all of their missions. It also should ensure
that the CSS elements are synchronized with the overall operation.
A rehearsal is a session
in which a staff or unit practices expected actions to
improve performance during execution.
The brigade executive officer must ensure that
enough time is allotted for the brigade to conduct the CSS
(during daylight if possible). CSS rehearsal
requirements include participants; a recorder to take notes; an agenda and
script; and a rehearsal area, terrain board, or map.
For a rehearsal to be effective, it should follow a prescribed
agenda that everyone knows and understands. An effective
• Roll call.
• Participant orientation to the terrain.
• Enemy situation brief.
• Friendly situation brief.
• Description of expected enemy advancement.
• Discussion of friendly unit actions.
• Review of notes made by the recorder.
An agenda for making this seven-step process an effective rehearsal is shown
on the chart at right.
to be effective
and efficient in combat, rehearsals need to become habitual
refers to units or teams that help the maneuver forces
shape the fight.
The recorder’s role is vital to an effective
rehearsal. The recorder must capture all issues that arise
during the CSS rehearsal. The rehearsal does not slow or stop
unless an issue arises that is considered a “war stopper.” If
this happens, the participants must stop the rehearsal and
resolve the issue before continuing the rehearsal.
The brigade CSS rehearsal is the final opportunity for subordinates
to identify and resolve issues. It is critical that all subordinate
units participate and come to the rehearsal prepared to discuss
their units’ actions and the location of CSS assets.
Major Darren S. Holbrook is the maneuver brigade S–1 and brigade S–4
observer-controller at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California.
He has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Morehead State University
in Kentucky and a master’s degree in counseling from Carson-Newman College
in Tennessee. He is a graduate of the Armor Officer Basic and Advanced Courses
and the Army Command and General Staff College.