--Tactical Mission Tasks


2-28. Tactical mission tasks describe the results or effects the commander wants to achieve—the what and why of a mission statement. The “what” is an effect that is normally measurable. The “why” of a mission statement provides the mission’s purpose.

2-29. The following paragraphs are select tactical mission tasks that a platoon may receive that are typically associated with offensive tasks. Each are described below.

Note. The situations used in this section are examples only. For the complete list, see FM 3-90-1. They are not applicable in every tactical operation, nor intended to prescribe specific method for achieving the purpose of the operation.


2-30. A platoon may conduct a breach during an attack to break through or secure a passage through an enemy defense, obstacle, minefield, or fortification. A platoon can participate in a hasty breach or participate as part of a larger unit during the conduct of a deliberate breach. A deliberate breach requires a synchronized combined arms operation.


2-31. A platoon defeats an enemy force when the enemy force has temporarily or permanently lost the physical means or the will to fight. During a defeat, the defeated force’s leader is unwilling or unable to pursue his adopted course of action, thereby yielding to the friendly commander’s will. Also, he can no longer interfere with the actions of friendly forces to a significant degree.


2-32. A platoon destroys an enemy force when it physically renders an enemy force combat-ineffective until it is reconstituted. A platoon can destroy an enemy force by—

  • Executing an ambush where the entire enemy element is in the kill zone.
  • Using surprise direct and indirect fire into an engagement area.
  • Coordinating direct and indirect fires onto an objective.
  • Massing indirect fires onto an unprepared enemy


2-33. A platoon has seized an objective when it physically occupies it and the enemy can no longer place direct fire on it. A platoon may seize during either offensive or defensive tasks. Examples include—

  • A platoon seizes the far side of an obstacle as part of a company team breach.
  • A platoon seizes a portion of an enemy defense as part of a company team deliberate attack.
  • A platoon seizes key terrain to prevent its use by the enemy.


2-34. A platoon or squad has suppressed an enemy when the enemy cannot prevent our forces from accomplishing their mission. It is a temporary measure. The platoon can use direct fire or call in indirect and obscuring fires. Units in support and attack by fire positions often use suppressive fires to accomplish their mission. It is often used by the platoon during an attack to—

  • Allow further movement of friendly forces.
  • Isolate an objective by suppressing enemy units in mutually supporting positions.
  • Cover the dismounted assault element from the line of departure (LD) to the objective.

Edited by MAJ J.LaFlash