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Posted on Mar 24, 2007 in Front Page Features, Tactics101

Tactics 101: 014. Decision-Making and the Power of CCIR

By Rick Baillergeon and John Sutherland

CCIR Review and Methodology

– CCIR is not intended to be all encompassing. It should be designed to focus the command on specific information the commander needs personally, in order to make a decision. It is not limited to decisions made during execution. Initial CCIR may support commander’s concept development. CCIR changes as often as the situation and the commander’s personal need for decision making information changes and is therefore dynamic and evolving.

– Lots of information is important. CCIR provides focus on what the commander needs. It segregates image building information from execution information. Humans can only do about three things at one time; CCIR helps make the commander’s load bearable. Long lists of everything that is believed important does not equate to CCIR.


– As a commander, don’t develop CCIR that overloads you with making decisions that are a part of the plan (i.e. “on order” tasks to sub-units). These events should be triggered, not directed by the commander. The commander must accept that the entire plan will not go as originally envisioned, therefore, his energy must be focused on decisions relative to changes in the situation, not in over supervising execution that is generally going according to plan.

– The commander focuses his CCIR on visualization of those enemy, friendly, or terrain aspects of the future action that would cause the envisioned course of action to become invalid in terms of success or failure options. In other words, CCIR should allow the commander to adjust to over expected success and opportunity or to lack of success or limited success. The commander, assisted by the staff, develops potential answers to information requirements that will cause the commander to have to personally make decisions and issue orders that deviate from the planned course of action. The decision can be relative to “good” things — exploit an opportunity — or “bad” things — respond to an unexpected enemy action. The commander answers the question of “what, if I see it in a certain place, at a certain time, will cause me to have to deviate from my current plan (transition to a branch, shift the main effort, commit the reserve, abort an air strike, etc).

– CCIR wording must be in the form of answers, not questions. PIR questions such as “When and where will the enemy commit his tank reserve”, “when and where will the enemy use chemical weapons”, and FFIR statements such as “Any company drops below 70% strength” are useless unless the commander has envisioned specific times, space, and capability answers that would cause him to have to act. As written above, they always require an observer to perform some level of analysis and draw concrete conclusions for something which no one can truly discern in the time required to make a meaningful decision. Employing answers instead of questions alleviates the need for subordinate analysis. The information comes over the net as a report, a fact, and is what it is. It can be acted upon immediately. No analysis is required.

Okay, we’ve talked enough (probably too much)! Let’s give you a chance to hone your skills. Below you will find a quick scenario. Do your analysis! We then provide you six potential decisions the commander could make in this operation. Your mission is to craft the CCIR that will enable you to make a timely and relevant decision (Click the thumbnails for larger pictures).




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