Plans, Operational

Operational planning is a means by which commanders conceive of more desirable future conditions and devise a means to attain these conditions. The operational plan is also a tool through which the commander communicates how his or her unit will achieve this more desirable condition. Operational plans act as a guide to military action. In war, planning can also help commanders make the best use of scarce or precious resources. Failure to conduct careful planning may result in a waste of time, money, or the lives of soldiers. This entry discusses the steps in the planning cycle, characteristics of good operational plans, and changes to planning doctrine in the U.S. Army and Marine Corps.

How and Why Operational Plans Are Created and Utilized

Operational plans may be ...

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