Develop distinct CoAs for Enemy and Friendly Forces.

COAs considered first based on Initiative.


All CoAs must pass the Viability Test

New factors or deductions must not be introduced at this Step.

If so, you must go back and review deductions for that Factor to account for any changes.

COA naming conventions

Enemy CoA 1: Most Likely

Enemy CoA 2: Next Most Likely


Enemy CoA 3: Most Dangerous

Friendly CoA 1: Name or Description

E.G. FCoA1: Left Hook


A clear and concise statement of what the Commander hopes to achieve

The personal expression of the Commander

It is 'why' an operation is being done

State acceptable risk

May state criteria for success

Is the intent in accordance with the higher commander's intent?

Scheme of Manoeuvre

Outlines the 'what', 'where', 'when', and in general terms 'how' the Commander visualizes the battle unfolding to achieve the desired end state based on a COA.

Describes the phases of the operation

If phased

Describes precisely what the Commander expects to be done

Details the employment of major manoeuvre elements

Details the employment of supporting fires and weapons

Includes the integration of other major elements or systems including ISTAR, engineer and air defence

Main Effort

It is the concentration of forces or means in a particular area where the Commander seeks to bring about a decision

It can be designated as a unit, an effect, or a location

End State

Is the situation to be achieved at the end of the operation and which indicates that the objective has been achieved

Advantages and Disadvantages

Examined logically

Can use a variety of methods to assess

Own Merit: Look at the CoA in terms of its own Advantages/Disadvantages

E.G. results in too much risk in my Rear Area

Supportability: How hard/easy are the various CoAs to support with the troops and resources assigned?

E.G. due to the long lines of communication, this CoA is the most difficult to sustain

Against Criteria: Use criteria from your Planning Guidance (PG) that you've determined or against Principles/Fundamentals

E.G. Offence - Principles could be: Offensive Action, Concentration of Force, Surprise, Security and Flexibility

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