The Basic School

Following Officer Candidates School, newly commissioned officers head to The Basic School to learn how to lead and inspire fellow Marines. Guided by the mentorship of experienced Marines, new officers develop the leadership, knowledge and esprit de corps that define the Marine Corps.

5 Paragraph Combat Order

Commanders in the Marine Corps use a five-paragraph combat order recognized by all U.S. Armed Forces and NATO. This format ensures that your mission plan factors in all the relevant details, and that you can effectively deliver the information to your Marines. After delivering an order, you must be prepared to adapt quickly and respond as conditions evolve.

Paragraph I: Situation - The unit commander must assess the location and conditions of each situation. Paragraph II: Mission - A mission statement contains a purpose. The unit commander must determine what exactly is the mission in front of them. Paragraph III: Execution - The unit commander decides on a plan of how to best accomplish the mission at hand. Paragraph IV: Administration & Logistics: The unit commander identifies the administrative and logistical information necessary for the operation to be successful. Paragraph V: Command & Signal: The unit commander determines what signals will be used on the mission, where key personnel will be located, and the chain of command during and after the mission is accomplished.
Command Responsibility

Command Responsibility

As a commanding officer, your Marines will look to you for both guidance and orders. With every mission, it's your responsibility to plan a course of action, deliver it to your Marines and ensure they have the tools to accomplish the objective.

Decide, Communicate, Execute

As a platoon commander, it will be your responsibility to decide, communicate and execute a course of action for each mission. The ability to deliver clear instruction and information will make you a more effective leader.

Learn from Experience

You will gain experience making decisions and delivering combat orders during tactical training exercises. You’ll learn to trust your training and work with the senior Enlisted Marines alongside you. Preparing and delivering orders throughout training will prepare you to deliver clear commands on any mission.