LESSON I: ORGANIZATION OF HEADQUARTERS AND
DUTIES OF STAFF
1. General: This hour long lesson describes the structure of Soviet
headquarters and staffs, and the duties of the commander, chief of staff, and
chief of operations.
2. Sublesson Introduction: This first hour will also serve as the general
introduction to the two days of classes. Instructor should hand out the course
instruction schedule and point out to the students the highlights. Emphasize
that only the first seven hours are on theory, after this brief preparation the
students will be expected to participate in practical exercises by making the
decisions and preparing the plans for front, army, and division
3. Teacher Learning Objective: Provide students with general background
knowledge on the organization, structure, and functions of Soviet headquarters
with particular focus on the operations planners to prepare students for roles
of commander, chief of staff, and chief of operations at division, army, and
Task: Describe the structure of Soviet front, army, and division
Condition: Given reading assignments and class handouts.
Standard: Instructor will show the diagrams of the front, army, and
division headquarters. He should point out that the Soviet definition of the
"staff" is much different than the US Army's, however the same
functions are performed, although in a different manner. He should also discuss
the Soviet command post in terms of location, structure, layout, etc. He should
show how the staff is organized to man several command posts.
Task: Analyze the duties of Soviet front, army, and division
commander, chiefs of staff, and chiefs of operations as well as the general
responsibilities of the members of the operations directorate or section.
Condition: Given reading assignments and class handouts.
Standard: The instructor will call on students to discuss the duties of these
key individuals based on their reading of the extracts from the Handbook on
Soviet Staff Planning. They should compare and contract the Soviet
responsiblities with those of comparable US officers. Although planning
reconnaissance, artillery, air, and several other functions are separate
courses, they should be included in a general way here to show how they relate
to the duties of the chief of operations. Several of the more important
relatively separate activities of the chief of operations, such as desant,
maskirovka, and radio electronic combat, will also be topics for
Task: Describe and discuss the Soviet categories on staff procedures.
Condition: Given reading assignment and class handouts.
Standard: The instructor should present the material describing the content of
Soviet staff procedures as a general introduction and outline of the content of
these functions. Indicate how they may differ from similar functions in U. S.
headquarters. This discussion provides an opportunity to give a general
overview of the individual functions performed by the commander and staff and
how they interrelate. These activities will be taken up in more detail in
4. Level of Instruction: Familiarization.
5. Method of Instruction: Lecture and discussion.
6. Author's Intent: In the first half of the lesson the instructor should
elicit as much participation from the students as possible by having them
respond to questions or comment on their reading about the organization of a
Soviet headquarters. However, he will probably have to carry the main load in
getting accross the point that a Soviet headquarters is organized somewhat
differently than a US one, while accomplishing essentailly the same functions
as any military headquarters must accomplish. Be sure to show how the staff
sections are split between the main, alternate, rear, and forward command and
control posts. Point out the importance of the Soviet chief of rear services
and the chief of technical matters and armament, even though they are not
members of the Soviet "staff". Although this course is on planning
operations and focuses almost exclusively on the role of the operations officer
with the commander and chief of staff, in this hour the instructor will have
his only real opportunity to stress how the operations section must interact
with all the other staffs to prepare and control combat actions.
7. Equipment/Materials: View graphs.
8. Homework: None.
OUTSIDE READING: See reading list in general introduction.
FM 100-2-1, Chapter 9
Text Voroshilov lectures on front and army operations and on troop
Text on Soviet staff procedures
Text on responsibilities of Soviet staff officers
Text on Soviet decision making process.
Extracts from Handbook on Soviet staff showing headquarters structures and
duties of commander, chief of staff, and chief of operations .
List of viewgraphs
20 min I. Organization of Soviet headquarters and staff:
The headquarters includes all the officers and personnel which make up the
troop control functional element. In terms of location they are divided between
several locations. The main and alternate command posts are the principal
controling elements and the majority of the operations directorate officers are
at these. The rear control post is the location from which logistics functions
are controled by the chief of rear services and the chief of technical matters
and armaments. The forward command post exists for the purpose of providing the
commander with a location from which to continue his personal control of combat
actions while gaining a closer and more direct observation of the battlefield.
It is manned by personnel, the majority of whom accompany the commander when he
In terms of functional elements the Soviet headquarters is divided between the
staff proper, which contains only the operations, reconnaissance,
communications, and some specialized functions; and the directorates of the
chiefs of combat arms, special troops, and services, (artillery, air defense,
engineer, chemical, technical services, rear services, etc.)
Front; (show diagrams)
Army; (show diagrams)
Division; (show diagrams)
20 min II. Duties of commander, chief of staff, and chief of operations:
The Soviet commander exercises complete control under the principle of
"one man command". He is ultimately responsible for everything that
happens and does not happen in his organization. Although Soviet terminology
designates several individuals as "First Deputy", the chief of staff
is the only officer authorized to sign orders in the name of the commander. He
is the commander's real "right hand man" and alter ego. The chief of
staff generally is the "brains' of the organization as well. He is
responsible for seeing to it that everything runs right and happens according
to the commander's wishes. The chief of the operations directorate in turn is
the deputy chief of staff and the number three man as far as operational
planning goes. However the various deputy commanders who are chiefs of their
speciality departments such as artillery or engineer, or rear service enjoy
direct access to the commander and considerable independent responsibility for
their own affairs.
10 min III. Staff procedures
Soviet officers think of their functional duties falling into the categories of
various procedures. These are organization of the planning, preparation of
information for the decision, conveying missions and documents, planning the
operation, interaction, organizing all around support, and organizing control
LIST OF VIEWGRAPHS
VG1 - Course introduction - outline of course contents
VG2 - Outline of lesson 1
VG3 - Front headquarters & staff
VG3 - Main components of front headquarters
VG4 - Composition of front command post
VG5 - Composition of front forward command post and front
rear control point
VG6 - Front headquarters support troops
VG7 - Army headquarters & staff
VG8 - Composition of army command post
VG9 - Composition of army forward command post
VG10 - Composition of army rear control point
VG11 - Army headquarters support troops
VG12 - Division headquarters and staff
VG13 - Division command post composition
VG14 - Division command post dimensions
VG15 - Duties of commander
VG16 - Duties of chief of staff
VG17 - Duties of chief of operations
VG18 - Duties of chief of reconnaissance
VG19 - Duties of chiefs of combat arms
VG20 - Duties of chief of rear services
VG21 - Organization of staff procedures
VG22 - Procedure to prepare information for the decision
VG23 - Procedure to convey missions and documents
VG24 - Procedure to plan the operation
VG25 - Procedure for interaction
VG26 - Procedure to organize support
VG27 - Procedure to organize control
OUTLINE - OPERATIONS PLANNING COURSE
I Organization of headquarters and duties of staff 1 hr
II Interaction of commander and operations chief 1 hr
III Tactical and operational calculations 3 hrs
IV Documents and maps 2 hr
V Practical exercise on planning at front 2hrs
VI Practical exercise on planning at army 4 hrs
VII Practical exercise on planning at division 3 hrs
LESSON I HEADQUARTERS ORGANIZATION AND STAFF DUTIES
organization of headquarters and staff
dimensions, locations, and configuration of control points
duties of front commander, chief of staff, and chief of operations
duties of army commander, chief of staff, and chief of operations
duties of division commander, chief of staff, and chief of operations
DUTIES OF FRONT COMMANDER
training - combat readiness
mobilization - staffing
issue instructions on combat support
predict changes and report situation
DUTIES OF CHIEF OF STAFF
deputy commander - issue orders
responsible for staff
brief staff and set duties
DUTIES OF CHIEF OF OPERATIONS
prepare orders and plans
prepare calculations of friendly forces
organize radio electronic combat
organize command post
DUTIES OF CHIEF OF RECONNAISSANCE
information on enemy and terrain
calculations on enemy and on reconnaissance capabilities
control reconnaissance units
organize reconnaissance and prepare plan
coordination of reconnaissance
DUTIES OF CHIEFS OF COMBAT ARMS AND SPECIAL TROOPS AND SERVICES
information on their forces and analogous enemy
plan employment of forces and means
DUTIES OF CHIEF OF REAR
clarify mission - logistics plan
maintain supply routes
ORGANIZATION OF STAFF PROCEDURES
chief of staff
network of planning and preparation (calendar plan)
PROCEDURE TO PREPARE INFORMATION FOR THE DECISION
PROCEDURE TO CONVEY MISSIONS AND DOCUMENTS
PROCEDURE TO PLAN THE OPERATION
PROCEDURE FOR INTERACTION
coordination on terrain
PROCEDURE TO ORGANIZE SUPPORT
PROCEDURE TO ORGANIZE CONTROL
secrecy and security
TROOP CONTROL IN OFFENSIVE OPERATION
Troop control is an important subject in its own right in Soviet military art
and science. It includes a much broader set of functions and activities than
does the American concept of troop control. The instructor should briefly
outline the content and tasks of troop control, the requirements placed on
troop control in modern warfare and the structural organization of the
principal elements of the troop control system.
Troop control consists of knowledgeable leadership and control of subunits,
units, formations, and large operational formations by the commander, the
deputy commanders, staffs, and political officers; thorough and timely
organization of troop combat operations; and logical and consistent direction
of their effort until the successful accomplishment of the assigned mission.
The contents and tasks of troop control in an offensive operation are as
----- Maintaining the state of high morale of the troops and their constant
readiness to accomplish assigned combat missions and new tasks arising during
----- Continually collecting, processing and analyzing information about the
situation and disclosing the intention and aim of the enemy.
----- Making timely decisions and assigning combat missions to subordinates.
----- Planning the operation.
----- Guiding and controlling subordinate troops in accomplishment of their
----- Troop control in the course of execution of the operational missions.
----- Organization and implementation of all types of supporting measures to
support the combat action of the troops in the operation.
----- Organization and continued retention of coordination and interaction.
----- Control of the accomplishment of troops assigned missions and extending
assistance to them.
The contents of each task depends on the character of the offensive operation,
the conditions of preparing the operation and the availability of time for the
preparation of the operation.
In contemporary conditions the solution (accomplishment) of these missions
would differ in preparing the initial and subsequent operations.
In case the enemy launches a surprise attack or when the enemy overtakes the
friendly forces in preparation, the commander and staff should adjust quickly
the mission of the troops and adjust the deployment of the troops in (FUP)
areas simultaneously with the bringing troop preparation to the state of full
The Principal Requirements of Troop Control in Modern Times
1.Activeness and Vigilance of Troop control:
In contemporary times the maneuver capability of the troops has widely
increased. Combat situations change rapidly. This affects the time element. The
struggle to gain time and overtake the enemy in action has a critical effect on
the outcome of the operation. Therefore special attention on the part of troop
control organs must be paid to the need for activeness and vigilance.
2.Resourcefulness of Troop Control:
The knowledge, ability and extensive experience of commanders and staffs in
making rational decisions, delivering them quickly to subordinates, and taking
appropriate measures on all round support of the operation are important
requirements of troop control.
3.High Combat Readiness of Troop Control Echelons, Command Posts and
Prior readiness, timely deployment and consistent operation of all troop
control echelons, from front down to company and platoon level; high
combat readiness of all command posts and communicationsystems as well as the
system of collection; scientific analysis along with rapidly and correctly
deriving deductions (conclusion) from the information about the situation are
important prerequisites of modern troop control.
4.Continuity of Troop Control:
Continuity of troop control is provided by thorough awareness of the commander
and staff of the situation and prediction of likely changes in the situation;
by maintaining reliable and continuous communication with subordinates; by
timely relocation of the command posts and by constant exchange of information
between the subordinate headquarters and the adjacent headquarters.
5.Firmness of Troop Control:
Firmness implies the implementation of the decision to accomplish the assigned
mission along with high morale and great perseverance on the part of the
commander and staff in implementation of the decision and strong determination
to eliminate problems and obstacles. It is shown by continued influence of the
commander and the staff over subordinates by his extending assistance to them
in control of their operation.
6.Flexibility of Troop Control
This is ensured by the great capability of the commander and staff in quickly
influencing newly arising situations and in their adjustment of previously made
decisions or making new decisions in accordance with the new situation. They
also constantly control the accomplishment of assigned missions by constant
efforts to collect new information about the situation, analyze it and take
quick and correct measures according to the situation.
7.Centralization of Troop Control
This implies the unification of subordinate units' operations and concentrating
their efforts according to a unified plan in order to achieve the general
objective of the operation as defined by the higher command and staff. The
participation of various types of troops and different combat equipment along
with the wide dimensions of the combat operation creates the requirement for
centralized Troop control and concentration of all arms and means to meet the
aims of the operational mission.
One of the important characteristics of modern combat and operations is the
large capability for maneuver and drastic and rapid changes in combat
situations. This requires rational initiative of the subordinate commanders to
continue the operation in the absence of signal communications with higher
commanders. Those who are unable to destroy the enemy are not guilty but the
guilty ones are those who are afraid to take responsibility in the time of need
and who fail to use all available troops and means to destroy the enemy and
accomplish the mission.
9. Secrecy of Troop Control
The development of detection and reconnaissance means by the enemy necessitates
strict observation of secrecy of troop control. Secrecy of troop control is
----- strict observation of security rules
----- observation of concealment requirements and concealed deployment of
----- strict observation of security rules by the responsible officers who
participate in troop control.
----- limiting the number of people who are called to participate in
preparation and planning of the operation.
The Structure and Organization of Front Field Troop
l. Troop Control Organization
This is a number of responsible persons who are organized under a unified troop
control structure to accomplish specific missions of troop control of
The troop control structure of large operational formations organic to
different services of the armed forces are organized on the basis of one-man
command. In this context the troop control is exercised by a single commander
through his staff. The troop control organs of large operational formations
include the following elements
----- the commander
----- staff (including the Chief of Staff)
----- political affairs department
----- chiefs of combat and combat support arms and services and their staffs
----- chief of rear services.
2. The staff
The staff is the principal troop control organ and it is considered a more
senior organ than the other departments. The staff is responsible for
organization of troop control of combat operations and constant and firm troop
control of the subordinate units. The staff organizes all operations on the
basis of the instructions received from higher commanders and staff. The staff
includes the following elements:
----- operations department
----- reconnaissance department
----- signal and communications department
----- organization and mobilization department
----- 8th dept (secret code cryptography)
----- topography section
----- radio electronic warfare services section
----- the signal communication security and service elements of the
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF OFFICERS OF THE COMMAND
AND CONTROL STRUCTURE
Duties and responsibilities of the front
l. The front commander is the principal organizer of the combat
operations of the front and he personally or through his staff
commands and controls the troops in combat. The commander accomplishes the
----- conduct of training to insure high combat readiness of the troops, combat
arms and services, and troop control organs of the front to accomplish
likely combat missions in the future;
----- control and supervision of the procedures used to bring the
front to full strength in terms of personnel, weapons, equipment,
technical and material requirements and other supplies.
2. The commander is responsible for the combat capability of subordinate
troops, the organization of combat operations, the maintenance of undistrupted
troop control, and successful accomplishment of combat missions.
3. The commander clarifies the combat mission by himself or jointly with the
chief of staff and the chief of the political affairs department. He instructs
the chief of staff on preparing the combat arms, supporting arms, and services
as well as the staffs for combat and gives his instructions about the timing of
preparations for the attack and combat operation. The commander estimates the
situation by himself or he listens to the reports and suggestions of the chiefs
of combat and combat support arms and services about the employment of their
troops. He listens to the suggestions of the chief of staff about his
deductions from the estimate of the situation and proposed decisions.
Accordingly he makes his rational decision, issues combat missions to
subordinates and gives instructions about planning the operation.
4. The commander organizes coordination among the troops, supporting troops,
adjacents, and other elements of the armed forces operating in the
front area of responsibility.
5. The commander issues instructions about all-round support of the operation.
6. The commander personally or through his staff controls the preparation of
combat arms and combat support arms and services for the operation and for the
accomplishment of the assigned mission. He extends necessary assistance to
subordinate troops .
7. The commander is obliged constantly and thoroughly to evaluate and to
analyze the situation during the course of the operation and to predict likely
changes in the situation. Under any circumstances the commander is to make a
rational and timely decision in accordance with the changes in the situation
and to issue new combat missions to subordinate troops.
8. The commander should always be prepared to report to the supreme command or
general staff about the situation, status and character of operations of the
friendly and enemy troops, and his current decision.
9. The commander briefs the chief of staff about his concept and intention and
aim. He also briefs the chief of staff about any instructions he personally
issued to subordinate troops.
Duties of the chief of staff
l. The chief of staff is the first deputy of the commander and the supervisor
of the front staff. Only the chief of staff is eligible to issue in
the name of the commander instructions and orders to operational formations,
and large units, the chiefs of combat and combat support arms and services, and
other responsible officers directly under command of the front
commander. He should report to the commander about all orders he has issued.
The chief of staff accomplishes the following tasks or duties.
He is responsible for all duties to be accomplished by the staff.
The chief of staff briefs the deputy commander, chiefs of staff departments,
and chiefs of combat and combat support arms and services about the mission and
gives instructions about the preparation of preliminary warning orders,
calendar plans, and calculations for the decision-making process. He sets the
deadlines for their preparation.
The chief of staff is constantly obliged to know the situation and to predict
likely changes in the situation and to be prepared to report the following
items to the commander:
----- (1) situation and status and character of friendly and enemy forces'
----- (2) deductions from his estimate of the situation and his proposed
----- (3) measures on organization of command and control, coordination, and
support of the combat action of friendly troops.
2. The chief of staff coordinates the operation of the staff and specifies the
coordinating measures to all chiefs of combat and combat support arms and
services concerning troop control organs and adjacents. He coordinates the
operation of all organs and controls their performance.
3. The planning of the operation is conducted under the leadership of the chief
of staff. The chief of staff personally prepares some important documents such
as the combat directive and participates in preparation and working out of some
other issues and documents. He supervises the process of their preparation.
4. The chief of staff should be aware of all orders and instructions issued by
the commander and should control their execution.
5. All directives orders and instructions that should be issued to operational
formations and large units as well as all plans and important combat documents
are signed or approved by the chief of staff.
Duties of the chief of operations
l. The chief of operations is one of the most important department chiefs. He
is responsible for training and the preparation during combat of the operation.
He has the following duties:
----- preparation of warning orders, calendar plans, and sometimes personally
writing the combat directives and preparation of other important documents;
----- preparation of calculations required for the commander to make the
----- planning the front operation and preparing the annexes to the
plan such as the plan of the initial nuclear strike, operational concealment
plan, plan of protection of troops against mass destructive weapons, plan of
restoration of troop combat capabilities. The plan of employment of air assault
operations, plans of movement and deployment of front troops and FUPs
2. He is responsible for the issuance and conveyance of combat missions to
subordinate operational formations and large units;
----- collection, study and analysis of situation information;
----- timely presentation and dispatch of information about the situation and
regular situation reports to higher headquarters, dispatch of information about
all changes in the situation to subordinate unit staffs, the combat and combat
support arms and services, the headquarters of coordinating elements, and
----- organization and maintenance of continuous coordination and preparation
of documents on coordination;
----- organization and deployment of command posts and their relocation during
the course of the operation;
----- organization of signal communications and designation of the command and
----- control of the preparation of troops for combat operations;
----- control of accomplishment of combat missions by subordinates and
extension of required assistance to them-prepare combat documents about troop
Duties of the chief of reconnaissance
l. The chief of reconnaissance is responsible for the training, and insures the
high combat readiness of the reconnaissance troops. He exercises troop control
over them and supervises the conduct of the operation of reconnaissance units
and subunits. He is responsible for the following items:
----- collection, study, and analysis of the derivation of deductions from
reconnaissance information about the enemy and terrain and timely presentation
of the important information to the chief of staff and higher commander and
----- derivation of the aims and tasks of reconnaissance and the allocation of
required troops and reconnaissance means to accomplish these;
----- preparation of the reconnaissance plan and issuance of missions to the
reconnaissance department staff. The reconnaissance plan is signed by the chief
of staff and approved by the commander.
----- coordination of all efforts of different reconnaissance means in terms of
their missions and objectives;
----- preparation of units and sub-units (groups) (GRG from SPETZNAZ) at army
level which has two sections each with 4 groups. front level battalion
has 35 to 40 groups operating up to 800 km deep.
----- preparation of unit and subunits assigned to conduct reconnaissance and
insuring their all round support;
----- control of the execution of assigned instructions and orders and
practical assistance to staffs and commanders of units and sub units in
accomplishment of reconnaissance missions;
----- organization of continuous communications with units and subunits
(groups) assigned to combat reconnaissance and also with the headquarters of
subordinate operational formations and large units;
----- reception of reconnaissance reports from aircraft;
----- organization and conduct of actions about the protection of
reconnaissance units, subunits, and groups against mass destruction weapons;
----- communication of reconnaissance information inside the staff and to
subordinate, adjacent, and coordinating headquarters.
The duties of the chiefs of combat arms, special troops, and
The chiefs of combat arms, special troops, and services are responsible for the
training, command and control and high combat readiness of their respective
operational formations, large units, and units. They are obliged to accomplish
the following duties:
----- report to the commander information on the capabilities of the enemy in
their respective specialties, as well as information on the capabilities and
strength of their own operational formations, large units, and units along with
suggestions regarding the combat employment of their respective troops;
----- prepare the required calculations for the commander to make the decision;
----- assist the commander in troop control of troops during preparation and in
the course of the operation;
----- on the basis of the commander's decision, conduct the troop control of
related operational formations, large units, and units of combat and combat
support arms and services;
----- plan combat employment of subordinate troops and have the plans signed by
----- issue and convey combat missions to their subordinate troops based on the
instructions of the commander;
----- organize coordination and all round support of their respective
----- along with the staff, and chiefs of other combat and combat support arms
and services, control the correct understanding of the combat mission and also
control and supervise the timely accomplishment of assigned missions as
2. In the course of combat the chiefs of combat and combat support arms and
services are to follow the situation and status of their subordinate units and
always be prepared to report to the commander and chief of staff the
information about the situation of their subordinate units.
Duties of chief of rear service -deputy commander of
front for rear services
The chief of rear services is at the same time the deputy commander of the
front for logistics matters. He is responsible for the training, troop
control, and high combat readiness of logistics large units and installations.
He is obliged to accomplish the following duties:
----- maintenance of constant combat readiness of front rear services
to support the front`s large operational formations, large units, and
units related to combat, and combat support arms and services with all kinds of
supplies and medical services;
----- clarification of mission, preparation of the initial data for the rear
services plan, making the decision, and organization of planning of logistical
----- timely assignment of missions to rear service large units and
----- supply of all material to the troops and timely establishment and
maintenance of the specified stores and their undisrupted transportation to the
----- preparation and maintenance of supply routes and transport means along
with the establishment of provost and traffic regulation services along the
main central routes;
----- collection, evacuation and repair of damaged or disabled vehicles
equipment and weapons;
----- provision of medical assistance and treatment of wounded and sick
personnel, creation of measures against epidemics, and prophylactic measures
during the operation;
----- preparation of mobile technical bases for rocket and missile units and
depots for rocket fuel;
----- organization of protection and defense and security of logistic
installations and maintenance of order in the rear services area;
----- veterinary support, lodgement, and boarding of troops and exploitation of
local economy (captured supplies);
----- insure the maneuver, movement and extension of supplies, transportation
vehicles and location of repair and evacuation units, medical installations,
mobile technical bases of rockets, railroad units, pipeline units, and motor
routes in accordance with the situation and the advance of front
----- continuous control of accomplishment of the given logistic orders and
instructions and extension of assistance to logistical units, large units, and
For lecture notes read the papers on Soviet staff procedures and on duties of
command personnel. In addition see chapters one through four of the Handbook.