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MEMO: Comm Channels and Leadership Effecitiveness

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  • MEMO: Comm Channels and Leadership Effecitiveness

    A brief reflection on the (necessary) complexity of our communication structure.

    The other day I was platoon leading and engaged with the following communication sources:
    • CO-PL comms (various channels)
    • SL-PL PLATOON comms
    • COMMAND channel chatter
    • PROXIMITY comms and chatter
    • TG TS comms and chatter (or variously, NCC Coalition TS chatter)

    My in-game sound effects are turned down to 3% and are often off altogether so as to clear out ambient sources of noise.

    That leaves 4 different sources of communication, any and all of which can overlap at any given time.

    Keep in mind that PLs and COs are dealing with a significant volume of incoming requests and information.

    Never assume that I can hear you in PROXIMITY channel -- always identify yourself when using Proximity and wait for the comm acknowledgement (your go ahead to begin communication).

    And as always, remember to give your senior officer a COPY or RGR when you have been issued a direct order.

    I post this memo not as a complaint or because anyone was out of line.

    This is just a reminder of what your SLs, PLs, and COs face and a plea for continued excellence in comm use!

  • #2
    Re: MEMO: Comm Channels and Leadership Effecitiveness

    Seconded. As soon we grow to two platoons, AND/OR are coordinating with the coalition, we need everyone to be careful not to overload command, even in proximity.


    • #3
      Re: MEMO: Comm Channels and Leadership Effecitiveness

      As I believe I posted in one of the AARs about working with the coalition, everyone (SLs and platoon grunts alike) should realize that we have no control over how much talking is going on over COMMAND channel, nor NCC TS. Therefore we must maintain comms discipline in the only place we can, our own platoon. This is not to say don't talk or make reports or anything, mainly it means just wait for acknowledgement (ACK) before sending your traffic. Similarly, always give the PL back a "Bravo copies" if you heard and understand his order. The latter one there I find lately having to remind a lot of guys to do.

      Thanks for bringing this up again E-Male, I feel it is timely. Comms discipline is difficult and requires an ongoing conscious effort by all of us. We must always remain vigilant, and continue to practice the comms best practices we currently enjoy (most of the time) and have worked so hard to develop. Use it or lose it.
      "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw


      • #4
        Re: MEMO: Comm Channels and Leadership Effecitiveness

        Comms discipline is undeniably a pet peeve of mine. I have lost my cool over it repeatedly, and I will work harder to remain cool. But here are some thoughts on our most common problem-- specifically on comms discipline on platoon chat and over using it, resulting or turning platoon chat off.

        The Bad Result of Poor Comms:
        If comms discipline is poor, the tendency is to simply turn down that channel or turn it off. If I am a private/individual in a platoon, and platoon chat is cluttered, I turn it down, or off. This is my way of maintaining my ability to hear what I need to, either in squad and local, and do my job. This is bad because I do not know if the platoon leader gave an order until by SL has echoed it down to my squad.
        But I am in a catch-22: Either I am distracted by frivolous comms which may block out important comms, or at a minimum distract me from my task, OR I risk missing important information from the platoon. No good option. We should not place our soldiers in this position.

        Why Not Leave It to Chance if Soldiers Mute Platoon Chat?
        It gets worse if we leave it to chance. Say in a squad of 12 people 6 choose option A (leave platoon comms up, and be distracted by platoon comms) and 6 choose option B (silence platoon comms, rely on squad lead to provide orders but remain focused). This creates two problems.

        1.) Now say I am in group B, and I ask my squad lead something, but as I do this, unbeknownst to me, someone is talking on platoon net (any SL or PL). I don't hear this because my platoon net is muted. My SL now cannot hear what I am saying, or what platoon is saying, because we are talking over each other. That is bad, very bad.

        2.) Platoon lead gives an order, SL does not repeat it, assuming we all heard it from platoon. He sees half of his squad moving to obey, thinks "they heard" and moves on. He is frustrated with some people, who seem to be ignoring orders. He may ask them, somewhat frustrated, why they have not recalled, or not moved on as requested by the PL in clear orders. The "disobedient" soldiers respond with anger when they are accused of disobedience, because they obeyed every order they heard, and feel they are being unfairly singled out. This breaks good relations between the SL and his/her squad. It also splits the squad into two elements, both of which are very bad.

        So we have established that having some of the people mute some channels (such as squad members muting platoon) can be bad. This leads to the conclusion that platoon chat should be minimized, and whenever possible, TS or alternatives which flow ONLY to those SL's who need to should be used. Typed chat should be used instead of voice when possible and immediate response is not required.

        Why Not Expect/Order Everyone to Silence Platoon Comms:
        One counter argument I hear, all the time, is "there is no need to minimize platoon, chat, people can mute it." My previous paragraph identifies why that is less than ideal. I would further argue, that taking action which requires and assumes that everyone else in the platoon has changed their settings from the default (can hear platoon) to a different setting (platoon muted) is a very bad assumption. Most people are lazy, and will not change their settings. So each of us should behave in a way that assumes most people will stick with the default setting. (To do otherwise REQUIRES others to take action to prevent our selfish actions –frivolous use of platoon chat-- from harming them. This is NOT their duty, in life or in PS2, we have a duty not to harm others, not to rely on them to protect themselves from our acts.)

        1.) Use TS for platoon chat between leaders, platoon chat reserved for orders to the whole platoon from PL, which should be few. (See exception
        2.) Limit platoon chat, and punish repeated improper use of platoon chat. What is improper use? A.) Non-SL using Platoon chat. B.) Anyone (even SL or PL) using platoon chat for frivolous topics. Such as "Did you see me kill that guy?" or anything that is not closely tied to achieving objectives. This is my pet peeve specifically, because it shows an appalling lack of discipline, maturity, disregard for teamwork, and personal selfishness.
        3.) Ask SL's to echo PL orders down, with added specifics. This is a good default because it means it does not matter if the grunts mute platoon or not, they get the orders. And in fact, SL should be adding details to PL orders anyway, not just repeating them. Hopefully, we can rely on our SL's to be smart. We are going to have some smart grunts, some dumb, so we should rely on SLs.

        One exception:
        PL which like to command the platoon as one unit, that is one force which makes all its movements in one large mass.
        While this is not my style, some leaders use it well. In that case, it should be stated UP FRONT that no one should mute platoon chat, and that no one should use it except platoon lead. The reason? Because if the platoon is ONE force, in effect you have no independent judgment or thought on the part of squad leads. The orders are PL to soldiers, no intermediate step. Because the SLs are relieved of their duty to exercise independent judgment, they lose all powers/rights related to that duty, namely they lose their right to use platoon chat. They are in effect just foot soldiers.

        I welcome any responses, and understand some of these premises are debatable.

        Glad we are having this discussion! Comms are important! :)
        The question foremost in my mind is "what will bring the most tactical fun to the server?"


        • #5
          Re: MEMO: Comm Channels and Leadership Effecitiveness





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