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RFC: Communication Best Practices

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  • RFC: Communication Best Practices

    Before we move this document to the SOP section the admin team would like comments and suggestions from you.
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    Communication Best Practices: Platoon and Squad Leaders
    The Tactical Gamer PS2 admin team has been working on improving in-game communication. To this end we present the following communication best practices. All platoon and squad leaders are expected to follow these guidelines. For an index of current TG PS2 Standard Operating Procedures see here.

    Note that communication best practices adhere to the guiding principles of brevity and clarity. Standard communications -- often-repeated phrases, requests, and commands -- should use as few words as possible and be clear in their meaning. If you can say something with fewer words and still be understood, use fewer words.

    Platoon leaders should understand that their higher position within the chain of command does not mean they are permitted to dominate the global platoon comm channel with their voice. Squad leaders must be given the maximum amount of space within their own channel to manage their men.

    Also note that TG platoon leaders are required to be in the TG teamspeak channel. See this thread for more information of the TG teamspeak channel.

    The following procedures are designed to ensure that, within the PLATOON channel, individuals:

    a) identify themselves
    b) indicate whom they are trying to reach
    c) wait for acknowledgement before resuming transmission
    d) provide sufficient space (silence) to allow squad leaders to manage their troops and execute the platoon leader's orders.


    Aside from regular platoon leader communications, all other communications should include the identity of the individual speaking. Do not assume that people can see your name on the HUD or recognize your voice.

    Examples of including personal identity in communications include the following:
    • Bravo Comms
    • Bravo Copy
    • E-Male in TS to Todd
    • Bravo squad lead AFK 2 minutes



    Basic Commands and Communication Procedures

    Clear Comms
    Alternative: COMMS. Issued ONLY by the platoon leader prior to beginning any communication. The meaning of the command should be obvious -- all parties are to immediately drop communication so the platoon leader can be heard. The platoon leader should then wait two seconds before resuming communication. Clear Comms should be used even when the platoon leader does not hear any traffic on the platoon comms network, as there may be communication taking place in other channels or via proximity.

    Clear Comms
    is a cue for everyone to listen up, orders are about to come. Aside from emergency situations, squad leaders should immediately drop their own comms (go silent) upon hearing this command. Squad leaders should also instruct squad members to go silent whenever the Clear Comms command is issued. As in all other situations, the example of squad leaders is essential to the effective operation of the platoon and the enforcement of standard operating procedures.

    <squad call sign> Copies
    For example, Bravo Copies. To be given when a order has been issued to a specific squad. Note that it is exceedingly important that squad leaders acknowledge the receipt of an order with the reply <squad call sign> Copies. If a command or series of commands is given to all squads then squad leaders are to reply in alphabetical order: "Alpha Copies", "Bravo Copies", "Charlie Copies", "Delta Copies".

    It is unnecessary for the platoon leader to say "COPY" upon hearing the communication of a squad leader. Platoon leaders may choose to say "COPY" upon the receipt of particular communications, such as a situation report, if desired.

    <squad call sign> Comms
    For example, Bravo Comms. To be given when a leader wishes to initiate communication with another leader. The targeted leader will respond with "GO" or "GO BRAVO".

    This command is used when:
    • a platoon leader is initiating comms with a specific squad leader
    • a squad leader is initiating comms with the platoon leader
    • a squad leader is initiating comms with another squad leader.*


    *Note that squad-to-squad communication over the platoon channel is normally only used during enemy engagements and is to be used infrequently as possible. Squad leaders in close proximity should use the proximity channel.

    <squad call sign> Sit Rep
    For example, Bravo Sit Rep. The Sit Rep (Situation Report) command is used by the platoon leader.

    Use the Sit Rep command to ask a particular squad leader for a status report. Squad leaders should reply by giving you information on the status of enemy activity and, if relevant, the degree to which they have achieved their immediate objective. The command should be qualified when seeking specific information, such as "Bravo Sit Rep on status of enemy Sunderer".

    A comprehensive Sit Rep will include the following information:
    • Enemy Forces (What is their status? What are they doing?)
    • Friendly Forces (What is your status? What are you doing? Do you have a visual on any other friendly call-signs from other units?)
    • Administrative Needs (Do you require anything, such as ammo?)
    • Recommendations (Do you have any tactical suggestions for the TL's consideration?)

    Not all Situation Reports need be this comprehensive and most should strive for brevity. Always remember that lengthy situation reports add noise to the comm channel and interfere with the communication and command ability of other squad leaders.

    See the Sit Rep SOP for more details on situation reports.

    Teamspeak Use
    The TG teamspeak (TS) channel may be used for a very restricted set of communications.

    All TS comms must be preceded with personal ID and including targeted ID. For example: "E-Male calling Todd in teamspeak." Wait until the individual replies in teamspeak before proceeding.

    Multi-Platoon Communications
    Communication between platoon leaders (PL-to-PL) and between a company Commander and a platoon leader(s) is conducted via teamspeak. Do not use the Outfit channel for multiplatoon communication as squads and platoons may be operating on other continents.

    To initiate comms between platoons in teamspeak use the following protocol:
    First to Second Platoon
    Go First Platoon

    Second to First Platoon
    Go Second Platoon

    Other Command Communications of Note
    [Personal ID] AFK -- used when a CO, PL, or SL will be away from the keyboard or out of comms for a period of time. For example, PL AFK 2 minutes.

    Video Examples of Tactical Gamer Communication Standards



    =========================

    End of doument.
    sigpic

  • #2
    Re: RFC: Communication Best Practices

    Bump.

    Please read and be familiar with the SOPs outlined above.

    RFC.
    sigpic

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: RFC: Communication Best Practices

      Posted (with minor edits). If something needs to be fixed or changed, please let us know.




      * *

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: RFC: Communication Best Practices

        Hmm, I find myself slightly bothered by the use of "Bravo comms" as both Bravo SL and PL. It's a tiny thing but it grates on me as it does not keep in line with:

        "a) identify themselves
        b) indicate whom they are trying to reach"

        Who's talking SL or PL? What if an SL wants to communicate with another SL?

        On the other hand, the format "First to Second Platoon" solves this very simply. In fact, I believe this was already commonly used as "PL to Bravo" and "Bravo to Charlie" a while ago. Everyone listening immediately knows whether comms are going up (or across) or down the chain of command, and SLs immediately know "squad comms" cannot be aimed at them without having to remember which squad they are currently leading every time the PL talks to another squad. Other opinions?

        Since I didn't say it before, nice work for getting this into SOP Emale, it's much appreciated.



        |TG-Irr| MrJengles - You know you want to say it out loud.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: RFC: Communication Best Practices

          Originally posted by MrJengles View Post
          Hmm, I find myself slightly bothered by the use of "Bravo comms" as both Bravo SL and PL. It's a tiny thing but it grates on me as it does not keep in line with:

          "a) identify themselves
          b) indicate whom they are trying to reach"

          Who's talking SL or PL? What if an SL wants to communicate with another SL?

          On the other hand, the format "First to Second Platoon" solves this very simply. In fact, I believe this was already commonly used as "PL to Bravo" and "Bravo to Charlie" a while ago. Everyone listening immediately knows whether comms are going up (or across) or down the chain of command, and SLs immediately know "squad comms" cannot be aimed at them without having to remember which squad they are currently leading every time the PL talks to another squad. Other opinions?

          Since I didn't say it before, nice work for getting this into SOP Emale, it's much appreciated.
          great SOP,


          I agree with Jengles on this, it makes more sense to say Alpha to PL, or vice-versa.
          |TG-Irr| di1lweed1212

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: RFC: Communication Best Practices

            I should clarify, if the PLs start using "PL to squad", I wouldn't mind whether SLs use "squad to PL" or "squad comms". I lean slightly towards the latter out of habit and because you would know something is going up the chain of command by the rephrasing. Still, it's clear either way.


            While I'm at it something I've noticed is that, after receiving an order/information, it's sometimes necessary to go over the map and/or confer with your squad before sending a reply. Some make it a habit to respond immediately, which can be a good thing, but other times they need to request modifications moments later which can be a bit confusing and take longer. Personally, if I'm not confident or suspect a problem I have found myself rushing to get an answer.

            Neither is good, so I propose the new response "Stand By".


            Another thing I just remembered, in rare cases that a SM has complicated information or a suggestion, we could do with a procedure to make it known that they're supposed to be talking (and to ask). The SM should ask in squad VOIP, SL replies, then passes them on with:

            SL: "Charlie 6 requesting comms [to PL / Delta]"
            PL: "Go Charlie 6"
            Ch6: " ... "



            |TG-Irr| MrJengles - You know you want to say it out loud.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: RFC: Communication Best Practices

              If "Bravo Comms" is said, I think the meaning is known. There are only two people who should say that, being bravo lead and the PL. If bravo lead hears it, he knows he didn't say it, meaning the PL said it, wishing to speak with bravo lead, and vice versa. Right? Comms SOP is setup to be quick and efficient. "Bravo comms" gets it done. It stands for "bravo [squad leader is requesting] comms" as we'll as "[platoon leader wants] bravo [squad lead to hear his] comms."

              "Bravo to Charlie" obviously means "bravo [wishes to speak to] charlie."

              I'm failing to see the issue.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: RFC: Communication Best Practices

                Originally posted by MrJengles View Post
                . . .

                something I've noticed is that, after receiving an order/information, it's sometimes necessary to go over the map and/or confer with your squad before sending a reply. Some make it a habit to respond immediately, which can be a good thing, but other times they need to request modifications moments later which can be a bit confusing and take longer. Personally, if I'm not confident or suspect a problem I have found myself rushing to get an answer.

                Neither is good, so I propose the new response "Stand By".
                I'll make a note of this and of the equivalent phrase "Wait One" in the Comm SOP. Randy makes excellent use of this phrase as one of his own SOPs.

                You raise an important procedural matter -- SLs can always request for time when formulating a reply. The important thing is to let the platoon leader know that he has been heard.
                sigpic

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: RFC: Communication Best Practices

                  Originally posted by E-Male View Post
                  I'll make a note of this and of the equivalent phrase "Wait One" in the Comm SOP. Randy makes excellent use of this phrase as one of his own SOPs.

                  You raise an important procedural matter -- SLs can always request for time when formulating a reply. The important thing is to let the platoon leader know that he has been heard.
                  Yeah, I've noticed Randy's use too. "Wait One" is the alternative, though I slightly prefer "Stand By" as it's clearer than a "wu wu" sound.

                  Originally posted by shatteredhourglass View Post
                  If "Bravo Comms" is said, I think the meaning is known. There are only two people who should say that, being bravo lead and the PL. If bravo lead hears it, he knows he didn't say it, meaning the PL said it, wishing to speak with bravo lead, and vice versa. Right? Comms SOP is setup to be quick and efficient. "Bravo comms" gets it done. It stands for "bravo [squad leader is requesting] comms" as we'll as "[platoon leader wants] bravo [squad lead to hear his] comms."

                  "Bravo to Charlie" obviously means "bravo [wishes to speak to] charlie."

                  I'm failing to see the issue.
                  First, this requires all the other SLs listening in to rely on voices or context rather than opening comms simply being evident. I'd like to know immediately whether communication is going up or down the chain so I can single out what orders other squads are being given. While I will try to listen to the other SLs responses, particularly if they are in my area, sometimes it is unnecessary. When things are busy, I can let certain SL responses become background noise - like if they are running armor when I have infantry, or they have infantry in a different location. Their concerns are not immediately mine and I'm not in a position to help, although I could go to that trouble if the PL asks.

                  Secondly, SLs lead different squads each day so it's not as simple as this is either me or you. Sure, I'll make a mental note of which squad I'm leading at the start but if I hear "Bravo Comms" am I 100% sure that isn't Bravo talking to the PL and I'm actually leading another squad? I find myself double checking and being annoyed the PL didn't announce who they were like everyone else has to. Conversely, when I hear "PL to Bravo" or just before I send my traffic starting with "Bravo comms", the fact that no-one else has used "Bravo comms" the entire night reinforces that I am Bravo SL. When only SLs worded their request for comms that way I didn't end up repeatedly checking my squad, only once or twice at the start of the session.


                  If originally presented with both options (never mind the status quo) would "squad comms" be chosen for reasons of clarity, simplicity or length? No, it's 2 vs 3 words. The only main difference is the PL avoiding announcing themselves because it's assumed everyone else can work out who's talking, which is true, but why should we have to?

                  As for establishing who you're talking to, SLs don't need to specify they wish to speak to the PL because they rarely talk directly to each other and can indicate that when they are, whereas, PLs and SLs talk to each other equally; the two are not comparable. Although that does raise the point that using "Squad comms" when an SL wants to communicate with another SL, as it stands in the SOP, doesn't work since everyone will assume they are talking to the PL.

                  I don't understand why TS should be clear "Jengles in teamspeak to X", "First to second platoon", while in-game comms are context reliant.


                  Note: "PL" in "PL to squad" could easily be substituted for "Command" or anything else people prefer.



                  |TG-Irr| MrJengles - You know you want to say it out loud.

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