Even something as simple as a family road trip can benefit from some military precision. This convoy briefing technique will keep everyone you’re travelling with in the loop, especially if you’re taking more than one car.
Photo by U.S. Army.
There are a lot of tips and tricks from the military that you can use your daily life, and Jordan Jones at ITS Tactical shares a helpful military technique you can use every time you plan on making a trip with multiple vehicles. It’s called OSMEAC (sometimes just SMEAC), which is a type of “five paragraph field order“, or a simple way to quickly brief everyone on a situation. Jones explains:
Orientation: Provide a rough overview of the area to the group. This isn’t something that will require a terrain model and topo map, just general highlights of the area itself. “We’ll be travelling to the Piggly Wiggly on mostly these side streets.”
Situation: For most groups in the civilian world, this is simple, “You don’t know how to get to the Piggly Wiggly, so you’ll need to follow me.”
Mission: Set out the major goal of travelling to the location. “We need to get to the Piggly Wiggly by 8PM to make it on time for their dessert special, while also ensuring you don’t get lost along the way.”
Execution: Discuss the actual travel plans and what to do in special circumstances. “We’re going to take this road to this road. If you get pulled over, I’ll proceed to the next gas station on the right side and wait. (Stopping on the right applies to countries with the good sense to drive on the right side of the road.)
Admin & Logistics: For civilians, there isn’t much admin work for this sort of travel. Some things you may want to double check are vehicle inspections, driver’s licenses, etc. “Does everyone have everything they need? Wallet, phone, fuel, keys and spare tire inflated? A hunger for 50% off Death by Chocolate snack cakes?”
Communication: Discuss how to communicate with members of the group, both electronic and otherwise. “My phone number is ___. Two rapid honks means ___.”
You don’t have to actually make a handout or send an email with this information — you can just go over it with everyone before you head out — but it’s still a smart way to prepare before every trip. Giving a quick rundown before any plan decreases the chance of any complications.