COA Statement and Sketch
Instructions: The C634 course of action statement and sketch (COA S&S) is worth 20% of the overall C600 grade. You may begin work on the COA S&S after you have
completed the C600 block of instruction and the C634 MDMP Exam. The faculty feedback from the exam will better prepare you for the COA S&S. You should also review the
supplemental lesson Course of Action Statement and Sketch as an example; this lesson is available to you in Blackboard in the C633 lesson folder.
A course of action statement normally does not exceed one page, with the accompanying sketch on a separate page. Your statement is limited to three double-spaced
pages, with the accompanying sketch on a separate page (for a total of four pages). Do not exceed four pages for this assignment.
You may draw your sketch on the attached graphic by hand, or you may use PowerPoint to make and place the symbols on the sketch. If you hand-draw your sketch, then you
will need to scan the sketch to make it a PDF, JPEG, or PNG file. For this assignment, you may submit a PDF for the sketch.
The primary references for the COA S&S are:
• FM 6-0 Commander and Staff Organizations and Operations (May 2014)
• Errata for FM 6-0 Figure 9-5 COA Statement and Sketch
• ADRP 1-02 Terms and Military Symbols (September 2013)
• Chapter 6 “Cabanatuan” of Leavenworth Papers #11
You should refer to FM 6-0, ADRP 1-02, and the online instruction on MDMP, especially the supplemental lesson called Course of Action Statement and Sketch; you will
find the supplemental lesson in the C633 lesson folder in Blackboard. You should also refer to Leavenworth Paper #11 upon which the C634 MDMP Exam and this assignment
are based. When using these references (listed above) for format, definition, and symbology, there is no requirement to cite or footnote their use. Use of any other
references (outside sources) must be cited IAW ST 22-2; you may use parenthetical citations, endnotes, or footnotes.
Overview: In Leavenworth Papers #11 “Rangers: Selected Combat Operations in World War II,” Dr. Michael J. King notes that “The rescue of 511 American and Allied
prisoners from a Japanese POW compound near Cabanatuan in the Philippines by elements of the 6th Ranger
Battalion, reinforced by Alamo Scouts and Filipino guerrillas, was the most complex operation that Rangers conducted during World War II. It was also one of the most
CPT Prince’s raid plan called for the Alamo Scouts to provide much needed information, for the Rangers to assault the camp to secure the POWs, and for the Filipino
Guerillas to isolate the objective area from counterattacking Japanese.
“ [The guerillas’] part of the plan was exceedingly risky, but [Captains] Pajota and Joson, working in tandem, had to seal off a solid mile of road and hold it long
enough for the Rangers to attack the camp, remove the prisoners, and then cross back over, melting safely into the rice paddies in the deepening night. The two
Filipino forces were to function as a synchronized pair of shutoff valves in a great water main, temporarily blocking the flow in both directions so the Rangers could
go in and do their extraction work with little worry of a surprise surge in the pipe.”
Captain Eduardo Joson (future Governor of Nueva Ecija Province) was to prevent a Japanese counterattack from Cabanatuan City. CPT Juan Pajota (who suggested the 24-
hour delay, the use of caraboa carts, and the Black Widow distraction) was to prevent a Japanese counterattack from Cabu.
CPT Pajota’s 350-man guerilla force consisted of five ‘infantry squadrons’, one ‘weapons squadron’ (with three .30-caliber, water-cooled machine guns and a Rangers
bazooka team ), and one Alamo Scout Team capable of establishing three observation posts and controlling two available P-61 Black Widows . The guerillas also had a
dozen antitank mines and one improvised explosive device with timer.
Consider the guerillas as a battalion-sized force (as depicted in figure 1), each squadron as a light infantry company comprised of light infantry ‘platoons’ (with 25
-30 guerillas in each platoon), with machine gun crews depicted in squadrons 201 and 201A, and the bazooka team depicted in Squadron 201A.
Pajota’s Guerillas were tasked to block the Japanese Imperial Army’s Dokuho 359, an 800-man infantry battalion augmented by six tanks. Although most Japanese were
retreating northeast, General Tomoyuki Yamashita ordered Commander Oyabu’s Dokuho 359 forward to strengthen his defenses at Cabanatuan City. Dokuho 359 bivouacked east
of Cabu Creek on 29 and 30 January and had orders to begin its advance to Cabanatuan City at midnight on the 30th. To do so, they would cross the new 75 feet long, 21
feet wide heavy timber bridge at Cabu, which replaced the bridge the guerillas had destroyed in 1944. The composition of Dokuho 359 is depicted in Figure 2 while its
disposition is illustrated on the enemy course of action and on the sketch
Enemy Most Likely Course of Action
Mission: On order, Dokuho 359 destroys allied forces in the vicinity of the Pangatian Camp to prevent them from securing the allied POWs.
Commander’s Intent: The purpose of the operation is to demonstrate Japanese resolve. In order to do so, the battalion must cross the Cabu Creek, quickly penetrate
allied security forces, destroy the allied assault force, pursue escaping allies and secure the camp and POWs until relieved. At end state, the allied forces are
destroyed, the POWs detained, conspiring civilians punished, the battalion controls the camp and is prepared to reinforce the Japanese defense of Cabanatuan City.
Decisive Operation: D Company (armor) counterattacks west along the Cabanatuan-Cabu Highway and destroys the allied assault force to prevent the escape of the POWs.
Shaping Operations: B Company secures the Cabu bridge in order to facilitate D Company’s counterattack, and then follows D Company as the battalion reserve with
priority of commitment to D, A and C Companies. A Company fords the Cabu Creek and destroys allied forces north of the highway to prevent them from engaging D company.
C Company fords the Cabu Creek and destroys allied forces south and east of the camp to prevent them from engaging D company.
Fires: Artillery at Cabanatuan City is prepared to destroy the camp and its occupants to prevent the escape of a single allied POW.
Information Collection operations focus on: 1) detecting allied forces within our area of operations; 2) disposition of the Cabu bridge; 3) location of escaped allies;
and 4) civilian conspirators.
Sustainment Operations: immediate resupply of Class III and Class V at the POW camp for follow on operations.
Tactical Risk is assumed by advancing the armor along the Cabanatuan-Cabu highway to rapidly overwhelm the Rangers and the POWs. We will mitigate this risk with the
infantry in close support to destroy any ambush positions encountered between Cabu Creek and the camp.
Requirement: Develop a doctrinal course of action statement and sketch for Pajota’s Guerillas. The following requirements follow the Figure 9-5 sample from FM 6-0.
______ (60 points total) COURSE OF ACTION STATEMENT
Your answers to the questions must be typed and double-spaced throughout, and must use Times New Roman 12-pitch font and one-inch margins.
______ (5 pts) Write a mission statement for Pajota’s Guerillas. Pay special attention to the time and task in this mission. The time must be synchronized with the
Rangers assault (do not use ‘on order’ or ‘be prepared’). Although history records that Pajota’s Guerillas virtually destroyed Dokuho 359, doing so was not required.
Remember, the task in the mission should accomplish as little as needed to fulfill the purpose, rather than as much as possible—since the difference is often measured
______ (10 pts) Develop a Commander’s Intent. Remember, the purpose here should be ‘broader’ than the one in your mission, that Key Tasks normally become the focus of
Decisive and Shaping Operations, and that the end-state must include Friendly, Enemy, Terrain and Civil components.
______ (10 pts) Decisive Operation (DO). Consider the following questions, and then write a mission statement for the squadron conducting the DO.
What single task is most decisive (if you could do just one task, what would it be?)
When should it begin?
Which squadron do you envision conducting this operation?
______ (15 pts) Shaping Operations (SO). Write a mission statement for each of the five squadrons which shapes the decisive operation by accomplishing a key task, sets
conditions for the decisive operation, or serves as a reserve. In each case, the purpose of the squadron’s operation must logically connect to the decisive operation
as well as the overall mission of Pajota’s Guerillas.
_______(5 pts) Fires. Write a mission statement for the pair of Black Widows which have very limited ammunition, but can make a significant contribution. This force
should have a very specific task against a very specific target.
_______ (5 pts) Intelligence. List specific priority information requirements (PIRs) needed to make the two anticipated decisions: (1) commit the reserve and (2)
commit the Black Widows.
_______ (5 pts) Sustaining. Provide a brief description of casualty operations.
_______ (5 pts) Risk. Address the most significant risk as well as measures to mitigate it.
______ (40 points total) COURSE OF ACTION SKETCH
The sketch follows on the next page.
_______ (20 pts) Depict each squadron with the proper task organization composition symbol (see Fig 10-1 of ADRP 1-02) and doctrinal tactical mission task symbol (see
Chapter 9 of ADRP 1-02).
• Keep in mind that you may want to change the task organization of some squadrons by moving platoons and/or weapons teams to another squadron, and that the number of
platoons and special weapons (machine guns and bazookas) should be based on the task and purpose of the squadron, as well as the enemy the squadron is responsible for
and the terrain that squadron is operating in.
• Remember that you must depict six ‘squadrons’ which collectively have 12 infantry platoons, 4 machine gun teams, and 1 bazooka team.
_______ (10 pts) Unit boundaries clearly delineate each squadron’s area of operation.
_______ (5 pts) Control Measures (such as battle positions, objectives, engagement areas, axes, target reference points (TRPs) and checkpoints) to help connect the COA
statement to the sketch.
_______ (5 pts) Command Post and Observation Posts depicted