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Help me with these cheatsheets!

Discussion in 'US Army Forum' started by Biscuitsjam, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. Biscuitsjam

    Biscuitsjam

    1,001
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    Jan 10, 2004
    Update: new version

    I've been working on these cheat sheets off and on for the last few days. They include:
    Medevac (w/worksheet)
    Call for Fire (w/worksheet)
    UXO/IED (w/worksheet)
    Common radio report formats
    Range estimation (12 different methods)
    Troop Leading Procedures, Priorities of Work
    5-paragraph operations order
    sample range card
    diagram of standard 2-man fighting position
    map symbols (weapons, units, etc.)
    route reconnaissance info (map symbols, methods of calculating slopes, curves, etc.)
    hasty bridge classification
    blank pages for notes
    U.S. - Metric conversion table
    Grid squares and ruler
    Clear pages (for map overlays, etc.)

    (I also have the demolition cards, but I ain't putting those out over the internet)

    Anyway, I was hoping someone here would be willing to proofread these cards and offer suggestions for improvement.

    Attachment is a zipped pdf file. When you print it, select "shrink to fit on page" and the resulting print-out will be the right size for an ACU pocket. (let me know if it isn't centered on your printer)




    Altogether, there are 30 cards here (front and back). The idea is to print them off, laminate them, and then bind together at the top into a flipbook. You can write on them using wet-erase markers. The dimensions of the cards (in the PDF file) are 3-3/4" x 5" after you selected "fit to page" in printing options. With laminate, they are 4"x5-1/2" (which is the right size for the shoulder ACU pocket). The cards APPEAR much bigger in Adobe, but they'll shrink down when printed. I'd recommend adding a couple transparent pages to the end of the booklet to use as overlays.

    The cost to make these cards at Kinkos is $0.50 per card for laminate and $3.95 for binding, which comes out to about $20. I could also make booklets for you for $15 each.

    PDF File:
    http://www.box.net/shared/rjmn6yw0gg
     
  2. Biscuitsjam

    Biscuitsjam

    1,001
    0
    Jan 10, 2004
    Update: New Version

    This is the same file, just in .doc format so that you can edit it if you want.

    If you print out the .doc file, the cards are 4-1/2"x6" (4-3/4"x6-1/2" with laminate - too big for all but the thigh ACU pockets)

    I really need a fresh set of eyes to look at this stuff for me.

    Link to file:
    http://www.box.net/shared/bhktz7b0gs
     


  3. Biscuitsjam

    Biscuitsjam

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    0
    Jan 10, 2004
    I just added an additional 8 cards to this, mainly on hasty bridge classification, and I did some major edits on the rest of it.

    The new versions have been uploaded and the descriptions (above) changed slightly.
     
  4. rebbryan

    rebbryan .40FireFighter

    Didn't click on the links, but smells like OPSEC violation, as an FO I don't want haji knowing how I do my call for fire on the off chance they could pinpoint my location by knowing what's going on. Seems like this info should be available to anyone in the .mil pipeline if they just ask for it, seems bad to put it on the internet
     
  5. dcfrady

    dcfrady

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    Oct 15, 2007
    rebbryan,
    this info is already on the net and for anyone to locate your position from your call for fire they would need a SINCGARS w/ a fill to hear your report.
    BiscuitsJam,
    Looks Good, maybe a little overkill on some things but you can adjust once you learn what your PLT does. Laminating is a good idea-keep a dry erase marker with you to fill in info and for plotting grids on maps. Might want to add a blank excel sheet with grids for sensitive item numbers for your truck/Brad/soldiers. Make sure to keep looking/ teaching out of the 17-98 for skills and not jusy rely on your cheatsheets. You'll learn some shortcuts along the way, also I always was under the impression you only have to give your direction for corrections on a call for fire-not during your initial report.
     
  6. Biscuitsjam

    Biscuitsjam

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    Jan 10, 2004
    Well, I don't think I violated opsec. I have a whole stack of paper manuals here, but I got all the materials for those cheatsheets off of the internet. There are a lot of public-access ROTC and other military websites not affiliated with AKO, and there are various internet sites, like globalsecurity.org, that have military information. I certainly don't want my work to be useful to any anti-American sources, but I don't think that merely compiling publicly-available info rises to the level of a violation. If you can show me that it does, I'll take all this offline.


    A lot of these cheatsheets are for things I didn't know or couldn't ever remember, but, of course, by the time I finished this, I had already memorized a lot of it... I also included a few things that I felt would be useful to give to privates as a reference. This would be useful for some brief hip-pocket training or personal reference, but it is NOT intended as a substitute for FMs.


    dcfrady:
    I have excel sheets for pace counts, weapons zeros, callsigns/frequencies, and sensitive item numbers. I'm not sure if you overlooked that and you're suggesting that I add them, or whether you think I should modify them in some way. I also have a few blank pages for notes, a page at the end with some grid squares (and a ruler) drawn on it, and I'd recommend including a couple transparent pages that can serve as small overlays.


    As far as giving direction on your call for fire, all the references I saw said that it was optional but recommended to give your direction in the initial call for a grid mission (and required for a polar or shift mission). If you didn't give direction initially, you are required to do so for subsequent corrections. In an earlier version of that cheatsheet, I included a note to that effect, but it disappeared somehow in all the edits. I might add it back.

    One thing about the Call for Fire cheatsheet is that I included a lot of commands that an ordinary soldier wouldn't normally give. Basically, I just had some extra space and decided to go ahead and put them in. I'm a little concerned that I could confuse someone though.


    By the way, any more suggestions or criticisms are welcome. Please let me know if something is wrong, incomplete or misleading, or if I'm including something stupid, or if there is something else that you think I should include.
     
  7. dcfrady

    dcfrady

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    Oct 15, 2007
    You pretty much have it covered for any scout plt mission. I didn't see a troop leading procedures or establishing a assembly area, maybe add those.
     
  8. AKJD

    AKJD

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    Dec 3, 2004
    Fairbanks Alaska
    Are you a 19D Scout or 11B Recon soldier? I gave it a quick once over and would have to say a lot of those things will never be used (Hopefully you never need the NBC reports) but are good to be familiar with. The route and bridge recon may be useful for scouts in a heavy unit, I was always light and we developed abreviated versions but seldom needed them. Use your GPS instead of pace for getting the data needed to compute slope. I've used the stream width formula a few times before putting in a 1 rope bridge over a river. Are PVS-4s still being used? I would add the formula for hitting moving targets to the call for fire section. When I get more time, I'll try and take a more detailed look.
     
  9. nothing

    nothing Advertisement

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    Feb 24, 2002
    Brandon, MS
    Even though NBC reports are not as likely to be used they still have to be trained. We won't always be at war in Iraq/Afgan. FWIW small quantities of older chemical weapons have been found in Iraq.

    What happens when your GPS dies or gets jammed? Might want to know how to calculate slope w/ your pace count.

    I have to admit I really like the sheets Biscuitsjam put together and we are implementing them in my platoon. Thanks for posting the them.

    The only thing I'm adding is bradley/hmmwv pmcs check lists, load plans and common pci checklists.
     
  10. AKJD

    AKJD

    72
    0
    Dec 3, 2004
    Fairbanks Alaska
    Thanks for setting me straight, I realize that 99% of the people on here know more than me on just about everything, however, reading comprehension is a valuable skill.

    Biscuitsjam
    Like I said, There are some things in there that will probably never be used but it's your deal so go with what suits you, there are some things that could be useful that are missing. I have quite a bit of Recon and LRSD SOPs that may be of use to you maybe not, if you are interested send me an email as I won't be returning to this post and I don't get on here often for obvious reasons, to many experts. I'll be gone over the next month teaching firearms classes then on a hunting trip so it may take me a while to get back with you.
     
  11. Biscuitsjam

    Biscuitsjam

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    Jan 10, 2004
    Thanks for all the comments, people.

    As far as my experience:
    I'm in the process of reclassing from 19K (armor) to 19D (cav scouts) in a RSTA squadron that's about to be deployed to Afghanistan. We're working out of 6-humvee platoons. The whole scout thing is still pretty new to me but I'm picking it up pretty fast. I have to, since I'll be a squad leader when we deploy, with a lot of fresh privates under me. A bunch of guys saw the cheatsheets I made up for myself and asked me to make some for them. I'm going to go get a pouch laminating machine and the stuff to do binding myself so that I can save on Kinko's insane costs. I want to improve this stuff as much as possible before I start spending time/money on making up any more little booklets.

    I realize some of this stuff won't get used, like, for instance, the SPLASHREP format. If an aircraft crashes, somebody is going to be screaming "Oh @$@#$, a @#$#@$ apache just crashed!!! and not flipping through a manual and looking for line numbers. I'd rather go ahead and include a few things like that and make a section "complete" than leave something out on principle.


    DCFrady, I'll add a few things in about common mounted and dismounted tasks (like establishing an AA), but I'm not sure exactly what I want to include yet. I'll let you know when I get closer to adding any of that.

    Nothing, I'm glad you like the cheatsheets. Since you're going to be using them, you'll probably notice things that need to be changed or added as you go along. Let me know as you find them.

    AKJD, I'm sending you a PM. I'll put in a note about the possibility of using GPS to calculate distance. As for the AN/PVS-4, I haven't ever seen one and I think they've been phased out, but other devices use the same kind of range-finding reticle. I'm interested in improving the "call for fire" card, and I'd be interested in any suggestions for that or for other areas that you think I left out.
     
  12. nothing

    nothing Advertisement

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    Feb 24, 2002
    Brandon, MS
    Thanks for setting me straight Top.
     
  13. Biscuitsjam

    Biscuitsjam

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    Jan 10, 2004
    I just uploaded the new version. I added a few pages and did extensive edits on the others.

    By the way, if you want me to, I can make you bound laminated booklets for $15 each (or a discount if you buy a lot). If you want changes or new pages added, let me know and we could work something out.
     
  14. tc556guy

    tc556guy

    1,957
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    Mar 15, 2000
    Upstate NY
    Not to be negative, but you've reinvented the wheel. The Army already puts out something similar to what you've put together.
     
  15. Biscuitsjam

    Biscuitsjam

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    Jan 10, 2004
    Are you a scout? If so, what references (if any) do you carry around with you?

    I've found several things somewhat similar, but they're spread across multiple handbooks, reference sheets, and manuals. A lot of those things were really neat, but they didn't have what I wanted in them. I've condensed down army stuff to a more useful format, all in one booklet instead of many. And, I've laminated it, which I haven't seen in any of those army booklets.

    Yeah, I've probably spent more time on this than I should have, but I still believe that it was worthwhile.
     
  16. tc556guy

    tc556guy

    1,957
    0
    Mar 15, 2000
    Upstate NY
    Nope, I am not a scout, and yes, I have carried around more reference stuff and cheat sheets than I care to think about during my career.
    In the end, a cheat sheet should simply act as a prompt to help you recollect the info you need to get the job done and the mission accomplished. If thats what your stuff does for you and it works, then all well and fine. I have seen people try to put together cheat sheet comiplations that ( no kidding ) were 4-5 inches thick. Once you get to that size document/compilation, you are essentially replicating a lot of information that you should already know, or might better be placed in a unit TACSOP ( some of which I have seen are equally nice and serve as the sort of cheet sheet reference you've attempted to create ).

    Once again, not knocking your efforts, but I just wanted you to know that the Army has already done much of the work for you in this regard, in general terms.
     
  17. Biscuitsjam

    Biscuitsjam

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    Jan 10, 2004
    There are a couple guys in my unit that really want cheat sheets on hand/arm signals, weapons clearing/functions checks, and such things. I tried to avoid those since they are skills that people should already know... However, it sounds like they'd be willing to pay enough to make it worth my while to make a few up like that.

    I'm already at the limit on thickness for this. I have ideas of things I want to add (knot tying, close air support, etc.), and I was also considering splitting the single op-order card into a 3-card worksheet. I don't want to add anything without removing something else first. I'm at a really good thickness, but the booklets are a little stiff, so I might even want to make this a little thinner just to fix that. A few pages already are kind of marginal, but they are in the middle of "sections..."

    Some have suggested taking the route recon symbols, route recon techniques, hasty bridge classification, map symbols, and demolition cards to turn into a second booklet, which is also something I'm considering.

    In any case, I'm just about done with making changes to this. A few more slight adjustments and that's it... I just want to sell enough of these to my unit and the ROTC guys around here to recoup my equipment costs.
     
  18. rumaco

    rumaco

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    Feb 22, 2008
    If you have to ask what to do when a GPS or your computer goes out it's too late anyway. Technology has a way of getting you into more crap than it can get you out of. Try a compass! They still use those don't they? Wait, then you would have to know how to use a paper map and that simply won't do, now will it? Pushbutton warriors, I'll be darned.
     
  19. tc556guy

    tc556guy

    1,957
    0
    Mar 15, 2000
    Upstate NY
    What he means is that too many of the younger Soldiers are relying on GPS and technology that can fail, instead of the basics. When made to do things the old way, some of them refuse to even try. I've seen it myself. I had one private refuse to do land nav with a map and compass during a night land nav course for the pre-mob train up for my current tour. Flat out refused. Said to my E6 that if the section needed to do things with a map and compass, that they had him ( the E6) to rely on. No kidding. Needless to say, that PV2 was doing push ups in short order.