<:: COTA SOP & Strategy Manual ::> Good afternoon COTA, I'm writing this manual to accomplish two things, a much needed update on the SOP and to put in writing the things I've been teaching you in training to allow for more fluid independent research. Anybody who accepted the rank of OWC or EOW, this is required reading for you. First let me establish our function as a faction on the server and what it is exactly that we do. As a faction we are equipped with the best technology and have the best training, in addition to having far superior equipment compared to anybody else. It is because of this we have the ability to achieve success in virtually every engagement we are in. I have asked Fooz to nerf COTA to remove this edge and he has, so the level we are currently at is fair in comparison to the resistance in terms of equipment. However our edge comes in our training and experience. To keep our edge, we must keep training and we must keep learning as our situation develops here on the server. Our function is to be the last line of defense for all Universal Union based factions and player groups. If we fall, the Union falls. While canonically there would be troves of synth units to back us up, I have rejected the use of any formally authorized synth units for use in S2K. However, in every war infantry presence is not only helpful, but needed to effectively secure an area. COTA's function in both canon and here on the server is the same, we are the last line of defense and the first tool of necessity needed to secure ground for our side. Most of my job these days is to throttle our function and decide necessity for COTA deployments and S2K engagements. In our present state, COTA has more organization and readiness than the resistance does. This is due in part because COTA are professional soldiers who do not have to bear the burden of non-leaders and random persons intervening on our operations as they do. They have a great deal of work before them, slogging uphill against everybody's own self-interest to come together for a common goal. This is their internal issue that we must observe and give them space to work on. Never the less, the fight often comes to us. So we must always be ready. Foreword War is the province of chance. In no other sphere of human activity must such a margin be left for this intruder. It increases the uncertainty of every circumstance and deranges the course of events.- Carl von Clausewitz I wanted to start us off with the very essence of strategy and who better to quote than a strategist on the matter. This is a good subject for discussion as it reveals many idioms and sayings on the subject of war where words such as "chaos" and "disorganization" are used to describe general aspects of engagements and the general goings of conflict with another force. This quote is often synonymous with the saying "No plan survives first contact." Which refers to any strategy that you as a soldier or a commander have laid down prior to engaging with the enemy. Despite all preparations and observations of the enemy, unforeseen events will unfold once you are within the fog of war. In my opinion, this is because emotions are highly unpredictable. Once someone because highly emotional, they become highly unpredictable. This presents itself even in controlled settings such as interviews and interrogations, where false indicators of deception are given by people who are simply nervous. Thus interrogators are trained when to detect nervousness as an amplifier of emotion, rather than make a base value assessment on the emotion as it presents itself. Does this mean he has a high degree of accuracy in knowing this? Absolutely not. In fact he has only about a 70-80% chance of getting his assessments right under ideal conditions. So what does he do to offset this? He searches for multiple indicators and cross-references them with the results of the interrogation to known facts. He cannot rely alone on his analysis, to be a good investigator he must commit to legwork and research. How does this relate to COTA field work? Because you do not have the luxury of being the detective who has the time and ability to create an analysis and probe his findings with an investigation that produces facts and other opinions on the subject. You must operate in chaos and produce a result which you must act immediately upon. A good field commander will be able to detect when a flank becomes vulnerable to an enemy who sees that there is an opportunity the moment it presents itself. A good field commander adjusts his forces swiftly to meet this threat. It is regardless of his firepower and manpower, it has everything to do with necessity. He does not want to waste lives, he does not want to waste equipment. He wants to deal blows against the enemy and preserve his strength for continued conflicts. COTA Standard Operating Procedure Let's begin with the few basic rules. COTA are always allowed to flag up and passive, so long as they understand the text written on COTA Character Development. COTA can deploy in teams of three, but must have an OWC, EOW or the Commander's authorization. They cannot deploy with anything less than three soldiers. COTA must always assume S2M and S2RP until their OWC, EOW or Commander declares otherwise. If any online Field Command or Admins who are presently observing the conflict authorize it, you must then S2K. OWC's must always inform an EOW or the Commander of a deployment after it has been authorized. Let's review our ranking structure. COTA Ranks OWR: Overwatch Recruit Applicants are given their OWR flags on their first training date, not before. OWR's are then screened during the course of the minimum of 2 trainings prior to being eligible for OWS promotion. Recruits can only deploy in fireteams with EOW authorization, or if the fireteam itself consists of an OWC. Recruits are being trained with basic soldier skills such as working in fireteams, rules on comms and how to communicate as well as team maneuvers and breaching tactics. This includes formations, attack strategies and grappling ability. Their training performance is then reviewed upon by EOW's and a final decision to approve or deny the subject from OWS candidacy is made by the Commander. OWS: Overwatch Soldier Soldiers are the backbone of the COTA faction. They perform all basic infantry functions and can elect to receive additional training. Under my command, all OWS are eligible for all leadership courses, in addition to the LRRP and CLS courses. Every soldier is influenced in training and in practice to become a leader on the field. This is due to the volatile nature of deployments and the strong need for swift leadership decisions. Any one soldier should be competent enough to lead a fireteam out of a compromising situation. Soldiers cannot self-authorize deployments. However, they are eligible for all promotions and awards attributed to the faction. They are not required to attend the mandatory OWR trainings, but every now and again they are required to attend refresher courses and drills on readiness. An OWS' activity is rated at a minimum of attending one deployment every month. If this minimum isn't met, the soldier is up for removal. OWS' who are removed for inactivity can rejoin at the same rank. OWC: Overwatch Corporal Corporals make up the bulk of field commanders who are responsible for directing the flow of force on the field and ultimately dictating the sequence of battle where no other COTA command units are present. The Corporal is a veteran soldier with combat experience who has shown the drive for leadership and the initiative to take on more responsibility. A Corporal can authorize deployments that are based out of situational necessity. This means if the CCA is underpowered and comes under attack, an OWC can then deploy a team of three people including himself to react to that threat. However, his authorization does not extend to pre-emptive strikes against enemy forces where major considerations must be involved. This is a measure designed to protect COTA and their equipment from erroneous deployment requests made on the behalf of the CCA and/or administration. EOW: Elite Overwatch EOW's are the Officers of the COTA faction. They are proven combat leaders and combat veterans of the faction. They lead trainings and readiness drills for the faction and are capable of hosting advanced courses wherever their specialties may lay. EOW's are involved in staging operations as much as they are in executing them. They are in charge of briefing COTA personnel on all operations prior to their undertaking, in addition to organizing their leadership. EOW's can authorize all deployments without needing to oversee them directly. They are the only soldiers allowed to deploy the "energy ball" weapon function of the AR2 due to its powerful and potentially disastrous tactical implementation. CDR: Commander The Commander as of now is me, Ethan. I do silly shit like write manuals. If you have any problems, follow the chain of command prior to coming to me. The Nature of Conflict & Risk Potential We operate very closely on the pre-stages of S2K conflict, or on the egress of an S2K situation. If our prior deployments have taught us anything, it's that not everybody gets the message. We must do a lot to keep ourselves out of trouble and away from unnecessary risks. I personally operate on the strategy that when someone is dead, they are no longer a threat. Physgun in hand or not, a person is a man-sized target and their ability to become a threat can be nearly instantaneous. A balanced S2K conflict is balanced when we come from an area with our spawn point behind us and they come from an area with their spawn point is behind them. Now, a typical S2K conflict is where we're drastically over-extended into an area where their spawn point is where they are. This creates a lot of casualties, so far and to our great fortune, on their side only. However, we must prepare for this to change. In the meantime, due to hand switching we must engage all persons in that area. Obviously, this creates a problem of its own. The resistance can choose to counter this policy by gathering unarmed refugees and putting them in an excluded area from the combat activity. If you have spent any length of time in fireteams with me, you'll know that I value aggression and invasion over defensive fighting and the use of cover. This is due the fact that exploiting the already present confusion among the enemy can be achieved in a manner that's easier, safer and more efficient than giving them the confidence of a defensive position whereby they will have more time to organize their efforts. I only suggest that field commanders do the same. I'm actively seeking to replace myself and give someone else the torch, so if you do something original and it's a success among COTA, I will step out of the way for you to earn command experience and have fun with the job. General Policies COTA does not speak in G-OOC. Only OWC and up are allowed to use G-OOC and that is for operational purposes. Active Policies 7/11/17 - Policy: When engaging with combatants, engage all indigenous personnel. Hand switching to avoid weapon dropping cannot be positively determined to be a gesture of surrender. Thus, all persons in an area of active combat are considered combatants.