This was a mnemonic in the Army for when you were trying to plan an operation but you knew there were variables that needed to be accounted for once you were on the ground.
The best, most well planned operation can fall apart in seconds, and usually does, once things really start happening.
All the battle maps, local intelligence, photos from satellites, eyes on objective from scouts, drones, and mock objectives for rehearsals… just a small garnish to the entire dish.
None of that really mattered once you were buried in dust clouds from helicopter rotors while hearing the cracking of bullets while it was 10° out.
So it was always METT-TC dependent…
Now what the heck does that mean?!?
Mission– What is the task of the operation/commanders intent?
Enemy– What are you up against? What are their intentions?
Time– How much time is available? What does our air support cycle look like? How long for QRF and resupply?
Troops– What are we working with? What are our assets and tools available?
Terrain– What is the land like? I.E. Avenues of approach, key terrain, obstacles, cover and concealment.
Civilians-What is the civilian aspect. Working with locals? What are the rules of engagement? What are the rules for prisoners?
These were evaluated and planned prior to and during the operation. Some of these points could obviously be planned before the mission. Some needed to happen, or be adjusted on the fly.
So how the heck are we going to weave this into our everyday life? Simple.
What is your Mission? (Goal)
What is your Enemy? (Challenges/Problems)
What is your Timeframe?
Who will/can help you?
What is the Terrain? (Environment)
Who are the Bystanders that may be impacted by your choices?
Fill this out, any and every time you are seeking to accomplish a difficult goal, as completely as possible. The more detail the better.
But most importantly, understand that the best plan can completely fall apart in an instant. It is not the end, and you can’t quit.
Be flexible, adapt, refocus, and lead the way through…
Getting angry, scared, and panicked doesn’t help- and no one cares.
Everything is METT-TC dependent…