Leadership in UNITAF - Field Leadership - United Task Force (UNITAF) Arma 3

P1-82 Leadership in UNITAF

UNITAF / Arma 3 / Combat Leadership Procedures

Version 2 / 12min read / Updated Sun 19 Mar 2023 / 2729 views / of verified

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    In-game in UNITAF, leadership is what allows anything from a single squad to multiple platoons in a company to act as one cohesive and combat-effective unit. From the Fireteam Leader up to the platoon or Company Commander, the success of every mission hinges upon their collective abilities as leaders. This section is intended to act as a refresher and reference to those who do lead, as well as introduce the concepts of all levels of leadership to those who are interested in pursuing and advancing to such leadership positions in the future, or refining their current abilities.

    At the most basic level, leadership in Arma is the art of getting multiple people to act in a coordinated fashion towards a common goal. Leaders come with a variety of roles and responsibilities, with each requiring different approaches to how they do things. From the Fireteam Leader up to the Platoon Commander, though, they all share some common responsibilities. 


    Types of Leadership

    Type Element Personnel
    Combat Leadership Team 4-6
    Squad 9-15
    Field Leadership Platoon Up to 45
    Company Up to 65


    Become a Leader


    Becoming a Leader in UNITAF's OPCOC is not automatic, and Leaders must meet specific prerequisites, which include:

    • Achieving the rank of Private (E-1)
    • Maintaining good personal conduct for up to three months (with no reprimands)
    • Demonstrating a track record of personal SOP compliance
    • Demonstrating a track record of SOP enforcement while leading
    • Demonstrating a track record of conduct enforcement while leading

    If an actively rated Leader no longer meets these prerequisites (such as acquiring a reprimand), their leadership rating will be temporarily suspended.


    Getting started

    Your first leadership role in UNITAF will usually be as a Junior Team Leader (JFTL), with 3-4 individuals under your command. You will work under the direction of an experienced Squad Leader who will provide guidance and support as you develop your confidence and skills.

    As a JFTL, you will be observed, and other Leaders will offer advice to help you improve. Don't forget to ask for feedback after operations to enhance your development.


    Leadership induction

    Leaders are required to complete up to two inductions: one for Field Leadership and another for Combat Leadership. These inductions outline the expectations of Leaders and will be regularly updated to reflect policy changes.

    Initially, inductions may be conducted in-person, but they may also be conducted using the unit's video-based induction system. Leaders are permitted to continue their roles without completing the inductions, but they will be expected to complete the relevant inductions once they are published.


    Ratings and advancement

    Each Leader in UNITAF has a rating that reflects their current level of leadership. In the future, this rating will automatically determine their Field Leadership and Combat Leadership Tiers, based on specific requirements. While the development of these Tiers is ongoing, a comparable Tier is provided below.

    The Tiers are hierarchical, and being rated at a higher level provides access to any lower level, enabling members to access related leadership positions while actively rated. This policy does not affect any other policies, such as Slot Allocation via Manual Assignment.

    You can find the requirements for each Tier through your dossier's progression view.


    Exceptions and manual assignment 

    In accordance with the Slot Allocation Policy, exceptions to the above requirements can be made in line with the guidelines for next most experienced (NMQ). Refer to the Slot Allocation Policy for more information.


    The Field Leader (FL)

    The Field Leader is the senior-most in a deployments OPCOC and in UNITAF, they hold the ultimate responsibility for the success or failure of a deployment. They are accountable for the conduct and compliance of all members from start to finish. Working alongside the Lead Game Master, the Field Leader schedules the mission, compiles the WARNO, OPORD, and ORBAT, and conducts briefings and debriefings for subordinate leaders. They also manage no-shows, lateness, and After Action Reporting. Every UNITAF deployment requires significant effort from Field Leaders.

    To ensure the success of UNITAF deployments, Operations Command carefully selects, monitors, and supports Field Leaders. The size of the ORBATs that Field Leaders can command is based on their RSDA performance in the relevant ratings.


    Approved Regular Field Leaders (ARFL)

    UNITAF identifies consistent and regular Field Leaders by evaluating their deployment activity over a 6-month rolling period. Leaders who frequently operate in a Field Leader capacity and meet specific requirements can attain Approved Regular Field Leader (ARFL) status.

    ARFLs become rostered contributors in Operations Command (OC) for as long as they hold ARFL status. This gives them priority access to Field Leading opportunities and positions on Campaign Teams. ARFLs provide significant benefits to the unit, as they are more likely to improve and maintain their skills compared to irregular Field Leaders.


    Type Abbreviation Entry Requirement Maintenance Requirement
    Squad Approved
    Regular Field Leader
    or FS

    2 deployments per month in a trailing
    6-month period at any FL rating

    2 deployments per month in a rolling
    3-month period at any FL rating
    Platoon Approved
    Regular Field Leader
    or FP

    2 deployments per month in a trailing
    6-month period at Platoon FL rating

    2 deployments per month in a rolling
    3-month period at any FL rating

    Company Approved
    Regular Field Leader
    or FC
    2 deployments per month in a trailing
    6-month period at Company FL rating
    2 deployments per month in a rolling
    3-month period at any FL rating

    ARFLs are eligible for promotion to Non-commissioned officer rank in accordance with the units Ranks and Promotions policy for the duration in which they retain ARFL status in accordance with it's stated requirements, should they lose ARFL status their rank will return to the Enlisted equivalent.


    Essential Leadership Principles

    Leadership in Arma enables squads and platoons to work effectively. This section refreshes and introduces leadership concepts for those currently leading or aspiring to lead. Arma leadership involves coordinating multiple individuals towards a common goal, with different roles requiring unique approaches. However, all leaders share common responsibilities, including:



    Leaders should prioritize their own survival, especially at higher levels of command where they are less expendable. This means avoiding unnecessary risks and not drawing attention from the enemy. As a leader, your best weapons are the players under your command, and they rely on you to keep them alive. Putting yourself in danger recklessly jeopardizes their safety and puts the mission at risk. Therefore, it's important to act in a way that minimizes risk and keeps both yourself and your team safe.



    It's important to have knowledge of the roles of both your immediate superior and the leader below you. This enables you to effectively command their troops and assume their role in case of their incapacitation. Additionally, knowing the role of the leader above you allows you to be prepared to take over if necessary.



    Clear and concise communication is crucial in a battle. Giving simple and easy-to-understand orders can help team members focus on their tasks and achieve success. Lengthy and wordy orders can be difficult to understand and may cause problems in a firefight where everyone is already dealing with multiple tasks.



    In high-pressure situations like combat, there may not be enough time to come up with a perfect plan. It's better to make a good decision quickly and put it into action than to spend a lot of time perfecting a plan. "A good plan now is better than a perfect plan later." Delaying decision-making can put you at a disadvantage during combat. Therefore, it's important to make quick decisions and take action.


    Task by name

    Giving vague orders like "someone needs to" can lead to confusion and be ignored during battle. It's more effective to assign specific tasks to individuals in your team, using their names, color codes for buddy teams, or callsigns for units. For example, "Madcows, retrieve the AT from Awo's corpse" or "Oakley, man the .50cal on kevb0's MRAP." Directly tasking individuals will lead to faster and clearer execution of tasks with less ambiguity and confusion.



    Leaders should avoid micromanaging and instead give orders that allow subordinates to execute tasks in the way they think is best. Strictly dictating how an element should move and enforcing it can be dangerous and limit tactical flexibility, which is crucial for lower-level leaders to get their jobs done effectively. It's better to provide guidelines, such as a destination and set waypoints, and allow subordinates to adapt to the situation as they see fit. Micromanagement should be avoided as it can stifle tactical flexibility and lower-level leadership, except in exceptional cases.



    Tactical patience

    Tactical patience means allowing a situation to develop and unfold before determining its significance and how to react. In Arma, there may be times when leaders need to wait and observe the situation instead of jumping in and giving orders prematurely. For example, seeing a few infantrymen approaching from one flank doesn't necessarily mean that the bulk of the attack will come from there. It's wiser to wait and gather more information before shifting defenses or making decisions.


    Disciplined initiative

    Disciplined initiative is crucial for leaders at all levels. It means having the ability to exercise initiative in a way that aligns with the higher commander's intent. Leaders are expected to make good decisions independently when the situation calls for it, without having to seek permission from higher-ups. This demonstrates trust in junior leaders and gives them the freedom to adapt to changing situations quickly.


    Pen & Paper

    Using a pen and paper for note-taking is recommended for all players, especially leaders. It allows players to take notes as needed, including special information that may be needed later in the mission, rules of engagement, formations, timings for events, and more. Note-taking is also useful for recording significant events during the mission, which can be used for "lessons learned" or for highlighting commendable actions during the after-action review.

    This SOP has been contributed to by 1 editors:
    Major James

    UNITAF Standard Operating procedures (SOP)
    are adapted primarly from US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). Our written and audio procedures are a combination of the following primary source materials, as well as our own learnings, modifications and adaptations:
    - US Army Techniques Publication, Infantry Platoon and Squad (ATP 3-21.8)
    - Soldier’s Manual of Common Tasks Warrior Leader Skills Level 2, 3, and 4 (STP 21-24-SMCT)
    - The Warrior Ethos and Soldier Combat Skills (FM 3-21.75 / FM 21-75)
    - Leadership Development (FM 6-22)
    - Dyslexi's Tactics, Techniques, & Procedures for Arma 3 (TTP3)

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