After-Action Review Template
1. Report cover page:
Preparing Headquarters or Organization
Location of Report Preparation
Date of Preparation
(Example: Final Report of 3d ACR Operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom [OIF])
Period Covered: (Date to Date)
2. Preface or foreword signed by commander.
3. Table of contents: This template serves as an excellent guide to what a commander should cover in his unit’s after-action review (AAR). The AAR provides tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) and lessons learned for dissemination to the Army. CALL archives the AAR and through its Website makes it available to units preparing for combat operations in OIF or Operation Enduring Freedom. Start the AAR with the warfighting functions and other topic areas of interest using the issue, discussion, and recommendation format. Some topics frequently highlighted in previous AARs include the following:
- Influence and engagement operations TTP.
- Reconnaissance and surveillance planning and execution.
- Air-ground operations.
- Commander’s Emergency Response Program.
- Patrol base and combat outpost TTP.
- Civil affairs.
- Detainee operations.
- Counter improvised explosive device operations.
- Convoy and route security operations.
- Special forces’ integration.
- Counterinsurgency planning and execution.
- Aviation operations.
- Close air support.
- Governance and economics.
4. Executive summary and chronology of significant events:
- Include specific dates of mission notification; period of predeployment training; advanced echelon and main body deployment; reception, staging, integration, and onward movement (RSOI); deployed operations in theater; and dates of any major named unit operations.
- Include numbers of Soldiers deployed and deployment modification table of organization and equipment.
- Summarize casualty information for period of deployment.
- Briefly overview highlights of predeployment, deployment, and redeployment.
- Include any unit highlights deemed important.
5. Task organization. Include any significant changes/dates as appropriate:
- Wiring diagram including attached units/elements and named task forces
- Relationship to higher headquarters and list of subordinate elements
6. Predeployment phase (with dates):
- Predeployment issues, discussions, and recommendations
- Unit’s training focus
- What should have been accomplished during predeployment that was not accomplished?
- What was helpful to know when planning the deployment? What did you wish that you had?
- Discuss staff estimates; logistics; or personnel shortages, if appropriate
- Discuss planning for rear detachment operations during deployment, if appropriate
7. RSOI (with dates):
- RSOI issues, discussions, and recommendations
- Assessment of training effectiveness
- Orders and fragmentary orders (FRAGOs) index
8. Operations phase (with dates):
- Summary of tactical and mission operations
- Address by warfighting functions using issue, discussion, and recommendation
- Address effects management (nonlethal weapons, information operations, public affair office, etc.)
- Unit participation in named operations
- Discuss issues deemed most critical by the commander
- Other issues, discussion, and recommendations
- What was the single greatest success and the single greatest shortcoming or challenge from the unit’s perspective?
- Orders and FRAGOs index
9. Relief in place/transfer of authority (with dates):
- Discuss planning and overlap and any issues, discussions, lessons, recommendations
- Orders and FRAGOs index
- List or discuss key discussion topics between outgoing and incoming organizations
Include (either here or as an Appendix) any standing operating procedures, TTP, or checklists if they were useful.
10. Redeployment activities:
- Overview dates of personnel and equipment redeployment
- Highlight planning guidance either developed or received from higher headquarters
- Discuss redeployment issues, observations, lessons, and recommendations
- Cover the how and what; e.g., How long did redeployment take? What was salvaged or destroyed (battle losses and personnel losseskilled in action, wounded in action, missing in action, and Soldiers classified as duty status whereabouts unknown)during the unit’s time on station?
- Orders and FRAGOs index
- Include (either here or as an Appendix) any list of instructions, TTP, or checklists developed
11. Post-deployment activities:
- Discuss redeployment issues, observations, lessons, and planning.
- Discuss combat stress planning and reintegration activities.
- Discuss plans and priorities used in reconstituting and resetting the unit.
12. Provide an index/listing of all mid-tour and final unit AAR products, significant command briefings, or reports published separately:
- Include classification, titles, and distribution/disposition of such reports.
- Include a staff point of contact or section for follow-up coordination.
13. Distribution (of this report).
14. Appendices (as appropriate):
- Each named operation or major event
- Supporting details, observations, issues, or recommendations to any area mentioned briefly in base report
- Particularly useful TTP or unit products developed
- Predeployment site survey information
- Rear detachment operations