Small Unit Leadership Evaluation (SULE) – Part 3

In the first and second parts of SULE information there was a lot of general material covered. This section is going to focus on providing applicable tips to help you perform better come time to show your competence. Not every increment is the same and things are always changing so take this advice with a grain of salt.

You will get hit from the side

At OCS you are going to mainly be doing frontal assaults as a squad. This doesn’t mean that the enemy is going to be attacking you from the front. The majority of the time the squads are going to be attacked from the side. As a squad leader, you have to be able to shift the squad into a position such that a frontal assault is possible. It is critical that you prepare the fire team leaders for different scenarios during the briefing. Below is an example to give you an idea how a squad leader could reorient the squad. It looks easy on paper, but the reality is that things are going to be loud, the FTs are likely disbursed over several hundred feet, and fire team leaders may not hear you so they will start giving their own orders that creates more chaos.

SULE Example Assault

There are false distractions

This doesn’t happen too often, but sometimes things occur that are meant to throw the squad off. For instance, you could be walking on a road and then you get hit by artillery on the left. Everyone drops to the ground and gets ready to start rushing. A squad leader who starts to freak out might give an order rush, but if you only waited a few seconds to gather yourself you would realize that there is no enemy fire. Get the squad up and keep moving forward.

Estimate the end point

Sometimes you can make an educated guess as to what is about to happen. Pay attention to your surroundings and use common sense. For example, if the squad has to cross a bridge there is a decent chance the enemy is on the other side. Before crossing give the FT leaders instructions on what to do if they take enemy fire.

Be afraid of squad stupidity

Yes, everyone in the squad has graduated college, or is currently attending a university. To assume that such intelligent colleagues have common sense and good judgement is a mistake. During one increment a squad leader lost points because one of the FT leaders had the FT rush through an area with signs that said “Mine Field”.

**MOST IMPORTANTLY** The Enemy Is Not Always The Mission

It is imperative that you understand what the MISSION of your SULE is. For example, assume the MISSION is to deliver supplies to a nearby friendly position. The squad is walking on the road and takes contact on the right. You engage and destroy the enemy. A large number of candidates would assume that they are done. They put the squad in a consolidated 360 position and take reports from the FT leaders. The squad leader walks confidently over to the instructor, gets on one knee, and gives a full report with confidence and vigor knowing that the enemy was destroyed. The evaluator tells the squad leader they just failed SULE.

THE MISSION WAS TO DELIVER SUPPLIES.

The enemy assault was only a distraction. For the most part, you will not be assaulted a second time. The only thing you had to do was get the squad back in formation and continue along the road. The instructor will probably stop you immediately afterwards. It was a test to determine if you as the leader understood the MISSION.

Some will fail SULE because of this so make sure that the MISSION is understood before anything else.


USMC Officer

As a Marine Corps Officer, my goal is to help and educate those who have obtained, or are aspiring to earn, the title of Marine Officer.

2 COMMENTS
  • Ben
    Reply

    Thank you sir, I really enjoy these

  • Joey Boots II
    Reply

    When I went to OCS in the 80’s we used to toss solid turds and the enlisted instructors who assualted our flanks.

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