The staff briefing is to secure a coordinated or unified effort. This briefing may involve the exchange of information, the announcement of decisions, the issuance of directives, or the presentation of guidance. The staff briefing may include the characteristics of the information, decision, and mission briefings.
Commands normally schedule staff briefings on a periodic basis. The attendees are usually the commander, his deputy, chief of staff, and senior representatives of coordinating and special staffs. Sometimes commanders from major subordinate commands may attend. In combat, commands hold additional briefings as the situation requires.
The chief of staff usually presides over the staff briefing. He opens the briefing by identifying the purpose of the briefing and reviewing the mission of the next higher headquarters. He then restates the command’s mission and gives the commander’s concept, if applicable. He then calls on staff officers to brief their areas of responsibility. The normal sequence is S2, S3, S1, S4, and S5. Special staff officer participation varies with local policy. The commander usually concludes the briefing, and he may even take an active part throughout the presentation.
The tactical situation briefing is a form of staff briefing used to inform persons not familiar with the situation at the level at which the briefing is taking place. The briefing foes back in time as far as necessary to present the full picture.
When the main intent of regularly scheduled staff briefings is to achieve coordinated effort within a headquarters, the substance of each officer’s presentation is only an updating of material previously presented.