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Is an Army Terrain Model Kit the Right Choice for You?
An Army terrain model kit is the right choice for you if you are a ROTC Cadet, Soldier, IBOLC student, Ranger candidate, or Army leader of any kind. An Army terrain model kit is basically a way to visualize an operation by using simple to understand graphics and symbols. An Army terrain model kit is for you to provide an additional way to ensure your subordinates understand your desired plan. The most common type of Army terrain model kit is the Army platoon terrain model kit. The Army platoon terrain model kit includes pieces that generally symbolize everyone organic to a light infantry platoon.
How to Use an Army Terrain Model Kit
Use this handy guide from the United States Marine Corps on how to use a military terrain model.
Army Terrain Model Kit Styles
There are many style of Army terrain model kits. Almost all Army TMKs feature some type of laminated graphics or symbols. Some TMKs include strands of string/550 chord or Army figures in lieu of laminated symbols. Generally, symbols are the preferred method as they are easily understood and much more useful for quick, time-sensitive briefs.
Army Terrain Model Kit Materials
Most Army terrain model kits use laminated paper. The laminated paper is essential for protections from the elements. If an Army Terrain Model Kit uses just paper, it will fall apart almost immediately after or during use. Most Army terrain model kits should feature different colors to signify things of military significance. For example, friendly units should be in blue and enemy units in red. Army terrain model kits on larger scales often use very well designed graphics, symbols, and figures to signify units. However, Army platoon terrain model kits are meant to be used for small scale operations in time-constrained environments. As such, army platoon terrain model kits cannot afford to be so fancy.
Army Terrain Model Kit History
Unfortunately, there is not much research on the history of terrain model kits usage in the military. However, it is almost certain that from the beginning of warfare, leaders have used some type of crude drawing or visualization to brief fighting plans and to ensure subordinates understood what was supposed to happen. It would be interesting to go back to the great armies of history and see what great military leaders used in terms of terrain model kits.
Who Builds an Army Terrain model?
Who is responsible for an Army terrain model? Well this question depends on the scale of the operation. For a squad sized element, usually the squad leader or team leader will be responsible for helping construct and brief an army terrain model. For a platoon sized operation, elements of the HQ section such as the RTO, PL, and/or tasked Soldiers will be responsible for constructing the terrain model. There is no single person responsible for always building a terrain model per doctrine, but generally the commander or leader delegates this task to someone so he can focus on planning the operation.