Do I need a TMK?

One question you are probably asking yourself, whether as a PL, Cadet, or other young Army leader, is “Do I actually need an Army Terrain Model Kit?” Do I need an Army terrain model kit for advanced camp, ranger school, IBOLC, or a field training exercise (FTX)?

The answer is yes and no. Yes, a quality TMK helps your subordinates understand the mission better. No you are not going to be using laminated pieces of paper on the ground in a patrol base or ORP when you have a mission with proper planning times. Considering that a majority of Army training is hasty in nature, an Army terrain model kit is a high-reward, low-cost investment.

During advanced camp, STX lanes, or an FTX, this type of TMK is pretty useful. Your superior leadership is likely to be impressed by the fact that you took the time to bring an additional resource to the field to help prepare your subordinates. They may think that the TMK is garbage or that you should be constructing the White House out of MRE cardboard, but they are likely to notice your initiative. In addition, your subordinates are going to notice that you went above and beyond in your preparation.

At the end of the day, this Army terrain model kit costs approx $40 but will last for a few years. It is not the key to a successful mission brief, but a prepared, confident, and competent leader is. An Army terrain model kit is just one way to enhance your mission briefings and should be carried into the field because it can be effectively and quickly deployed at the cost of just a few ounces of weight.

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