July 01, 2006
The organization and format of this article may be confusing for some; it may appear to be written in a foreign language. However, to others--namely, military officers and senior non-commissioned officers--it will be instantly familiar and comprehended. "The Grinder" is produced following the NATO operations order format. An operations order (OPORD or Op O) is a directive issued by a commander to his subordinates in order to effect the coordinated execution of a specific operation (Ranger Handbook, SH 21-76). For this article, the operation or task is a group workout.
The five-paragraph NATO OPORD format, and annexes, are used to organize the commander's direction, to ensure a common operating picture, and to assist subordinate leaders in fully understanding the commander's intent and what results he wants the operation to produce--the end state. It is a logical, clear, and concise method of conveying a plan. The five standard paragraphs that make up the OPORD are: SITUATION, MISSION, EXECUTION, SERVICE SUPPORT, and COMMAND AND SIGNAL.
Because the CrossFit Journal is read by a wide range of military units in the United States and around the world, terms from the NATO glossary of abbreviations, AAP-15(2006), are used whenever possible to clarify directions. The primary audience for "The Grinder" is the military and law enforcement community. However, any agency conducting group physical training will find the content useful, once they get used to the format.
For an OPORD to be effective, it must 1) be constructed so that personnel understand the intent, their own tasks, and the context of those tasks; 2) inform personnel what effect they are to achieve and why it needs to be achieved (for the "Grinder", it is to achieve unit cohesion and combat fitness under fatigue conditions); 3) identify the resources required to execute the task; and 4) impose a minimum of control measures to ensure freedom of action and flexibility.
"The Grinder" is a direct result of the requests generated by last month's CFJ article "Large-Group CrossFit Training" for additional articles addressing platoon and squad combat fitness training.