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US Army Command and General Staff School

Command and General Staff Officer’s Course (CGSOC) Common Core


The intent of the F100 case study is to allow you to explore areas of force management while relating them to your basic branch and/or military area of interest.  As a field grade officer, you will frequently be asked to analyze new information, to formulate a position or a recommendation, and then to communicate that position in a clear and a concise manner.  CGSC has developed this project to simulate realistic staff processes that include adhering to a directed information paper format, conducting in-progress reviews, and summarizing a large amount of information into a shorter wave-top brief to leadership.

The student-developed case study requires you to apply knowledge from the F100 lessons and reading materials to create a relevant solution for the Army (or your service / nation) and present it for consideration.  If you use sources other than course materials, cite the sources using methods outlined in ST 22-2: Writing and Speaking Skills for Army Leaders.  Instructors will evaluate you on (1) how well you understand force management systems and implications (content) by applying that information in developing a coherent argument and (2) whether the tone and style are consistent with that expected of professional staff work (written and verbal communication skills).

Instructional Overview

The student-developed case study will consist of three phases:  (1) azimuth checks, (2) written product, and (3) presentation.  You will clearly notice that phases 1 and 2 overlap and all phases are interrelated.  As a base branch staff officer, your audience is not a force management officer, but they will understand force management and have general understanding of your branch.  As a staff officer in these conditions, use an appropriate mix of plain-English and technical language in your case study.  Your submissions are described in detail by phase.

Azimuth Checks Phase

During the azimuth checks phase, you will present an outline that demonstrates you are on a path to success in your case study.  Each azimuth check contains an outline (or brief narrative) describing how you intend to meet the information requirement for the appropriate portions of the written product.  The azimuth checks will be graded in accordance with the rubrics as published in appendix a of the F100 block advance sheet.

The first azimuth check will cover sections one through three of the paper:

  1. Proposal
  2. Issue
  3. Recommended Approaches

The second azimuth check will cover sections 4-6 of the paper.

  • Materiel Solution
  • Organizational Solution
  • Operational Concept

This phase ends at F106.  By the conclusion of F106, you have received all the instruction you need to complete your case study.

Written Product Phase

The written product phase consists of the writing and submission of your paper.  Your submission is in a structured format and you must:

  • Include a title page containing your name, staff group, and date
  • Use font:  Times New Roman, 11.
  • Double-space.
  • Indent the first line of each paragraph.
  • Identify and cite outside sources using end notes.
  • Put all graphics (tables, sketches, diagrams, etc.) in appendices (not in the body of the written product).
  • Extend through at least three-fourths of the tenth page and not exceed the end of the twelfth page.  Appendices do not count toward the length of your paper.  The title page does not count toward the length of your paper.
  • Submit to your instructor no later than F108 in the format at the end of this document.

Presentation Phase

During the presentation phase, you will provide a short (five-minute) information brief intended to gain buy-in from a general officer level forum. This replicates a final check with your Center of Excellence in preparation for an Army Requirements Oversight Council (AROC) brief to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army.

The Written Product Format

This format includes:

  • Recommended length as a guideline to achieve your required length.  You manage your own information paper.  If you apply the recommended lengths, you will achieve approximately ten pages.
  • Lessons that provide most of the material for each section.  This enables you to rapidly reference relevant material and can help you write your paper across the course.  Do not write lesson numbers in your final submission.
  • Title page.  The first page contains your name, staff group, and the date.

(Note:  Insert header with Short title and your name; insert footer with page number only; do not include this note in your final paper.)


This is your BLUF:  one to five sentences that tell your audience what domain(s) of DOTMLPF-P you suggest the Army use as approach(es) to provide what capability.  For international and sister-service students reading these instructions, replace “Army” with your nation/service.  (recommended length: 1-5 sentences; key lessons:  F102)

  • ISSUE:

Identify the problem you are attempting to solve.  This should be comparable to the Functional Area Analysis plus the Functional Needs Analysis.  You must link your problem to strategy or a concept.  Easy links could be to the six Army modernization priorities, the related eight cross-functional teams (discussed in several locations, including Six priorities, CFT: Long-Range Precision Fires, CFT: Future Vertical Lift, CFT: Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing, CFT: Next Generation Combat Vehicles, CFT: Army Network, CFT: Air and Missile Defense Capabilities, CFT: Soldier Lethality, and CFT: Synthetic Training Environment) and/or the seventeen gaps.  These are Army-specific, but provide a wealth of options.  Linking to other national security documents is also acceptable.  (recommended length: 2 pages; key lessons: F101-F102)


Identify and describe at least two different DOTMLPF-P domains that offer solutions to the problem and make a recommendation.  At some point, you will have to identify both a materiel and organizational change.  One strategy is to identify a materiel solution and then to identify a second-order effect that drives an organizational change.  Describe why you recommend the solution that you have chosen.  (recommended length: 0.5 pages; key lessons: F102)


Whatever domain your recommended solution is in, you must identify a materiel change that is required to support your solution and complete this section.  Retain your paper’s focus on the primary recommended solution approach.  Describe what the materiel solution must do, should do, and could do.  Using your best professional military judgement, describe the maturity of the technology to provide initial insights into the technology readiness level (TRL). (recommended length: 1.25 pages; key lessons: F103)


Whatever domain your recommended solution is in, you must identify an organizational change that is required to support your solution and complete this section.  Retain your paper’s focus on the primary recommendation.  Describe what the organizational solution should be able to do by writing a mission statement similar to those found in TOE narratives.  Describe the organization’s core competencies (defining capabilities that distinguish it from other organizations).  Describe its size and echelon.  Identify key equipment requirements.  (recommended length: 1.25 pages; key lessons: F104-F105)


Explain in conceptual terms how the proposed solution will overcome the capability gap that you have described.  This concept will focus on how the Army solves the problem and how the solution will work on the battlefield within appropriate echelons.  Describe how the Army (think “commander”) will employ the solution.  What roles and functions will it perform?  (recommended length: 1.5 pages; key lessons: F104)


Explain how the Army will implement the change.  Focus on practical matters related to force integration and second and third order effects across the domains of DOTMLPF-P using one or more of the Force Integration Functional Areas (FIFA).

Prepare to compete in TAA.  The Army has limited resources.  To help the Army prioritize, provide an impact statement if the Army does not resource the solution.  The impact statement is a logical argument for how the final resourcing decision for this solution impacts the Army.  For most solutions, you should look at impacts to commanders’ options.  Arguments often contain words like “enable, allow, deny, limit,” or “delay.”  (recommended length: 1 page; key lessons: F106)


Briefly describe how others will play a part in approving and resourcing your solution.  Other key players include the President, Congress, CCDRs, the G-3/5/7 and the G-8. (recommended length: 1 page; key lessons: all)


Describe how this proposal contributes to sustainable readiness’s requirement to provide a trained and ready force.  Identify how this proposal can succeed for both known and contingency requirements.  Identify concerns.  (recommended length: 0.5 pages; key lessons: F106)


Identify possible methods that the Army can pursue to expedite the process in getting the capability to the field.  What would be the advantage/disadvantage of pursuing one of these? (recommended length: 0.5 pages; key lessons: all)

  1. POINT OF CONTACT:  Student’s name, branch/service/nation, staff group, and email address
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