F100 Case Study Writing Guide


The Army School System (TASS)

US Army Command and General Staff School

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

F100: Force Management


Appendix C

F100 Case Study Writing Guide





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.  CGSC has developed this project to simulate realistic staff processes and not as an academic essay.  You will adhere to a directed staff paper format, conduct in-progress reviews (azimuth checks), and summarize a large amount of information into a five-minute wave top brief to leadership.


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) one azimuth check, (2) written product, and (3) presentation. Your audience is a senior officer and not a force management officer.  They will generally understand force management and your branch. Use an appropriate mix of plain-English and technical language in your case study.


Azimuth Check Phase


During the azimuth check 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. Your outline (or brief narrative) is due at the beginning of the F107 lesson. Submit Azimuth Check in the F106 folder.


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

  1. Proposal
  2. Issue
  3. Possible Approaches
  4. Recommended Approach
  5. DOTMLPF-P Impacts
  6. Operational Concept





Written Product Phase


The written product phase consists of writing and submitting your paper at the beginning of the F110 lesson.  Your submission will generally conform to standards in ST 22-2:

  • Pages have one-inch borders on all sides.
  • Font is Arial size 12.
  • Double-space lines and paragraphs.
  • Indent new paragraphs
  • Include a cover page containing your name, staff group, and date. The cover page is not numbered.
  • Page one of the paper is the first page (starting with Section 1 of the format)
  • Pages are numbered on the bottom and centered.
  • Identify and cite outside sources using end notes. Turabian is the standard.
  • Put all graphics (tables, sketches, diagrams, etc.) in appendices (not in the body of the written product).
  • Appendices do not count toward the length of your paper. The title page does not count toward the length of your paper.


Presentation Phase


During the presentation phase, you will provide a short (five-minute) information brief intended to gain buy-in and/or solicit additional guidance for further development in F111. This takes place at a general officer level, similar to 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


What follows is the information requirements for the formatted paper.  The format includes:

  • Recommended length as a guideline to achieve your required You manage your own information paper. If you apply the recommended lengths, you will achieve five 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.
  • In addition to being an opportunity for you to explore intellectually, this paper is an assessment of F100 learning objectives. Include all relevant domains of DOTMLPF-P, but it must include materiel and organizational impacts to meet the standards established in ELO 8.2.
















Staff Group





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



This is your BLUF:  one to three 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: 1-3 sentences; key lessons:  F102)

  1. ISSUE:

Identify the problem you are attempting to solve.  Provide the operating environment context that drives your capability requirement.  Identify the required capability, compare it to the current capability, and describe the capability gap.  To validate the requirement, you must link your problem to strategy or a concept.  Easy links could be to the six Army modernization priorities or 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).  These are Army-specific but provide a wealth of options.  Linking to other national security documents is also acceptable.  (recommended length: 1 page; key lessons: F101-F102)


Identify and describe a range of options across at least two different DOTMLPF-P domains that offer solutions to the problem.  Because F100 must assess your understanding of ELO standards relating to materiel and organizational change, you will have to address those two in the paper.  One strategy is to identify a materiel solution and then to identify a second-order effect that drives an organizational change.  This section contains multiple primary solution approaches; second-order effects are the subject of section 5.  (recommended length: 0.25 pages; key lessons: F102)


Describe your recommended solution approach and the DOTMLPF-P domain it primarily belongs to.  If this is a materiel solution, 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). If this is an organizational solution, describe what the organization 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: .5 pages; key lessons: F103)


Identify possible impacts (second-order effects) that your solution will have across other DOTMLPF-P domains.  To assess F100 learning objectives, you must address organizational and materiel domains.  If you have already discussed one of these domains as your recommended approach, you need only include the other.  Retain your paper’s focus on the primary recommendation.  (recommended length: 1 page; 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.  Describe the roles and functions it will perform?  (recommended length: 1 page; 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.  Use one or more of the Force Integration Functional Areas (FIFA) to identify concerns in integrating this solution.

Prepare to compete for limited resources in TAA.  To help the Army prioritize, provide an impact statement if the Army does not resource the solution.  Your impact statement will be a logical argument for how the final resourcing decision for this solution impacts the Army.  A good technique is to look at impacts to commanders’ options.  Consider impacts to commanders’ options that contain words like “enable, allow, deny, limit,” or “delay.”  (recommended length: 0.5 page; key lessons: F106)


Describe how this proposal contributes to sustainable readiness’s requirement to provide a trained and ready force.  Consider the immediate impacts during fielding and integration.  Also consider the long-term impacts on readiness after it is fielded and integrated.  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: 0.25 pages; key lessons: all)

POINT OF CONTACT:  Name, branch/nation, staff group, and email address.

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