Clarifying Mission-Essential and Supporting Collective Tasks

By Training Management DirectorateNovember 18, 2021

FM 7-0 Training was released June 14, 2021
FM 7-0 Training was released June 14, 2021 (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

FM 7-0, Training, released June 14, 2021, describes how the Army trains to compete, fight, and win. Most units in the U.S. Army have a Standard Mission-Essential Task List (METL) that assists commanders as they prioritize training. Prior to October 2021, the Army Training Network (ATN) and the Digital Training Management System (DTMS) displayed Standard METLs with their mission-essential tasks (MET) and related supporting collective tasks (SCT).

The relationship between METs and their SCTs has led to some confusion in the Force in determining MET proficiency.

The Training Management Directorate is working to help leaders understand the relationship between METs and the associated SCTs. Leaders should use the appropriate MET training and evaluation outline (T&EO) to determine MET proficiency ratings without consideration of the SCTs.


FM 7-0, Training, defines a MET as “a collective task on which an organization trains to be proficient in its designed capabilities or assigned mission.” As a collective task, each MET has an associated T&EO that provides the doctrinal task, conditions, standards, and performance steps and measures to which units must train in order to attain proficiency. Leaders use the T&EOs to determine the proficiency rating. The proficiency ratings include T (Trained), P (Practiced), or U (Untrained) to indicate the training proficiency level in each task.

Soldiers train in Hawaii - June, 2021
Schofield Barracks, HI — Soldiers from 1st Platoon, Charlie Battery “Copperheads”, 3-7 Field Artillery, 25th Infantry Division Artillery conducted platoon level live-fire certifications and qualifications at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, June 3, 2021. This live-fire exercise was the culmination of a 96 hour evaluation throughout the Schofield Barracks’ South Range complex that evaluated the platoon’s ability to place timely and accurate indirect and precision fires with M777 Howitzer in support of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division maneuver forces. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Jessica Scott) (Photo Credit: Spc. Jessica Scott) VIEW ORIGINAL
The Confusion

Each MET T&EO includes a list of SCTs and other associated tasks. FM 7-0 defines SCTs as “Collective tasks that support other collective tasks (MET, battle tasks, or another collective task).” Each SCT also has its own T&EO. Within the MET T&EO, individual performance steps may reference an SCT and simultaneously the SCT list refers each task to the supported performance step within the MET T&EO. The cross-referencing of steps to SCTs has led to some confusion. Some leaders have developed a misconception that it is necessary to apply an aggregate of SCT proficiency ratings to determine the MET proficiency rating.

Clarifying the Issue

FM 7-0 provides clarification to the confusion of determining MET proficiency ratings. The manual specifically states: “Although units may train supporting collective tasks in conjunction with METs and battle tasks, leaders do not consider these supporting collective tasks when determining the MET or battle task proficiency rating.” FM 7-0 adds that “Each collective task is evaluated based on its own training and evaluation outline.” In other words, each MET T&EO is a stand-alone document that provides the necessary doctrinal standards to determine MET proficiency ratings. Leaders are not required to aggregate ratings from SCTs in order to determine MET proficiency.

Training and Doctrine Command provides guidance for the development of T&EOs which supports FM 7-0. The guidance states: “Developers identify these [supporting collective] tasks as a reference for leaders, trainers, and evaluators.” The SCTs provide information for leaders to plan and execute training. Leaders can train SCTs separate from METs to build proficiency in the performance steps of a MET prior to execution. SCTs provide a source for trainers and evaluators to gain additional understanding of the MET performance steps. While an SCT may have a direct effect on the successful completion of a performance step, the MET T&EO provides the necessary standards and remains the authoritative document for determining MET proficiency ratings.

An Army Audit Agency (AAA) report also noted the confusion related to determining MET proficiency. The report recommended removing SCTs from the Standard METL construct. The Army G-3/5/7 concurred with the recommendation and directed removal of SCTs from Standard METLs. In compliance with this directive, TRADOC has removed SCTs from METLs in the ATN METL Task Viewer and in DTMS. It is important to note that units can still find SCTs listed in the MET T&EOs to assist with prioritizing, planning, preparing, executing, and evaluating training.

Soldiers training in North Carolina, - November, 2021
Paratroopers assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division engage in a Culminating Training Event (CTE) on Fort Bragg, N.C., November 4, 2021. A CTE demonstrates the tactical readiness and lethality of a fighting force. (U.S. Army photo by Cpl. Hunter Garcia) (Photo Credit: Cpl. Hunter Garcia) VIEW ORIGINAL


There is a relationship between METs and their associated SCTs. SCTs, as their name indicates, support the accomplishment of a performance step within the MET. Leaders can integrate SCT training as part of their training plan to increase the proficiency level of the associated step prior to MET execution. However, leaders determine MET proficiency based on the MET T&EO, not the aggregation of SCT proficiency levels. Additional information and the revised HQDA Standard METLs are available on ATN (