The military’s recent operational tempo has placed more and more responsibility and pressure on today’s small unit leaders. Advances in technology and the procurement of equipment for the small unit leader’s suite of gear, taken in combination with modifications to doctrine and evolving tactics, only adds to what was an already large and disparate pool of required knowledge needed for only basic proficiency, let alone actual mastery. Today’s small unit leader must be proficient in an array of radios, optics, night vision devices, and global positioning systems along with a multitude of weapons systems. As the proverbial “tip of the spear,” a small unit leader must be able to plan, coordinate, communicate, lead and execute under the most stressful of circumstances.
They lacked weatherproof durability, standardized information and a re-writable surface.
Today’s small unit leader is responsible and accountable for such a large amount of information that it is impossible to commit it all to memory or be capable of recalling the needed information when the moment counts. For years, the small unit leader has adapted and overcome through a variety of innovation and resourcefulness; from notebooks in zip-lock bags, to laminated paper, to homemade cheat sheets stuffed inside the pages of a flight crew checklist. Unfortunately such homemade solutions, although a certain advantage over having nothing, fell short in a number of areas.
Since 2004, Mission Information Resources has adeptly addressed this need with the Tactical Handbook, Unit Leader, Small, commonly referred to as THULS. This patented concept incorporates a specially manufactured paper replacement material that provides the user with a durable, re-writable surface that contains the most current information used by today’s Small Unit Leader.