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The Army Mission Essential Task List (METL)
A mission Essential Task is a collective task a unit must be able to perform successfully to accomplish
its doctrinal or directed mission. All mission-essential tasks are equally important. Since organizations
must be capable of performing all elements of full spectrum operations, sometimes simultaneously,
they cannot afford to train exclusively on one element at the expense of the others. Similarly, they
cannot feasibly be proficient in all tasks at all points on the spectrum of conflict. Therefore, commanders
use their METL to focus organizational training.
Commanders and staffs assess the unit’s state of training in terms of the METL. They determine each
task’s training priority. Commanders consider two factors when assigning training priorities: their assessment
of the unit’s proficiency in each task, and the risk to future operations entailed by accepting a lower
level of proficiency on that task. Commanders assign training priorities in coordination with the higher
The METL provides the foundation for the unit’s training strategy (see paragraph 4-93) and, subsequently,
its training plans. Commanders develop training strategies to attain proficiency in Mission Essential
Tasks. All mission-essential tasks are essential to mission readiness; therefore, mission-essential
tasks are not prioritized. However, commanders focus efforts and resources on those tasks assessed as
needing the most training.
There are three types of mission-essential task list:
1. Joint mission-essential task list (joint METL or JMETL), which is derived from the Universal Joint Task List.
2. Core mission-essential task list (core METL or CMETL), which is standardized and based on doctrine and the
organization’s mission according to its authorization document.
3. Directed mission-essential task list (directed METL or DMETL), which is developed by the commander upon
receipt of a directed mission.