Operational Art and Design (TORCH) Exam


Do not use first-person or passive voice.

1. This examination is designed to test your critical reasoning skills and your comprehension of the concepts contained in operational art and operational design, as well as the elements of operational design in the context of campaign and major operation planning. The exam is due at the end of C403 and is worth 40% of the C400 grade.

2. You must complete the online lesson C403 Operational Art and Operational Design. You may use the online lesson, readings, and references to help you answer the exam. Additionally, there are two videos that explain key concepts in preparation for the exam. You can find the videos in the C403 lesson folder in Blackboard. The videos are: (1) Plan Green by Mr. Dale Eikmeier and (2) Arguing the Operational Environment (OE): Identifying the Center of Gravity (COG) by Mr. Dale Eikmeier and LTC Tino Perez.

3. To do well on the C403 Operational Art and Design exam, you must do the following.

• Complete the C403 online lesson.
• Read the required readings and reference materials.
• Watch the two required videos.
• You may watch the optional videos if you need additional instruction.
• Review the Operational Approach Student Aid.

3. There is a total of 8 requirements/questions on the exam; some of the exam questions have multiple parts. Carefully read the document, C403 Contextual Background and Supporting Documents; this document contains Part 2 Contextual Background & Part 3 Supporting Documents for the exam. Read the information in Parts 2 and 3 and then reread the information, making notes of pertinent information. Repeat this process multiple times if necessary, before attempting to answer the questions.

4. You should spend about 2 weeks reviewing C403 Contextual Background and Supporting Documents before responding to the exam questions. You must use critical thinking as you analyze the historical planning documents, and you must justify/explain your answers on the exam. A DDE faculty member will evaluate your exam based on clarity and conciseness.

5. Your answers must be typed and double-spaced. Use Times New Roman 12-pitch font and one-inch margins. The exam specifies how long your answers should be; for most questions, your answers will not exceed one typed page. Do not use first-person or passive voice. Clearly identify the requirement and question you are addressing.

Question 1. Response xxxxxxxxxxxx
Question 2. Response xxxxxxxxxxxx

6. Think operationally (theater strategic and operational levels) – avoid tactical details. Think at the operational (not tactical) level to the desired end state. This will assist you in formulating your answers. Operation TORCH is a major operation that can only be understood in the context of the overarching Mediterranean/North African Campaign.

7. The exam is divided into two (2) sections:

Section A – mainly focused on operational design in the context of the North Africa campaign

Section B – mainly focused on selected elements of operational design in the context of Operation TORCH


Requirement # Requirement Value Requirement Name

1 15 OE, Problem, and End state
2 18 Theater-level Adversary COG
3 15 Allied Operational Approach
4 10 Military End State
5 18 Allied COG for Operation TORCH
6 10 Attack against Enemy COG
7 7 Decisive Points
8 7 Culmination Points


1. Part 2 contains contextual background information on the situation relevant to the M/NATO theater and the North African campaign and puts Operation TORCH in context. Part 3 contains the outline plan prepared by planners of Headquarters, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, Norfolk Group, (which was equivalent to Geographic Combatant Command Headquarters) for Operation TORCH (2nd Revision), submitted to the Combined Chiefs of Staff for the 1942 invasion of North Africa. Within the plan are documents from the Combined Chiefs and the Allied Expeditionary Force Commander in Chief that clarify thought and intent. These are the actual documents from the archives reprinted only for legibility (errors in the original were intentionally not corrected).

Understanding of both Parts 2 and 3 is required to successfully complete this exam as Part 2 provides context to Part 3. The historical documents in Part 3 were chosen for two reasons. First, the language and terminology used does not specifically give away or spell out the answers, although the information required to answer the questions is contained in the plan. This situation requires you to use critical reasoning combined with a full understanding of the concepts of operational art and operational design to determine your answers. Second, since this is the first time many students are being asked to demonstrate understanding of these concepts, CGSC selected a relatively straightforward conventional operation.

2. Be sure to justify your responses. Take the time to study the plan and supporting documents thoroughly before you answer the questions. You should spend about two weeks preparing for the exam, and about one week answering the exam. 3 You will not find the answers on the web, in the library or in any other historical source. The TORCH plan used in this exam was modified at least one more time before it was executed; so do not use any other references. Use the contextual background and planning documents provided for this exam. Think about your responses. There are maps of the Operation TORCH AOR in the document, C403 Contextual Background and Supporting Documents.