Military commanders begin the process of creating after-action reports by selecting and training qualified observers and controllers, determining the key events those individuals need to observe and conducting training exercises under those guidelines. After the exercise is complete, observers and controllers organize these observations into soldier-specific assessments and revise standing operating procedures as necessary.
Every after-action review is accompanied by a review of the Army Training and Evaluation Program, reviews of mission training plans and specific soldier training publications during the planning phase. After this, commanders, observers and controllers agree on a date for the after-action review exercise to occur, determine which soldiers will participate and agree on a site for the training exercise.
After the planning phase is complete, commanders prepare their forces for the after-action review training exercise by reviewing the specific training objectives and orders and reconnoitering the site where training is to take place. The commander's team then prepares the site and conducts a rehearsal.
When after-action reviews determine that specific soldiers have weaknesses to be improved on, commanders typically choose one of three options to resolve the issue at hand. Either the soldier undergoes immediate retraining, is integrated into a tutorship training plan or the commander revises the standard operating procedures concerning the soldier's actions.