As building blocks for future learning, please read this excerpt from Chapter 5 of FM 3-0:
The Factors of METT-TC
5-12. METT-TC refers to factors that are fundamental to assessing and visualizing: Mission, Enemy, Terrain and weather, Troops and support available, Time available, and Civil considerations. The first five factors are not new. However, the nature of full spectrum operations requires commanders to assess the impact of nonmilitary factors on operations. Because of this added complexity, civil considerations has been added to the familiar METT-T to form METT-TC. All commanders use METT-TC to start their visualization. Staff estimates may address individual elements of, and add to, the commander's visualization.
5-13. . Commanders determine the mission through analysis of the tasks assigned. The results of that analysis yield the essential tasks that, together with the purpose of the operation, clearly indicate the action required. The mission includes what tasks must be accomplished; who is to do them; and when, where, and why the tasks are to be done.
5-14. . The analysis of the enemy includes current information about his strength, location, activity, and capabilities. Commanders and staffs also assess the most likely enemy courses of action. In stability operations and support operations, the analysis includes adversaries, potentially hostile parties, and other threats to success. Threats may include the spread of infectious disease, regional instabilities, or misinformation. Commanders consider asymmetric as well as conventional threats.
5-15. . Analysis of terrain and weather helps commanders determine observation and fields of fire, avenues of approach, key terrain, obstacles and movement, and cover and concealment (OAKOC [see FM 6-0] and here). Terrain includes manmade features such as cities, airfields, bridges, railroads, and ports. Weather and terrain also have pronounced effects on ground maneuver, precision munitions, air support, and CSS operations. The nature of operations extends the analysis of the natural environment (weather and terrain) into the context of the physical environment of a contaminated battlefield. To find tactical advantages, commanders and staffs analyze and compare the limitations of the environment on friendly, enemy, and neutral forces.
5-16. . Commanders assess the quantity, training level, and psychological state of friendly forces. The analysis includes the availability of critical systems and joint support. Commanders examine combat, combat support (CS), and CSS assets. These assets include contractors (see FM 3-100.21).
5-17. . Commanders assess the time available for planning, preparing, and executing the mission. They consider how friendly and enemy or adversary forces will use the time and the possible results. Proper use of the time available can fundamentally alter the situation. Time available is normally explicitly defined in terms of the tasks assigned to the unit and implicitly bounded by enemy or adversary capabilities.
5-18. . Civil considerations relate to civilian populations, culture, organizations, and leaders within the AO. Commanders consider the natural environment, to include cultural sites, in all operations directly or indirectly affecting civilian populations. Commanders include civilian political, economic, and information matters as well as more immediate civilian activities and attitudes.
5-19. At the operational level, civil considerations include the interaction between military operations and the other instruments of national power. Civil considerations at the tactical level generally focus on the immediate impact of civilians on the current operation; however, they also consider larger, long-term diplomatic, economic, and informational issues. Civil considerations can tax the resources of tactical commanders while shaping force activities. Civil considerations define missions to support civil authorities.
5-20. Political boundaries of nations, provinces, and towns are important civil considerations. Conflict often develops across boundaries, and boundaries may impose limits on friendly action. Boundaries, whether official or not, determine which civilian leaders and institutions can influence a situation. These considerations can be important at all levels.
5-21. Media presence guarantees that a global audience views US military activities in near real-time. Commanders factor public opinion into their vision of the battlespace. The activities of the force-including individual soldiers-can have far reaching effects on domestic and international opinion. The media also affect activities and opinions within the AO and often prove a valuable information resource.
5-22. The local population and displaced persons influence commanders' decisions. Their presence and the need to address their control, protection, and welfare affect the choice of courses of action and the allocation of resources. In stability operations and support operations, these people are a central feature of AOs.