-=::) Dante (::=-
This response is a little late for your play session, but one thing I've found that speeds things along and increases the overseer odds a bit is a timer. Your players are are commandos rushing into battle and making split second decisions, 1 minute for the team leader to hand out the order markers, and thirty seconds between each action. Don't meet that in time? Take an additional adrenaline. Picks up the pace and adds to the tension!
Have you used those time limits (1 min orders, 30 sec. actions) with a group of entirely new players?
Wondering if perhaps in a first learning game being a touch more forgiving would still move things along and add tension without completely stressing out the already overwhelmed newbies.