Academic journal article Military Review

A New Doctrine Framework for the Land Component Forces

Academic journal article Military Review

A New Doctrine Framework for the Land Component Forces

Article excerpt


THE ARMY IS exploring ways to make doctrine more timely and relevant through its Doctrine 2015 Project. Army doctrine authorities are seeking to develop as many dual-service Army and Marine Corps doctrine publications as possible. Both services project military force on land and approach doctrine within the same general framework. Transferring as many Army and Marine Corps publications as possible into dual-service publications will help save resources, expedite the doctrine production process, and establish a body of doctrinal literature that both services can use to share the best tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs).

Doctrine Development

Approximately 400 Army field manuals (FMs) and Army TTP manuals were on the Army's official doctrine website in November 2010. (1) The Marine Corps had over 270 Marine Corps Doctrinal Publications (MCDPs), Marine Corps Warfighting Publications (MCWPs), Marine Corps Reference Publications (MCRPs), and Marine Corps Interim Publications (MCIPs). (2)

Many of these books are hundreds of pages long. It commonly takes from 12 to 18 months, and in many cases much longer, to develop an Army manual under the current process. Often, by the time the Army or Marine Corps publishes a manual, it is already time to revise it.

Both services have undertaken efforts to remedy this problem. As of September 2011, the Marine Corps had 304 service publications, 148 of which were multi-service manuals, and 93 were dual-designated with the Army. (3) Currently, the Marine Corps shares approximately 30 percent of its doctrine with the Army.

In 2009, the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) ordered Army doctrine authorities to explore ways to make Army doctrine more timely and relevant to the force. In response to this order, the Combined Arms Doctrine Directorate (CADD) devised a new framework for Army doctrine that--

* Reduces the number of manuals to provide clarity to the force.

* Reduces the number of pages in each new manual to no more than 200, with a few unavoidable exceptions.

* Develops Army TTP (ATTP) manuals to expedite and enhance doctrine.

The Army is exploring new doctrine classification options as well. The old system designated all doctrinal manuals as field manuals, which detracted from the true meaning of what a field manual was supposed to be. The Army decided to implement a classification system similar to that of the Marine Corps. It adopted a two-level system made of up FMs and ATTP manuals. These contain doctrinal principles, along with common tactics, techniques, procedures, terms, and symbols that describe how Army organizations conduct operations and train for those operations. This two-tiered system was a step in the right direction, but Army leaders felt more needed to be done.

The Future

The Army will soon field two new levels of doctrine to better explain fundamental and enduring principles and provide detailed information on these principles. Army doctrine publications (ADPs) explain why the Army conducts operations, intelligence, sustainment, leadership, and training, just to name a few. Each of these manuals will only be 10 pages in length. Army doctrine reference publications (ADRPs) provide further details. Field manuals pertain to the operating force and those parts of the generating force that deploy with, or directly support, the operating force in the conduct of operations. By 31 December 2013, there will be only 50 field manuals, a reduction of approximately 88 percent from 2010. Field manuals contain tactics, procedures, and other important information as determined by the proponent. The FMs' appendices contain procedures, that is, prescriptive ways of doing things that must be standardized across the Army. There is one FM for each major category of information down to branch and several functional areas, along with several types of operations. …

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