Academic journal article Military Review

Unfinished Business

Academic journal article Military Review

Unfinished Business

Article excerpt

The primary audience for this

new manual is commanders and staffs from

battalion to corps when operating at the

tactical level.... Such a manual had not

existed since the early 1960s when FM 100-5

stopped being an infantry division-level

manual with the development of FM 61-100,

Infantry Division Operations.

THE 1993 EDITION of Field Manual (FM) 100-5, Operations, expanded its focus to address global social, political, and economic changes brought on by the collapse of the Soviet Union. Its publication marked the culmination of a 2-year debate during which the Army examined the implications of the post-cold war era. Including operations other than war (OOTW) into the Army's operational doctrine was a conspicuous change from previous editions of the manual. The 1993 edition also developed operational- and even strategic-level concepts to support joint contingency operations and by doing so represented a profound change with enormous implications for every facet of Army operations. The 1993 edition of FM 100-5 codified-and in some cases established-the basis for changing Army organizations, procurement policies, and training.* However, including operational and strategic discussions and OOTW in the 1993 edition left less space for its traditional discussion of the tactical art-a discussion that, in previous editions, had provided keystone definitions of tactical concepts, terminology, and control measures for the Army's subordinate doctrinal manuals.

The impact of the lack of definitions for keystone tactical terms in the 1993 edition of FM 100-5 soon began to appear. Colonel Ed Thurman, then director of the Concepts and Doctrine Directorate (CADD), U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC), and many others observed the proliferation of nonstandard and nondoctrinal terms throughout the Army in the years that followed FM 100-5's publication. They observed this problem at home station unit training exercises, collective training center rotations, and Battle Command Training Program seminars and warfighters. Commonly accepted terms lacked common definitions, and draft manuals produced by different U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) proponents began to reflect small differences in terminology.

Solving this problem required more than just a doctrinal solution since it also affected training and leader development programs. Nevertheless, Thurman saw the development of a tactics manual as the first step to correcting such a problem in a doctrine-based Army. The primary audience for this new manual is commanders and staffs from battalion to corps when operating at the tactical level. It includes some information that applies at the company/team level. It is also intended for officers and noncommissioned officers at TRADOC schools and cadets in precommissioning programs.

Manual Development Highlights

The 1994 TRADOC reorganization gave Thurman the chance to divert resources from lower-- priority missions to produce a manual that would provide the necessary keystone tactical guidance for the entire Army. Such a manual had not existed since the early 1960s when FM 100-5 stopped being an infantry division-level manual with the development of FM 61 - 100, Infantry Division Operations. Thurman established a three-man writing team and gave it 6 months to research the development of tactical concepts from the 1940s to the present. Fort Leavenworth's Combined Arms Research Library (CARL) greatly assisted in this process because the team could review about 150 obsolete manuals from CARL's collection. The team also checked selected British, German, and Russian tactical concepts and doctrinal publications. The team found remarkable continuity in American tactical thought throughout the 55-year period, with an occasional surprise-like introducing, in the mid-- 1950s, the mobile defense as a type of defensive operation. …

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