DOCTRINE AND TRAINING LITERATURE
"Doctrine provides a military organization with a common philosophy, a common language, a common purpose, and a unity of effort."
General George H. Decker, 1960
Users of this manual must understand the elements
of doctrinal literature and their relationships to each other.
The commonly used terms doctrine, tactics, techniques,
and procedures are interrelated and mutually supportive;
yet, each term has its usage, level of detail, and place in the
hierarchy of doctrinal publications. Because there is a close
interrelationship, publications overlap in what they provide to
the user. Figure C-1 illustrates the relationship of these doctrinal
terms and publications.
Figure C-1. Doctrinal and training literature.
Doctrine is the body of fundamental principles by
which military forces guide their actions in support of national
objectives. It is authoritative, but requires judgment in application.
Doctrine provides the fighting philosophy of the Army, establishes
a common language, and structures the manner within which units
plan and conduct combat operations. Doctrine is not absolute;
it is applied by the leader to meet the circumstances of the situation
being faced. Doctrine provides for this flexibility with broad
fundamentals and principles for conducting operations. Leaders
well grounded in doctrine understand how to synchronize the elements
of combat power and apply tactics, techniques, and procedures
using the assets available to accomplish the mission.
Doctrine is described in field manuals. FM 100-5
defines the system of warfighting practiced by the US Army. FM
100-15 and FM 71-100 expand on this foundation by describing the
manner in which corps and divisions fight to implement this basic
doctrine. FM 17-95 describes the combat doctrine of cavalry and
is a capstone manual for cavalry operations. It defines the role,
operational requirements, mission tasks, battlefield functions,
and command and control relationships of cavalry units. This manual
is not oriented on a specific organizational structure. It does,
however, define the capabilities that cavalry must possess to
meet doctrinal requirements. Leaders at all levels apply this
doctrine to their unique organizational and operational situations
and use various tactics and techniques to accomplish the doctrine.
Tactics describes how the leader carries out doctrine.
Tactics has two basic meanings, both relating to the arrangement
of forces for battle:
- The employment of units in combat.
- The ordered arrangement and maneuver of units in relation to each other and to the enemy in order to use their full potential.
Tactics in the first case is the accomplishment of
an assigned mission by the commander or leader. Tactics in the
second case is a description of how the commander should arrange
his forces and maneuver to accomplish a type of mission or task.
This is the part of doctrinal literature used for training and
preparation for combat. Tactics presented in manuals, like doctrine,
is applied with judgment by the leader. FMs prescribe "how
to fight" and mission training plans (MTP) describe "what
FM 17-95 describes tactics to some extent to illustrate
the doctrinal principles and to provide how-to guidance to commanders.
Unit-oriented FMs provide a more detailed discussion of tactics
with a focus on specific types of cavalry organizations. C-2 shows
the hierarchy of field manuals that apply to cavalry units.
(Tk/Mech Co Tm)
(Ar Cav Trp)
(Air Cav Trp)
(Air Cav Trp)
(Sct Ldr's Handbook)
(Sct Ldr's Handbook)
Note: Figure excludes MTPs.
Figure C-2. Hierarchy of cavalry field manuals.
Techniques are the methods of performing any act,
especially the detailed methods used by troops or commanders in
performing assigned tasks. Techniques describe the basic methods
of using equipment and personnel. Techniques give details on how
commanders actually carry out assignments. They improve a force's
efficiency by ensuring uniformity of action or by ensuring actions
of various individuals and elements complement those of other
individuals or elements.
FMs and MTPs provide a description of techniques
using the personnel and equipment available in actual organizations.
These techniques show at a more detailed level how to use available
assets to carry out tactics.
Procedures are the lowest level of detail. They address
how-to at the task level. Procedures are a particular course or
mode of action that describes how to perform a certain task. Procedures
include the standing methods used by units to accomplish tasks,
weapon and equipment operating steps, crew drills, staff action
and coordination requirements, and methods of target engagement
by direct and indirect fire weapons. Procedures are building blocks
of individual and collective task accomplishment that serve as
the foundation of tactics and techniques.
Procedures are explained in unit SOPs, mission training
plans, soldier's manuals, operator's manuals, technical manuals,
and similar publications.
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