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FM 3-0

Field Manual
No. 3-0
Department of the Army
Washington, DC, 22 February 2011

FM 3-0


DISTRIBUTION RESTRICTION: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.


FM 3-0 is one of the Army’s two capstone doctrinal publications; the other is FM 1, The Army. FM 3-0 presents overarching doctrinal guidance and direction for conducting operations. The seven updated chapters that make up this edition of Operations constitute the Army’s view of how it conducts prompt and sustained operations on land and sets the foundation for developing the other fundamentals and tactics, techniques, and procedures detailed in subordinate field manuals. FM 3-0 also provides operational guidance for commanders and trainers at all echelons and forms the foundation for Army Education System curricula:

  • Chapter 1 establishes the context of land operations in terms of a global environment of persistent conflict, the operational environment, and unified action. It discusses the Army’s expeditionary and campaign capabilities while emphasizing that it is Soldiers and leaders who remain the Army’s most important advantage. Change 1 adds a brief discussion of hybrid threats and implications for Army operations.

  • Chapter 2 describes a spectrum of conflict extending from stable peace to general war. From that spectrum, it establishes five operational themes into which various joint operations fit. This chapter helps Army leaders to understand and differentiate between the requirements of diverse joint operations such as peacekeeping and counterinsurgency. It shapes supporting doctrine for each operational theme. Change 1 eliminates some graphics used to illustrate the continuum of operations. It also expands and clarifies the discussion of major combat operations.

  • Chapter 3 is the most important chapter in the book; it describes the Army’s operational concept—full spectrum operations. Full spectrum operations seize, retain, and exploit the initiative and achieve decisive results through combinations of four elements: offense, defense, and stability or civil support. It establishes mission command as the preferred method of exercising battle command. Change 1 moves the discussion of mission command from the section within the operational concept to chapters 4, 5, and 6 to consolidate and emphasize mission command. The discussion of stability operations now includes security force assistance. Change 1 also modifies the discussion of civil support tasks from three tasks to four to conform to the newly published Army field manual on civil support operations, FM 3-28.

  • Chapter 4 addresses combat power, the means by which Army forces conduct full spectrum operations. It replaces the older battlefield operating systems (“BOS”) with six warfighting functions, bound by leadership and employing information as the elements of combat power. Combined arms and mutual support are the payoff. Change 1 replaces the command and control element of combat power and warfighting function with mission command. The discussion of the intelligence warfighting function now includes sections moved from the old chapter 7. This chapter defines mission command warfighting function. The mission command warfighting function now includes a discussion of inform and influence and cyber/electromagnetic activities. These activities and others replace the previously discussed “information tasks” deleted from the old “information superiority” chapter.

  • Chapter 5 reviews the principles of command and control and their affects on the operations process—plan, prepare, execute, and assess. The emphasis is on commanders and the central role that they have in battle command. Commanders understand, visualize, describe, direct, lead, and continually assess. Change 1 provides a rewritten chapter 5 that discusses the commander and defines mission command. Chapter 5 discusses the four commander’s tasks under mission command. It discusses how the commander drives the operations process and how the commander understands, visualizes, describes, directs, leads, and assesses operations. Chapter 5 describes how the commander builds teams, and how the commander leads inform and influence activities.

  • Chapter 6 discusses operational art, including operational design and the levels of war. Operational art represents the creative aspect of operational-level command. It is the expression of informed vision across the levels of war. Change 1 provides a new chapter 6 on the science of control. It discusses the three staff tasks under mission command, which are conducting the operations process, conducting knowledge management and information management, and conducting inform and influence and cyber/electromagnetic activities.

  • Chapter 7 is about information superiority, particularly the five Army information tasks, purpose, and staff responsibility. Change 1 eliminates the chapter on information superiority. It is now an updated discussion of the previous chapter 6. It provides an updated discussion of operational art to emphasize design (as discussed in FM 5-0).

  • Chapter 8 discusses the requirement for Army forces in joint campaigns conducted across intercontinental distances. It frames the challenges created by the requirement for Army forces in terms of strategic and operational reach. Change 1 retains chapter 8 without other substantial change.

Four appendixes complement the body of the manual. The principles of war and operations are in appendix A. Command and support relationships are in appendix B. A brief description of modular force is in appendix C. A discussion of the purpose of doctrine in the Army is in appendix D. This appendix includes a chapter-by-chapter summary of the important changes, including those made in change 1, to FM 3-0. It also includes tables listing new, modified, and rescinded terms for which this manual is the proponent.

Army doctrine is consistent and compatible with joint doctrine. FM 3-0 links landpower doctrine to joint operations doctrine as expressed in joint doctrinal publications, specifically, JP 3-0, Doctrine for Joint Operations. FM 3-0 also uses text and concepts developed with North Atlantic Treaty Organization partners.

The principal audience for FM 3-0 is the middle and senior leadership of the Army, officers in the rank of major and above who command Army forces in major operations and campaigns or serve on the staffs that support those commanders. It is also applicable to the civilian leadership of the Army.

FM 3-0 uses joint terms where applicable. Most terms with joint or Army definitions are in both the glossary and the text. Glossary references: Terms for which FM 3-0 is the proponent publication (the authority) have an asterisk in the glossary. Text references: Definitions for which FM 3-0 is the proponent publication are in boldfaced text. These terms and their definitions will be in the next revision of FM 1-02. For other definitions in the text, the term is italicized and the number of the proponent publication follows the definition.

“Adversaries” refers to both enemies and adversaries when used in joint definitions.

“Opponents” refers to enemies and adversaries.

FM 3-0 applies to the Active Army, Army National Guard/Army National Guard of the United States, and U.S. Army Reserve unless otherwise stated.

Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) Files

FM 3-0: Operations WITH CHANGE 1 (4,067 KB)
FM 3-0: Operations CHANGE 1 (2,945 KB)

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