UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


*FM 3-100.4
MCRP 4-11B

Field Manual
No. 3-100.4
Department of the Army
Washington, DC
Marine Corps Reference Publication
No. 4-11B
United States Marine Corps
Washington, DC
15 June 2000

FM 3-100.4/MCRP 4-11B





Change 1, 11 May 2001




Context of Environmental Protection
The Army and Marine Corps Environmental Strategies
Environmental Responsibilities


The Military Decision-Making Process
Environmental-Specific Planning
The Risk Management Process


Battle Focused Training
Environmental Specific Training and Resources


Implications for Military Forces
Environmental Protection During Military Operations
Environmental Protection Operational Principles


Environmental Program Areas
Installation and Facility Responsibilities
Support Planning and Execution
Unit and Installation Environmental Assistance


Environmental Compliance
Establishing a Unit-Level Program
Program Assessment
Unit Self-Assessment


Environmental and Occupational Health Hazards
Risk Management

APPENDIX A     Environmental Regulations, Laws, and Treaties

Sources of Environmental Laws and Regulations
Army/Marine Corps Regulations, Orders, and Pamphlets
Federal Laws
Executive Orders
State Laws
Local Laws
Host Nation Law/Final Governing Standards
International Laws and Treaties
Environmental Compliance Enforcement

APPENDIX B     Environmental Appendix to the Engineer Annex

APPENDIX C     Unit Environmental Standing Operating Procedure (SOP)

APPENDIX D     Sources of Environmental Assistance

BASOPS/Supporting Installation Staff Assistance
Sources of Assistance During Tactical Operations
Other Sources of Assistance

APPENDIX E     Environmental Planning Guidelines

Pre-Operations Guidelines
Guidelines During Operations
Post-Operations Guidelines

APPENDIX F     Risk Management Worksheet

APPENDIX G     Practical Application of Assessing Environmental-Related Risk

Step 1 - Identify (Environmental) Hazards
Step 2 - Assess (Environmental) Hazards
Step 3 - Develop Controls and Make a Decision
Step 4 - Implement Controls
Step 5 - Supervise and Evaluate

APPENDIX H     Unit Environmental Self-Assessment





* Approved for public release; distribution unlimited.




  This field manual (FM) guides the United States (US) Army and the US Marine Corps (USMC) in applying appropriate environmental protection procedures during all types of operations. It also provides basic techniques and procedures for units at the company, battalion, and brigade/regiment levels. This manual states the purposes of military environmental protection, a description of legal requirements, and a summary of current military programs. It also describes the growing strategic significance of environmental factors in the twenty-first century. As a unit procedures manual, it describes how to apply risk management methods to identify actions that may harm the environment and appropriate steps to prevent or mitigate damage. Appendixes provide references, formats, practical applications, checklists for self-assessment, and sources of assistance.


  This doctrine applies to all Army and Marine Corps commanders and staffs (and other Department of Defense (DOD) units/staffs operating under their command authority) responsible for planning and executing operations. It applies to all soldiers and Marines as well-disciplined stewards of the natural resources of this country and protects, within mission requirements, the environment in every area of operations (AOs). For overseas theaters, this doctrine applies to US unilateral operations and US forces in multinational operations, subject to applicable host nation (HN) laws and agreements. Finally, it applies to support provided by the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP).



Unless this publication states otherwise, masculine pronouns do not refer exclusively to men.

The short synopses of laws and regulations contained herein are meant to provide only a thumbnail sketch of the laws and regulations described and are not inclusive of all requirements.

This publication is intended only to improve internal management of the Army and USMC and is not intended to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by any party against the US, its agencies, its officers, or any person.

The proponent of this publication is HQTRADOC. Send comments and recommendations on Department of the Army (DA) Form 2028 (Recommended Changes to Publications and Blank Forms) and forward it directly to Commandant, US Army Engineer School, ATTN: ATSE-DOT-DI, 320 MANCEN Loop, Suite 370, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri 65473-8926..



The military's primary mission is to win this nation's wars through the application of overwhelming combat power. Warfare, by its very nature, is destructive to humans and their natural environment. Environmental damage is a consequence of combat. However, the commander in the field is often required to restrict the application of force. He must conform to the law of land warfare: those written and unwritten conventions and customs that protect against unnecessary suffering and facilitate the restoration of peace. He is, with increasing frequency, constrained by mission requirements that may restrict the use of much of the combat power inherent in his organization.

The US military has historically exercised restraint, even in general war. For example, during World War II in Europe, the military was ordered to limit damage to works of art, churches, monuments, archives and libraries, whenever possible, without endangering troops or mission. Field commanders incorporated this information into their standard decision-making process and made judgments based on military necessity. As the military looks into the next century, and even today, military units should try to avoid unnecessary environmental damage, not only in training, but also across the spectrum of operational missions. A mission's success may be determined by political or socio-economic stability, both of which are affected by environmental factors and resources. The Army and USMC must be able to identify ways to protect the natural environment while executing the full range of their missions by doing the following:

  • Considering the environment in planning and decision-making in conjunction with other essential considerations of national policy.
  • Protecting the environment of home stations and training areas as a means of retaining resources for mission purposes.
  • Using environmental risk assessment and environmental management principles to integrate environmental considerations into mission performance.
  • Instilling an environmental ethic in soldiers and Marines.
  • Understanding the linkages between environmental protection issues and their associated impact on safety, force protection, and force health protection.

Military environmental protection is the application and integration of all aspects of natural environmental considerations, as they apply to the conduct of military operations.

The above actions identify environmental protection as an important undertaking to be considered in conjunction with mission planning and execution. Through planning and execution, the Army and Marine Corps include environmental considerations and address them appropriately across the entire spectrum of operations.



Military actions, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, are undergoing revolutionary changes in methods, weapons, and even strategic objectives. Extraordinary advances in technology accompanied by a historically unprecedented growth in global population have dramatically altered the characteristics and demands of the battlefield. Soldiers and Marines must be prepared to respond across the "entire operational spectrum, from humanitarian to combat" and the four operational categories (offense, defense, stability, and support operations), sometimes within the same operation. Deployed forces must be able to conform to the environmental protection requirements of the theater commander without impairing combat effectiveness.

This requirement is new and fundamentally different from the traditional, organized application of violence that is the core of military capability. It stems from mankind's capacity to cause irreparable harm to vital natural resource systems and our growing understanding of the consequences of such damage. The environmental resources of these natural systems, such as clean air, water, land, forests, and wildlife, were once considered limitless. Today, it is clear that these resources are limited and require protection. Where they are scarce, they are increasingly significant to economic well-being and human health.

In regions where increasing numbers of people occupy a finite and densely crowded area, urbanization, migration, public health, and refugees are factors of growing strategic importance. In these circumstances, environmental resources may assume a substantial role in conflict origin and resolution. US land forces will increasingly operate in, or near, urban environments. For example, US forces may conduct stability operations and support operations (FM 100-5) to establish order in the aftermath of an insurgency or civil war, a failed government, or lawlessness. Shortages of basic resources such as clean water, food, and fuel will complicate the mission. Thus, environmental resources can be operational, as well as strategic, factors.

United States land forces must be versatile and capable of rapid deployment to perform the full range of missions from humanitarian to total war. Recent operations have shown that they must also be flexible within the strategic or operational mission. For example, units may execute combat operations, limited in time or space, within the context of larger stability operations. They must also be able to apply environmental protection measures appropriate to the situation.

National recognition of environmental threats to the population's safety and well-being has inspired laws, regulations, and international agreements. American citizens value and demand a clean and healthy environment. US military forces do not function independently of political policy and the desires of the people; they reflect national values and obey the laws. Therefore, the US military have developed skills and programs for environmental protection.

Integration between civilian and military application of environmental protection is essential. This manual devotes itself to demonstrating how this integration can be relatively seamless as it melds into the existing processes within the Army and Marine Corps. Integration of military environmental protection is an evolutionary, rather than a revolutionary adaptation of our current military processes. The concept must become second nature for each soldier and Marine. Linking good environmental actions to sound tactical doctrine and tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) can and should be the standard. Environmental considerations will, in many cases, reinforce or amplify sound tactical principles and issues of force protection that the military already accepts as doctrine or TTP for other reasons. Military environmental protection is tied directly to risk management and the safety of soldiers and Marines. It is an enabling element for the commander, and as such, an essential part of military planning, training, and operations.



The sequence of chapters in the manual are set up to help you understand what military environmental protection is and how to apply it by providing:

  • General knowledge.
  • Planning guidance.
  • Training guidance.
  • Operations guidance.
  • Guidance on how to interface with the installation and respective staff positions.
  • Guidance on establishing and assessing a unit program.
  • Guidance on the impact of environmental conditions on the health of service members.

The appendixes provide a more in-depth look at information that supports the chapters. In general, they are designed to provide a starting point or template for the products that soldiers and Marines will require as they build their unit program and operate during planning, training, and all operations across the spectrum of conflict.


Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list