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The purpose of this manual is to provide the authoritative doctrine by which the Army's combat service support (CSS), as part of the national-theater CSS system, supports full spectrum operations. This manual serves as the Army's keystone CSS doctrine and bridges the gap between Army doctrine and joint and multinational doctrine. This manual provides the basis for subordinate CSS doctrine, organizations, training, materiel, leader development, personnel and facilities (DOTMLPF) development to support Army of Excellence (AOE) forces, transitioning Force XXI organizations, and Army Transformation initiatives for a more agile and responsive force.

The intended audiences for this manual include-

  • Commanders at all levels to provide a universal understanding of how CSS is organized and functions to support Army, joint, and multinational forces.
  • CSS commanders, staffs, and doctrinal proponents to institutionalize the integration of CSS into all Army component, joint force, and multinational missions.
  • Military students at all levels and within all branches of the Army to provide a broad knowledge of the CSS structure and how it works.

The fundamental purpose of the Army is to provide to joint force commanders the sustained and decisive land forces necessary to fight and win the Nation's wars. CSS is an enabling operation that provides the means for the Army to conduct full spectrum operations. To support full spectrum operations, CSS must provide support to all possible mixes of offensive, defensive, stability, and support operations. In some operations, especially support operations, CSS may be the decisive operation. CSS is an integral component of all military operations.

Effective CSS maximizes the capabilities of the Army by being responsive to the commander's needs for agility, deployability, lethality, versatility, survivability, and sustainability. This manual discusses how CSS operations can extend the operational reach of combat forces by maximizing technology and minimizing the CSS footprint. It also discusses how technology continues to enhance the supportability of any mission. CSS may be provided by active component, Reserve Component, Department of Defense (DOD)/Department of the Army (DA) civilian, contractor, joint, and multinational assets. Like the other battlefield operating systems, CSS is the commander's business. It must be properly planned, prepared for, managed, executed, and assessed from factory to foxhole to enable commanders to successfully execute and sustain full spectrum operations over time and, thereby, extend the operational reach of the force.

This manual was written in close collaboration with the writers of FM 1, FM 3-0, and FM 100-7. This collaboration ensures that CSS doctrine is consistent with the sound principles of other Army keystone manuals.


The proponent for this manual is U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). Send comments and recommendations on DA Form 2028 (Recommended Changes to Publications and Blank Forms) to Commander, U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command, ATTN: ATCL-CDD, 3901 A Avenue, Suite 220, Fort Lee, Virginia 23801-1899.

Unless stated otherwise, masculine nouns or pronouns do not refer exclusively to men.

The glossary lists most terms used in this manual that have joint or Army definitions. Terms for which this manual is the proponent manual (the authority), are indicated by boldface type in text. For other definitions, the term is italicized in the text and the number of the proponent manual follows the definition.


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