By Capt. Matthew Brown, USAACE Doctrine DivisionJune 10, 2016
The Directorate of Training and Doctrine here has released the FM 3-04 Army Aviation Living Doctrine Supplement, an expansive publication with videographic vignettes that depict Army Aviation capabilities, as part of Training and Doctrine Command's mission to guide the Army through doctrine.
While the publication is based on FM 3-04, Army Aviation, it goes beyond plain text and basic graphics to take the user experience to the next level.
The living doctrine initiative strives to enhance the warfighter's basic understanding of aviation doctrinal concepts through alternate mediums. The enhanced publication essentially "brings to life" six environmental vignettes from Chapter 1 of FM 3-04 and 21 tactical vignettes from Chapter 3.
The environmental vignettes highlight Army Aviation's capabilities and limitations in various environmental conditions with historical context such as Vietnam or Afghanistan. This provides a construct in which the warfighter can further visualize the doctrine. The tactical vignettes use 3D modeling and a captivating narrative to facilitate the warfighter's ability to visualize the tactical or tactical-enabling tasks.
Videographic vignettes embedded in the publication are yet another method for warfighters to enhance their doctrinal understanding, according to Maj. Scott McCraney, doctrine branch chief for DOTD at the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence.
"FM 3-04 Army Aviation Living Doctrine provides an immersive doctrinal training experience beyond the boundaries of the written publication," McCraney said. "The blended learning product will appeal to Soldiers and aviation warfighters looking for intellectual stimulation beyond just reading the material."
With the proliferation of digital devices such as smartphones and tablets, doctrine is no longer limited to printed or online publications, and the living doctrine initiative is expanding the means with which warfighters consume doctrine.
"The intent is to communicate Army Aviation doctrine to the force in ways never before developed. Today's generation of Soldiers have a level of technological understanding that requires such methods of engagement," McCraney said.
While the vignettes are embedded into the publication, they are also offered as standalone video files for instructional purposes in the institution and operational units. The vignettes have the capability to better describe the environment or tactical task and facilitate discussion on the topic.
One of the goals of the initiative is to allow Soldiers easy access to the products on all of their devices such as Android, iOS, and Windows devices. It is worth noting that the interactive PDF cannot be executed with all PDF readers; however, extensive testing has been conducted and the PDF has been successfully executed with Adobe Reader on Windows and Xodo on Android and iOS. Although untested, other applications may execute the PDF resulting in varying degrees of functionality.
Warfighters can download the publication from the Central Army Repository (CAR), https://rdl.train.army.mil/catalog-ws/zip/100.ATSC/CD194265-4520-4B11-A74B-58FBFD5AF8CA-1463087924490/1464112471.zip .
The standalone video files are on the DOTD AKO webpage, https://www.us.army.mil/suite/files/45613413 .