TRADOC delivers new doctrine to equip unit leaders

By Maj. Orlandon Howard, Public Affairs, U.S. Army Combined Arms CenterDecember 3, 2020

A U.S. Army Paratrooper assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade gives directions to his troops while participating in Exercise Immediate Response at Pocek Training Area, Slovenia, May 15, 2019. Exercise Immediate Response is a multinational exercise co-led by Croatian Armed Forces, Slovenian Armed Forces, and U.S. Army Europe. The logistics-focused exercise is designed to test and improve the ability to move forces and equipment rapidly from one location to another. The exercise will improve readiness and interoperability among participating allied and partner nations.
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A U.S. Army Paratrooper assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade gives directions to his troops while participating in Exercise Immediate Response at Pocek Training Area, Slovenia, May 15, 2019. Exercise Immediate Response is a multinational exercise co-led by Croatian Armed Forces, Slovenian Armed Forces, and U.S. Army Europe. The logistics-focused exercise is designed to test and improve the ability to move forces and equipment rapidly from one location to another. The exercise will improve readiness and interoperability among participating allied and partner nations. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Henry Villarama) VIEW ORIGINAL
U.S. Army M1 Abrams tanks assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan., perform a strategic convoy maneuver during Combined Resolve X at the Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, May 2, 2018. Exercise Combined Resolve is an U.S. Army Europe exercise series held twice a year in southeastern Germany and provided the Joint Modernization Command an opportunity to assess multiple concepts and capabilities.
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army M1 Abrams tanks assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan., perform a strategic convoy maneuver during Combined Resolve X at the Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, May 2, 2018. Exercise Combined Resolve is an U.S. Army Europe exercise series held twice a year in southeastern Germany and provided the Joint Modernization Command an opportunity to assess multiple concepts and capabilities. (Photo Credit: Spc. Andrew McNeil) VIEW ORIGINAL

Training and Doctrine Command’s Combined Arms Center kicked off the new decade prioritizing equipping the Army’s troop-level formations with new doctrine as the Army continues to modernize its formations and the way it fights.

It’s a surge effort to equip junior leaders across warfighting disciplines with the tactics, techniques and procedures to help them lead Soldiers and build lethal, cohesive teams.

The roll-out began in 2019 with an overhaul of all of the Army’s foundational Army Doctrine Publications such as ADP 3-90 (Offense and Defense), ADP 2-0 (Intelligence), ADP 3-19 (Fires), and ADP 4-0 (Sustainment).

The publishing blitz continued through 2020 and is set to carry into 2021 with more publications developed from the outgrowth of its doctrine overhaul. It aims to deliver specific and tailored guidance for the different warfighting disciplines with new Field Manuals, Army Training Publications, Training Circulars and handbooks.

The Army even updated its doctrine about doctrine, publishing APD 1-01, Doctrine Primer, July, 2019. It says "doctrine provides a coherent vision of warfare, and provides a common and standardized set of principles, tactics, techniques, procedures, and terms and symbols for the Army.”

“These revisions [to doctrine] make publications relevant to near-term operational environments and ensure Army doctrine is balanced to support Army forces conducting operations across the competition continuum and the range of military operations,” says ADP 1-01.

Soldiers assigned to 3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, conduct explosive breaching using bangalores alongside a team of engineers from Alpha Company, 52nd Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2IBCT, during the 1st Bn., 12th Inf. Reg. Platoon Live Fire Exercise, Aug. 14, 2019, on Fort Carson, Colo.
Soldiers assigned to 3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, conduct explosive breaching using bangalores alongside a team of engineers from Alpha Company, 52nd Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2IBCT, during the 1st Bn., 12th Inf. Reg. Platoon Live Fire Exercise, Aug. 14, 2019, on Fort Carson, Colo. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Capt. Chelsea Hall) VIEW ORIGINAL

After establishing its doctrinal foundation with its new ADPs and FMs, TRADOC turned its attention to publishing even more publications offering practical guidance such as ATPs for Soldiers and leaders operating at the lowest tactical levels.

“ATPs provide Soldiers with ways or methods to accomplish or complete a mission, task, or function," says ADP 1-01.

The Army’s most fundamental warfighting elements are squads, platoons, companies and battalions. TRADOC aimed much of its focus center mass at platoons to make the most difference.

Many senior leaders see mastery of fundamentals as essential to success in current operational environments. Platoon level publications help junior leaders train their Soldiers to gain that mastery.

Soldiers are members of a profession whose common language is doctrine. Leaders and Soldiers in a platoon are tied to together by that common language and framework, which is why their knowledge of it is deemed so critical.

“The Army has expectations that when you show up to your first job, you have a certain baseline of knowledge. A large part of that comes from doctrine,” said Col. Richard Creed, Director of Combined Arms Doctrine Directorate.

“Your Soldiers and NCOs expect you to understand what your role and responsibilities are, what the doctrine says for the kind of organization you’re a part of.”

“It gives you a common point of departure. When you have a common baseline of knowledge, you can start at a higher level of learning. It allows you to communicate easier with those above and below you.”

MLRS Rocket Fire
The Multiple Launch Rocket Systems of 210th Field Artillery Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division/ROK Combined Division, are firing live missiles into the designated target during demonstration of the combined live fire exercise Aug. 17 at Seungjin Range, near Pocheon, South Korea. (Photo Credit: Pfc. Jaewoo Oh) VIEW ORIGINAL

In 2020, TRADOC published numerous ATPs to arm its leaders and units with the latest insight on a myriad and training and operations. Examples include, ATPs covering Infantry Small-Unit Mountain and Cold Weather Operations, Techniques for Multiple Launch Rocket System and High Mobility Artillery Rocket System Operations, and Materiel Management-Supply-Field Services Operations.

Training Circulars were also published to guide certification and qualification training for Field Artillery and Air Defense Artillery Soldiers and units.

“You need to know which doctrine applies to you. Some of it is branch specific and some job specific,” said Creed.

There are also several publications set to publish beginning in 2021. Medical platoons can expect, ATP 4-02.4 Medical Platoon, Aviation platoons – ATP 3-04.23, Engineer and Air Defense Artillery platoons - a new handbook for their operations. Later in the year, units performing Electronic Warfare, Chemical-Bio-Nuclear-Radio-Explosives, and Military Police operations will see updated doctrine as well.

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division prepare to move a barricade during riot control training in preparation for an impending deployment to Kosovo at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center's Hohenfels Training Area, Hohenfels, Germany, March 6, 2018. The Kosovo Force (KFOR) is a NATO-led international peacekeeping force, which is responsible for establishing and maintaining a secure environment in Kosovo.
U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division prepare to move a barricade during riot control training in preparation for an impending deployment to Kosovo at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center's Hohenfels Training Area, Hohenfels, Germany, March 6, 2018. The Kosovo Force (KFOR) is a NATO-led international peacekeeping force, which is responsible for establishing and maintaining a secure environment in Kosovo. (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. David Overson) VIEW ORIGINAL

TRADOC’s doctrine push shows no sign of slowing. It stands to be an ongoing process of learning, modernizing, and revising its doctrine to keep Soldiers and leaders equipped with much needed guides to inform their training and operations. Commandants at the Army’s Centers of Excellence that represent the Army’s diverse warfighting disciplines are leading efforts to update publications within their purview.

“We take lessons learned about operations going on all over the world and we update and revise doctrine to account for those lessons,” said Creed.

Lt. Gen. James Rainey, Combined Arms Center’s commanding general, took it a step further, saying he wanted feedback from junior leaders using the publications. He said he wants to know if leaders and units have what they need and to provide feedback if anything is missing from the Army’s doctrine catalogue.

Army 21 is a multimedia, interactive-learning tool designed to give leaders and Soldiers an immersive environment in which to gain a basic understanding of the BCT organization, key tasks, and combined arms team integration. Currently designed at the BCT level, the CALL development team is now moving forward with expanding the tool to incorporate division and corps formations.
Army 21 is a multimedia, interactive-learning tool designed to give leaders and Soldiers an immersive environment in which to gain a basic understanding of the BCT organization, key tasks, and combined arms team integration. Currently designed at the BCT level, the CALL development team is now moving forward with expanding the tool to incorporate division and corps formations. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

TRADOC also reinforced its emphasis on strengthening Soldiers’ tactical and technical expertise with the development of a web-tool, called Army 21. It’s a web-based multimedia interactive learning tool that allows Soldiers to learn about their unit’s formations and their doctrine from an internet browser (CAC login required).

“Army 21 addresses what we see as a knowledge gap for our junior leaders,” said Col. Chris Keller, Director of Center for Army Lessons Learned. “Soldiers must understand how the Army mans, equips, and fights.”

“It delivers a one-stop resource to quickly learn and understand current Army organization and about the unique capabilities of our Brigade Combat Teams across the force.”

You can access the tool at https://atn.army.mil/getmedia/449fcb0e-3b11-404f-b012-f5c85b429fd0/a21.html (CAC login required)

There's also a video tutorial of Army 21 at https://vimeo.com/466581429.

Related Links

Army.mil: Worldwide News

U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command