The primary mission of the United States Army is to organize, train, and equip its forces to conduct prompt and sustained land combat to defeat enemy ground forces and seize, occupy, and defend land areas per Field Manual (FM) 3-0, Operations. The Army uses doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, facilities, and policy (DOTMLPF-P) as a lens for examining problems and developing solutions. A structured approach validates the problem statement and corresponding solution to a specific issue. This article aims to provide an overview of what doctrine is and how it is operationalized into collective training products.
Army doctrine is a collection of fundamental principles, tactics, techniques, and procedures on conducting operations. Doctrine is an ever-evolving collective body of professional knowledge that guides Soldiers in performing military operations in the land domain. It must be applied using sound judgment based on the circumstances of an operational environment. Changes to doctrine are driven by the operational environment, observations, insights, lessons learned, force structure, advancing technology, and numerous other influences. Many of us within our ranks know doctrine publications exist, yet there are probably more of us who do not understand doctrine’s value to the development of collective training products that impact the operational Army.
Army doctrine publications (ADP) contain the fundamental principles on how the Army operates as a force and those elements of the institutional force that directly support operations. FMs include principles, tactics, procedures, and other doctrinal information to help organizations conduct and train for operations. Army techniques publications (ATP) contain techniques on accomplishing missions, completing functions, and performing specific tasks according to ADP 1-01, Doctrine Primer. All levels of doctrine have the potential to trigger changes to collective training products. The Combined Arms Support Command (CASCOM) Doctrine Division develops the sustainment doctrine (less medical) used by the force. It can be found at the Army Publishing Directorate website, https://armypubs.army.mil, and the Army Sustainment Resource Portal (ASRP) at https://cascom.army.mil/asrp/.
Doctrinal updates directly influence the collective training products developed by CASCOM’s Collective Training Development Division. The Collective Training Development Division operationalizes doctrine through analysis, design, and development of current doctrinal publications to develop unit training products in support of the active and reserve components for Quartermaster, Ordnance, Transportation, and multifunctional logistics units. If doctrine outlines a new collective technique or tactic for a unit to implement, be it a crew or as high as a theater-level, that task will require a training and evaluation outline. Depending on the level of importance of these tasks, such as having a direct link to a unit’s doctrinal mission or capability, they could be added to the unit’s Mission Essential Task List (METL) as a Mission Essential Task (MET). A MET, of course, directly feeds the unit’s readiness rating as reported through the unit status report. This is just one example of a doctrinal change triggering both needs and mission analysis by training developers.
Updates in doctrine also impact unit’s combined arms training strategies (CATS). Per Army regulation 350-1, Army Training and Leader Development, “Unit combined arms training strategies (CATS) are METL-based training strategies which support readiness reporting requirements. They are designed to train a unit to perform its missions, employment, capabilities, and functions, and contain all the collective tasks designed to train the unit.” Naturally, an update to a unit’s METL would trigger an in-depth analysis of the training strategy. The updates mentioned above also will impact the unit task list (UTL). Per the training FM 7-0, Training, the UTL is a list of every collective task and battle drill the unit is designed to perform. The tasks on the UTL are specifically tailored to the unit and updated regularly based on mission and needs analysis by the collective training developers. These products are accessible through multiple locations online.
These valuable collective training products, among others, also are located on the ASRP. The collective training tab on the ASRP provides a direct link to the unit’s METL, CATS, and UTL. Additionally, it provides links to helpful products such as Sustainment Training Strategy, ATP 4-90.5, Logistics Platoon Leader, the Division Sustainment Brigade Playbook, and more. The ASRP also provides multiple training references to assist with the operations process (plan, prepare, execute, and assess). Finally, ASRP has links to various virtual training products from the CASCOM Training Technology Division, and the latest Quick Logistics Estimation Tool and Operational Logistics Planner.
Lt. Col. Seneta Burns is currently the deputy director of training and doctrine for G-3/5/7, CASCOM, Fort Lee, Virginia. She has a Bachelor of Science in Bus. Admin. from Shaw University, North Carolina. She is a Master of Project Management degree candidate from the University of Arkansas Grantham.
Maj. Lehman Smith is currently a doctrine developer in the joint and multinational branch, CASCOM, Fort Lee, Virginia. He received his Bachelor of Science in Bus Admin. from Azusa Pacific University, California. He is a Master of Business Administration candidate at the William and Mary College, Virginia.
Capt. David (Chad) Moll is currently a senior collective training developer for the multi-functional training branch, CASCOM, Fort Lee, Virginia. He is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He received a master’s degree in logistics management from the Florida Institute of Technology.
This article was published in the Spring 2022 issue of Army Sustainment.