Release of FM 3-28, Civil Support Operations

What is it'

Field Manual (FM) 3-28 is published by the Combined Arms Doctrine Directorate and provides keystone Army doctrine for civil support operations. It follows FM 3-0 and expands on the fourth element of full spectrum operations - civil support.

The conduct of civil support operations - planning, preparation, execution, and assessment of operations conducted within the United States and its territories; the role of Army forces within the domestic operational environment, with particular emphasis on how operations conducted by Army forces within the U.S. differ from full spectrum operations conducted overseas.

The primary focus is on the operational Army that conducts civil support operations (battalions, brigades, division headquarters, and Army service component headquarters) in an environment shaped by federal, state, local, and tribal organizations; the doctrine is not prescriptive. FM 3-28 explains the reasons for the division of forces (Regular Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard) and provides a range of considerations for all three components. In all cases where Army doctrine differs with law, policy, and directive, the latter take precedence.

What had the Army done'

The Army has a long history of civil support operations. In any given year, thousands of Soldiers provide support to civilian agencies in missions ranging from disaster response to support for major sporting events. When civil authorities requested assistance or if directed by the President, the Armed Forces provided the capability and responded to domestic emergencies and disasters. The Department of Defense conducted these operations under civilian control in accordance with the Constitution of the United States. The military did not lead the federal response except when directed by the President, under conditions of extreme domestic emergency, or threat of war.

What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future'

How, when, where, and what support the Army provides depends upon specific circumstances. The Army plans on continuing to employ the Army's capabilities efficiently, effectively, and legally in the domestic operational environment to support our political leaders. This publication of Army doctrine provides the information necessary for Soldiers and civilians to understand what makes this environment so different.

Why is this important to the Army'

Just as commanders need to understand each operational environment in campaigns conducted outside the U.S., they need to understand the domestic operational environments within which they conduct full spectrum operations.


U.S. Army Combined Arms Center Web site

Document: FM 3-28, Civil Support Operations