Commander's Appreciation and Campaign Design: A New Approach to Complex Problems

Friday February 1, 2008

What is it?

Commander's Appreciation and Campaign Design (CACD) is a new cognitive process for the design, planning and execution of military campaigns. Published as TRADOC Pamphlet 525-5-500, CACD was developed for today's complex, adaptive operational environment, which requires a more robust upfront commander centric approach to resolve problems.

What has the Army done?

The Army set out on a deliberate path of study and exploration. What began as an academic review of the history and theory of command at the operational level expanded into a broader inspection of the practice of operational art. Developed over a three year period through the Army's Future Warfare Study know as Unified Quest, CACD incorporates recent operational experience, elements of Systemic Operational Design (SOD), and newly published joint doctrine. Commanders use the process to develop a shared understanding of complex operational problems (commander's appreciation) and design a broad approach for problem resolution that links tactical actions to strategic aims (campaign design).

Why is this important to the Army?

The complexity of today's operational environment requires a different approach to problem solving. Commanders must develop an appreciation for the complexity of the environment in order to produce a well-framed problem hypothesis and an associated campaign design. This is a process of formulation, which is creative, heuristic, and iterative. The developed appreciation and design can then be handed to a more linear staff centric process that produces a plan for implementation.

What's planned for the future?

While the CACD approach to problem resolution is intended for high-level leaders and Army organizations, it has application for any joint, interagency, multinational, or single service command that faces a complex operational problem. The Army Capabilities Integration Center created TRADOC Pamphlet 525-5-500 in order to facilitate further development of the process not only within the Army, but within the joint, civilian government, and multinational communities.

CACD will be used during the capstone event for this year's Future Warfare Study, Unified Quest April 29, 2008 through May 9, 2008. Observations and insights gained will be incorporated into future editions.

To access TRADOC Pamphlet 525-5-500 go to:


- 2007 Strategic Communication Guide - Read the 2007 Army Strategic Communication Guide for key messages and updates

- Strategic Communication Coordination Group (SCCG) Workspace

- Army Public Affairs Portal

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"Over 2,000 Families have traveled to South Korea to be with their servicemembers and to connect with servicemembers in spite of the fact that they are not authorized. They would rather be together as a Family with some complexities than spend another year apart. They are speaking with their feet and their passports."

-- Army Gen. B.B. Bell, Jan. 30, addressing the need to make more assignments to South Korea accompanied tours in light of the Army's worldwide operational commitments.


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