Commander's Appreciation and Campaign Design (CACD)

Tuesday January 13, 2009

What is it?

CACD is a creative, heuristic, and iterative design methodology for designing and executing military operations in complex operational environments. Described in the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Pamphlet (TRADOC PAM) 525-5-500. CACD was developed to grapple with ill-structured, complex adaptive problems through complementary activities:

- Problem Framing: developing a shared understanding of ill-structured problems.
- Operation Framing: creating broad problem solving approaches on the basis of understanding.

An operational frame is the basis for detailed implementation planning using a process based on the seven-step Army Problem-Solving Model in Field Manual 5-0 Staff Organization and Operations. Unlike military planning processes, design does not stop with the creation of an operational framework; continued learning leads to reframing.

What has the Army done?

The Army Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC) published TRADOC PAM 525-5-500 to facilitate further development of the methodology not only in the Army, but also in the joint, interagency and multinational communities. The pamphlet resulted from a four- year effort in Unified Quest, the Chief of Staff of the Army's annual future warfare study, examining the design and practice of operational art.

Since January 2008, CACD has been presented and taught in a variety of venues. In 2007-08, the School of Advanced Military Studies and the Army War College (AWC) each started to teach design. U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and U.S. Army Central Command (ARCENT) now apply CACD in current operations. There is a strong correlation between CACD and planning by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization. Unified Quest 08 recommended CACD be institutionalized in Army doctrine.

What continuing efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

ARCIC, the Combined Arms Center, and the AWC are developing an interim field manual to describe the operational design methodology in CACD. TRADOC will leverage lessons learned by USSOCOM and ARCENT in current operations.

Why is this important to the Army?

The complexity of today's operational environment requires problem resolution different from existing planning processes. CACD can be applied at any echelon confronted by complex adaptive problems. Commanders must first understand a complex environment in order to frame operational problems and then establish an operational framework based upon their understanding of the problem, then develop subsequent implementation planning using a systematic planning process based upon the seven-step Army Problem-Solving Model.


U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Pamphlet (TRADOC PAM) 525-5-500


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