Army Doctrine Update

Back in 2011, the Chief of Staff of the Army established the Mission Command Initiative that includes the Doctrine 2015 Strategy for re-categorizing doctrinal publications, reducing their length and number, and enhancing collaboration and accessibility through technology. Basically put, the Army has determined that the current doctrine is too lengthy and difficult for Soldiers and Leaders to truly utilize as it is structured now.  So, they have decided to re-organize the publications, make them shorter, provide interactive applications and essentially make the Army doctrine more user friendly to today’s modern warfighter.  The 2015 doctrine will reduce doctrine development time and ensure doctrine catches up and keeps pace with Soldiers, Leaders, and dynamic operational environments our current military finds itself in today’s world.

The Doctrine 2015 Strategy introduces new publication media and applications. The new doctrinal publication categories are Army Doctrine Publications (ADPs), Army Doctrine Reference Publications (ADRPs), Field Manuals (FMs), and Army Techniques Publications (ATPs).  Fifteen ADPs will contain the fundamental principles that guide the actions of Army forces and explain how those principles support national objectives. ADPs will provide, in very concise language, the intellectual underpinnings of Army operational doctrine. ADPs will be Department of the Army publications printed in a small (6-inch by 9-inch) format and limited to fewer than fifteen pages. They will also be available on Army Knowledge Online (AKO)!

While FMs will be retained as a publication category, their content will change and be condensed. The Army Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (ATTPs) established in 2009 will be phased out. The milWiki program, originally established for ATTPs, now will include ATPs. The 2015 doctrine includes new digital publishing media such as video books, podcasts, mobile applications, and collaboration through social networking.  The following is a detailed breakdown of each new category; ADPs, ADRPs, FMs and ATPs.

Army Doctrine Reference Publications (ADRPs): Fourteen ADRPs will elaborate on the fundamental doctrinal principles described in corresponding ADPs. They will not discuss specific tactics, techniques, or procedures. Every ADP (except ADP 1) will have a corresponding ADRP of the same name. ADRPs will be prepared in a traditional (81⁄2-inch by 11-inch) template and in electronic formats for the Web (on AKO) and digital devices. In its traditional format, each ADRP will be no more than 100 pages.

Army Techniques Publications (ATPs): An undetermined number of ATPs will discuss doctrinal techniques: nonprescriptive ways or methods for performing missions, functions, or tasks. ATPs will be Department of the Army publications, prepared in a traditional (81⁄2-inch by 11-inch) template and electronic format for the Web (AKO). ATPs will not have a content length restriction but will be written concisely. They will not repeat information from other types of manuals. Organizations preparing doctrine will ensure their content aligns and integrates with the doctrine in ADPs, ADRPs, and FMs and avoids repetition. Each ATP will have a corresponding draft version on its collaborative milWiki site. The milWiki draft will allow direct and ongoing input from the field and accelerate the transfer of lessons learned into doctrine. The organization responsible for each ATP will obtain input through the milWiki, monitor contributions, determine the input to adopt into doctrine, and rapidly prepare revisions or changes to the authenticated publication.

Fifty Field Manuals (FMs): Fifty FMs will describe doctrinal tactics and procedures used by the Army to train for and conduct operations, consistent with the principles described in ADPs and ADRPs. FMs will present this knowledge using a streamlined approach that focuses on functions. FMs will not repeat information presented in ADRPs. FMs will be prepared in a traditional (81⁄2-inch by 11-inch) template and electronic format for the Web (on AKO). In the traditional format, they will be limited to no more than 200 pages in the main body of the manual. Appendixes to FMs will contain procedures, or prescriptive ways for performing tasks. Selected traditional FMs with content that is no longer considered doctrinal are being republished as training circulars and training manuals.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Doctrine 2015 is an initiative to provide clear, concise, current and accessible doctrine to the field. Doctrine is important to the U.S. Army as it provides a body of knowledge that serves as the foundation for the Profession and for the successful execution of Unified Land Operations.  Find out more at:

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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