Army FM 6-0: An Overview

We are examining some of the Army Field Manuals, and in today’s post, we are going to provide an overview of Army FM 6-0. It is my opinion that every current leader, and every future Army leader should read this Field Manual in its entirety. It is full of information that leaders should know, and I will put a link at the end of this article where you can download and print this Field Manual so you can have it in your possession.

The title of Army FM 6-0 is: Commander and Staff Organization and Operations. What I will do in this post is provide a brief summary of each chapter. If you are trying to find information on a certain subject, you can use this post to know where to look in the 6-0 Field Manual. I am using the most up-to-date manual, dated May of 2014.

Chapter 1: Command Posts Organizations and Operations

This chapter is a basic description on how Commanders will organize their headquarters and staff into a functional command post. It also describes the different types of command posts and their purpose. Commanders can find complete guidelines for operating a command post. There are many examples.

Chapter 2: Staff Duties and Responsibilities

A command post headquarters has multiple staff members. This chapter goes into the duties and responsibilities of all of these staff members. Commanders should use this chapter in explaining job responsibilities to new staff members. Commanders can also use it to remind experienced staff members of their duties.

Chapter 3: Managing Knowledge and Information

A command can be swamped with knowledge and information. At times, it can be overwhelming. This recently added chapter will help you understand the proper methods of handling that information. There are examples of how to file and store the knowledge and information you have.

Chapter 4: Problem Solving

I would say this is one of the most important chapters in this field manual. As a leader, you are responsible for solving problems. This chapter delves into the Army standards of solving problems. This will take you through the steps, and with Chapter 9, making a correct decision in solving the problem.

Chapter 5: Staff Studies

Here you can attain examples on preparing and writing a formal staff study. I suggest all Commanders examine this chapter.

Chapter 6: Decision Papers

This chapter provides examples on preparing and writing decision papers. While you may find the decision making process easy, writing the paper can be difficult. This chapter helps.

Chapter 7: Military Briefings

There are 4 types of military briefings. This chapter will provide the instruction and knowledge you need to prepare and conduct any of these 4 types of briefings. There are also examples you can use to conduct the type of military briefing you require.

Chapter 8: Running Estimates

This chapter will describe how both the Commander and their staff build and maintain running estimates in the command process. Examples of the running estimate process are given. While running estimates are not easy, this chapter will make them much more bearable.

Chapter 9: The Military Decision Making Process

Here is another very important chapter for Army leaders. The command and leadership process in the Army is full of decision making. This chapter describes the proper methods to make decisions based on statistics, estimates and other important information. Decisions must be made with logic and not with emotion.

Chapter 10: Troop Leading Procedures

Using Army planning methodologies, this chapter focuses on troop leading procedures with ground maneuver procedures as the basic example, but it can be adapted for all types of small units. You may have learned troop leading procedures in school, but this chapter is a great reminder

Chapter 11: Military Deception

This chapter was recently added, but the greatest Army leaders have realized long ago how important military deception can be. It addresses the principles of military deception and explains how to plan, prepare and execute military deception as a war fighting tool. You will be shown examples of military deception at work.

Chapter 12: Rehearsals

In preparing for military operations, sometimes rehearsals are needed. This chapter covers the types of rehearsals, the responsibilities of those involved, and the guidelines for conducting rehearsals.

Chapter 13: Liaison

This chapter provides information about the responsibilities of liaison officers. It shows liaison checklists, and examples that can be used for a liaison officer handbook.

Chapter 14: Decision Making in Execution

Some of the most important decisions have to be made in a split second. This chapter goes into the process of making difficult decisions during combat operations or other situations when a leader must make a decision quickly. This is a new and very important chapter.

Chapter 15: Assessment Plans

Assessing the “whole picture” is a huge part of any military leader’s functions. This chapter goes into the process of assessing, and how to develop assessment plans. The running estimate chapter will also come into play with this.

Chapter 16: After Action Reviews and Reports

Just as it says, this chapter will provide the proper format to prepare and develop after action reviews and reports. You will find an example of a formatted report that the Army expects that Commanders use. Since after action reviews are a huge part of a leader’s responsibilities, you will find this chapter quite helpful.

Appendixes

These are all the chapters in Army FM 6-0, but there are a number of appendixes. These appendixes add to the information you received throughout this field manual. They are Appendix:

A: Provides information on mission and operational variables.

 

B: Provides information on command and support relationships.

 

C: This holds updated information on operation order, plan, warning order, fragmentary order and attachments.

 

D: This provides up to date information either erased from the prior field manual, or added to the new field manual.

Final Thoughts

As stated earlier, I believe that anyone who is a leader, or has set a goal of becoming an Army leader should have a copy of the Army FM 6-0. I even believe that leaders in the civilian world could learn a lot from this manual. The manual is 392 pages long and covers a wide variety of subjects relevant to Army leadership.

I suggest you read this Field Manual completely and even highlight certain points that you will want to remember. You should then keep a copy nearby so you can refer to it in situations you will encounter in your leadership duties.

I am no longer in the Army (since 1983), but as I read this Field Manual in researching this article, I must say that I learned a lot. Some of our greatest leaders have served in the United States Army, and they received much of their great leadership abilities from the Field Manuals the Army supplies.

So, let me ask you, have you read Army FM 6-0? What chapters have you used the most? What else can you add that can help our readers know more about Army FM 6-0?

You can post your comments, questions and opinions below.

Oh and yes, I said I would provide a link to download a copy of this Field Manual. You can click below and download and print the newest version:

Download Army FM 6-0

Thank you for visiting, and please leave a comment on whether this post helped you, and what more you would like to see here on Part Time Commander.

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