Army Warfighting Functions: A Complete List & Overview

Today, we are going to talk about the Army Warfighting Functions.  This is good to know information for any commander or staff officer.

After doing some research online, here is the best definition I could find.

Commanders use the warfighting functions to help them exercise command and to help them and their staffs exercise control. A warfighting function is a group of tasks and systems (people, organizations, information, and processes) united by a common purpose that commanders use to accomplish missions and training objectives. All warfighting functions possess scalable capabilities to mass lethal and nonlethal effects. The Army’s warfighting functions link directly to the joint functions. Source: Lightning Press

I am going to list each of the 6 Army Warfighting Functions and explain a little bit about each one.

Army Warfighting Functions

army warfighting functions

#1: Mission Command

The Mission Command function allows commanders to balance their command and control duties while integrating the other Warfighting Functions. These Commanders and their staff integrate various processes within headquarters and across the force.

#2: Movement & Maneuver

This Warfighting Function is the process of deploying troops to operational areas as well as maneuvering troops, equipment and arms to gain advantage over the enemy. These movements may be partial or complete.

#3: Intelligence

Intelligence is the process of understanding the enemy using all information on the enemy, civilians nearby and the terrain and weather conditions. This process is ongoing and commanders use tasks in:

  • reconnaissance
  • surveillance
  • and security

to obtain this intelligence. All of which must be done in a lawful manner. The key is synchronizing this intelligence with other joint operations.

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#4: Fires

Controlling indirect and direct fires is ultra important. This function provides Army leadership the means to use a targeting process in relation to indirect fires, missile defense and joint fires in a way that keeps United States troops safe while delivering fires in support of offensive or defensive operations.

#5: Sustainment

This Army Warfighting Function is the process of ensuring Army forces have everything they need to complete their missions.

It is about endurance, freedom of action and extending the operational reach. It is keeping forces supplied with

  • Food and water
  • Ammo
  • Weapons
  • Clothing
  • and other necessities

#6: Protection

Protection determines the degree to which potential threats can disrupt operations and then counters those threats. It means preserving the force which includes personnel and physical assets of the United States as well as the host nation and any military or civilian allies.

Final Thoughts

I have read and heard many who claim that the Army Warfighting Functions just create more red-tape and are not needed. Personally, I disagree.

Since instituting the Army Warfighting Functions, the U.S. military has worked in better partnership on joint military operations. Plus, there has been less friendly fire incidents.

I must add that many would say that Special Operations is a separate Army Warfighting Function. While that may be correct, I did not list it here because I believe Special Operations itself, uses the 6 above which would make it a unit using the system.

The system is duplicatable and is used from the smallest of units up to large Battalions and Brigades. I believe the system works but I would like to hear your opinion.

Here are links to each of the function guides in order:

  3. and
  6. also,
  7. Special Operations –

What do you think about the Army Warfighting Functions? Please leave your comments and input in the comment section below. Thank you for stopping in today and please share this post with others.



About The Author

Greg Boudonck is a full time freelance writer and the author of over 50 books. He served in the United States Army in the early 1980’s and enjoys writing about military subjects. You can see Greg’s books on Amazon by searching his name and you can also visit his website at

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