It all begins with doctrine.
The Army’s Doctrine 2015 initiative aims to restructure and develop doctrine that is current and relevant, according to Lt. Col. Fernando Guadalupe Jr., Doctrine Division chief at the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence Directorate of Training and Doctrine, known as DOTD.
“Doctrine 2015 is an initiative to rapidly codify fresh and contemporary knowledge into concise and current doctrine, and make it immediately accessible at the point of need,” Guadalupe said.
Doctrine is critical since it charts the Army’s course for the future, defines how to view the strategic environment and establishes the foundation for future training, according to Guadalupe.
Simply put, doctrine is a library of stated principles by which the Army trains and fights. It outlines required procedures, templates the operations and establishes standards that leaders adopt to achieve desired results.
Over time, tactical and strategic variables evolve, so the Army must adapt to these changes in paradigms starting with its doctrinal foundation.
“The Army, as a whole, recognizes the unique chance to seize the opportunity it has to reflect on a decade of war, consider the future and have doctrine finally catch up to the fighting force,” said Guadalupe.
Currently, the library of doctrine, managed and published by the Army Publishing Directorate, consists of over 500 publications spanning all operations. Many of these are outdated or have become irrelevant, and are unable to support the needs of the current and future fight.
The goal of Doctrine 2015 is to produce clean, concise, current and accessible doctrine while reinforcing core principles. As part of the Doctrine 2015 initiative, Army Aviation can expect upcoming changes to doctrine in early 2015.
Working in conjunction with units returning from theater and various subject matter experts, DOTD has been conceptualizing and developing a new library of Aviation doctrine for more than four years.
The cornerstone of Aviation doctrine will be Field Manual 3-04 Army Aviation.
After years of research, development and refinement, FM 3-04 will serve as the foundation upon which subsequent Aviation doctrine will build.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Barry Sledd, a doctrine writer at DOTD who is heavily involved in the development of FM 3-04, said the publication will provide the ground maneuver commander a better understanding of how to employ and integrate Army Aviation in unified land operations.
“FM 3-04 will bring forward lessons learned after a decade of war and align with the 2015 initiative,” Sledd said. “It provides insight into the flexibility, lethality, adaptability and depth Army Aviation brings to the fight.”
Under the Doctrine 2015 initiative, writers compile information found in numerous publications into fewer, more concise publications known as Army Techniques Publications, known as ATPs. Also, several other publications will be renamed from field manuals to training circulars, referred to as TCs, or may simply be rescinded — such is the plan for FM 1-230 Meteorology.
DOTD will consolidate the 14 Aviation-based FMs currently in circulation to four ATPs and five TCs.
As the Army evolves to maintain dominance among adversaries and enemies, and stands ready to meet the challenges placed upon it, the framework through which the Army trains must evolve as well.
To achieve this, Army doctrine, which is the core of everything Soldiers do, must redefine the way Soldiers train and fight.