Army’s Field Manual Focused on Adversaries’ Evolving Capabilities

FM 03

By Debbie Gregory.

The Army has crafted new combat operations doctrine designed to better position the service branch for the prospect of warfare against technologically advanced peer rivals.

The Army’s Field Manual (FM) 3-0 Operations marks the first major overhaul of the manual since 2011, and represents a shift in focus to adapt to fighting future potential enemies who are equipped with 21st century capabilities.

Army Lt. Gen. Michael D. Lundy, the commander of the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, assisted in writing the eight chapter manual.

“As the Army and the joint force focused on counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism at the expense of other capabilities, our adversaries watched, learned, adapted, modernized and devised strategies that put us at a position of relative disadvantage in places where we may be required to fight,” said Lundy. “This is about thinking differently about warfighting than we have for the last 16 years and filling in our capability gaps,” he added.

Today’s operational environment presents threats to the U.S. Armed Forces that are significantly more dangerous in terms of capability and magnitude than those previously faced in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Adversaries such as China, Iran, North Korea and Russia continue to use all means available to gain strategic positional advantages. The manual emphasizes the need to adjust training at home and at regional combat training centers.

Lundy said that we must be ready to win with the forces we have, and having the right doctrine is a critical part of that readiness. The updated FM 3-0 provides the doctrinal approach for the U.S. military to address the challenges of shaping operational environments, preventing conflict, and prevailing during large-scale ground combat.

But also of great importance is leadership development. Building leaders and units that can prevail in the environment of large-scale combat operations requires tough, realistic, and repetitive training. FM 3-0 provides a roadmap to that end.

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