Updated Army doctrine emphasizes protection and resilience

By Nickolai Sukharev / January 10, 2024 at 2:59 PM

Army units must "preserve themselves, be resilient and withstand enemy attack," according to an updated doctrine document.

“Effective protection preserves combat power and enables freedom of action,” the doctrine, released on Tuesday, states. “Commanders and staffs must understand their Soldiers, the enemy and the operational environment at each echelon to prioritize protection for applying critical resources and coordinating support in the conduct of combined arms operations.”

“When units are unable to protect themselves, commanders coordinate with higher command for protection support,” the doctrine adds.

Titled “Protection,” the doctrine outlines how Army units must protect themselves to preserve warfighting functions and which capabilities to use in crisis situations, low-intensity conflict, large-scale operations and other scenarios.

Broken into four chapters, the doctrine discusses protection fundamentals, protection during operations, integrating protection capabilities and protection cells.

“Protection determines the degree to which potential threats or hazards can disrupt operations and initiates active and passive measures to prevent and mitigate those disruptions,” the doctrine reads.

The doctrine outlines that protection measures must be comprehensive, integrated, layered, redundant and enduring.

Commanders must understand the operational environment through risks and opportunities as well as protect personnel from environmental and health hazards, it adds.

“The protection function manifests itself differently at each echelon, through competition below armed conflict, crisis and armed conflict,” the doctrine reads.

Theater armies conduct protection operations that secure ports, communication lines, critical facilities and the flow of forces and materials, the doctrine reads, while smaller units implement protection in their existing capabilities.

“Commanders integrate and synchronize capabilities of one warfighting function with other warfighting functions to achieve objectives and accomplish missions,” the doctrine adds.

Units should also collect intelligence, use targeting information, assess risks and manage information, the doctrine states.

The last chapter outlines how larger units should use subunits (called protection cells) to advise, visualize and outline protection requirements to the commander.

The doctrine follows an earlier version, published in 2019.