Author Topic: What do we want from Army Doctrine and Cbt Tm in Ops?  (Read 3678 times)

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Offline Old Sweat

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Re: What do we want from Army Doctrine and Cbt Tm in Ops?
« Reply #25 on: January 18, 2019, 21:51:16 »
I passed the CTCC in 1972 with a pretty good course report. It was an attended course back then, and it was not until a decade later that the Commander FMC told me there were "coded phrases" in it that indicated the letter grade. (I also had passed promotion exams, so I at least had some theoretical knowledge along with a bit of experience as a FOO. In those days the FOO was known as one of the "holy trinity" along with the infantry and armoured sunrays.)

Leaving that aside, I don't recall a lot of voluminous reference material telling us how to command a combat team as our previous training supposedly grounded us in the principles.  Keep it simple, anybody who gets to the level of subunit command in the combat arms probably has avoided making a habit of crapping in the cornflakes. A few exercises with competent constructive debriefings are worth a ton of "how to fight good" verbiage.

OK, I'm older than dirt and the army has changed, but just maybe this will help.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2019, 09:41:03 by Old Sweat »

Offline ballz

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Re: What do we want from Army Doctrine and Cbt Tm in Ops?
« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2019, 22:23:58 »
I don't personally see the need/desire for this to be able to go to the field. That is what aide memoires are for and the Combat Team Commander course provides a pretty hefty one.

Old Sweat's comment about having the experience is more important than having sound doctrine made me think about when we were digging through PAM after PAM trying to figure out the defense... how all this institutional knowledge had been lost and not written down anywhere, and now we needed it... we didn't have any true experience to draw on, and neither did the institution as a whole, not that we could find anyway... so we *had* to fall back on the doctrine as a start state. We were looking for things as basic as how to do range cards, which 20 years ago I'm sure no one would believe could be forgotten.

We can't predict the future... we don't know if the next conflict is going to make us ignore this basic stuff for 5, 6, or 10 years... I'm not saying we're experts at combat team operations now but imagine if we didn't touch conventional combat team ops for 10 years because we were focused on a different style of warfare or different threat that consumed all our resources for that time period (like Afghanistan did)... and then 10 years from now, someone needs to dust off the books and get back into this... what will the book they dust off tell them?

Hopefully more than our current pubs told us about defensive ops...
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 22:38:06 by ballz »
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: What do we want from Army Doctrine and Cbt Tm in Ops?
« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2019, 01:31:08 »
I don't personally see the need/desire for this to be able to go to the field. That is what aide memoires are for and the Combat Team Commander course provides a pretty hefty one.

Old Sweat's comment about having the experience is more important than having sound doctrine made me think about when we were digging through PAM after PAM trying to figure out the defense... how all this institutional knowledge had been lost and not written down anywhere, and now we needed it... we didn't have any true experience to draw on, and neither did the institution as a whole, not that we could find anyway... so we *had* to fall back on the doctrine as a start state. We were looking for things as basic as how to do range cards, which 20 years ago I'm sure no one would believe could be forgotten.

We can't predict the future... we don't know if the next conflict is going to make us ignore this basic stuff for 5, 6, or 10 years... I'm not saying we're experts at combat team operations now but imagine if we didn't touch conventional combat team ops for 10 years because we were focused on a different style of warfare or different threat that consumed all our resources for that time period (like Afghanistan did)... and then 10 years from now, someone needs to dust off the books and get back into this... what will the book they dust off tell them?

Hopefully more than our current pubs told us about defensive ops...

It's all been replaced by Army.ca or a virtual equivalent... or should be ;)
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline Haligonian

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Re: What do we want from Army Doctrine and Cbt Tm in Ops?
« Reply #28 on: January 19, 2019, 08:58:39 »
I don't personally see the need/desire for this to be able to go to the field. That is what aide memoires are for and the Combat Team Commander course provides a pretty hefty one.

Old Sweat's comment about having the experience is more important than having sound doctrine made me think about when we were digging through PAM after PAM trying to figure out the defense... how all this institutional knowledge had been lost and not written down anywhere, and now we needed it... we didn't have any true experience to draw on, and neither did the institution as a whole, not that we could find anyway... so we *had* to fall back on the doctrine as a start state. We were looking for things as basic as how to do range cards, which 20 years ago I'm sure no one would believe could be forgotten.

We can't predict the future... we don't know if the next conflict is going to make us ignore this basic stuff for 5, 6, or 10 years... I'm not saying we're experts at combat team operations now but imagine if we didn't touch conventional combat team ops for 10 years because we were focused on a different style of warfare or different threat that consumed all our resources for that time period (like Afghanistan did)... and then 10 years from now, someone needs to dust off the books and get back into this... what will the book they dust off tell them?

Hopefully more than our current pubs told us about defensive ops...

Ballz, thanks for the reminder.  I'm reviewing the defensive chapter now.

On top of the list I mentioned at the start of this is there anything else you like to see explicitly discussed in the pub?
« Last Edit: January 19, 2019, 11:09:26 by Haligonian »

Offline Haligonian

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Re: What do we want from Army Doctrine and Cbt Tm in Ops?
« Reply #29 on: January 19, 2019, 12:54:34 »
Ballz, thanks for the reminder.  I'm reviewing the defensive chapter now.

On top of the list I mentioned at the start of this is there anything else you like to see explicitly discussed in the pub?

Another principle by which I'm approaching this thing.  We must explain why we do certain things and the inherent assumptions behind them.  By explaining why and the assumptions used our doctrine will be able to be much more instructive for those who lack experience in any particular area.  As Ballz noted above the defence is the perfect example.  We went several years paying lip service to the defence and often not practicing it at all.  We then have a generation of leaders with no experience of it and so they don't understand the why behind certain TTPs.  Those same leaders then start teaching at schools and can't provide required background to their students and we wind up in a vicious cycle where we have to regain precious institutional knowledge through experience.  If doctrine explains the why and the assumptions those can be re-examined to see if they're still valid and will enable people to better understand any particular TTP, it's importance, and how to modify it based on the situation.

As I read this thing I'm more and more convinced that it should become an annex in the Coy/Squadron in Ops pams.  I'm reading about the importance of a reverse slope position which clearly belongs in the Coy pam.  I've cut a lot so far but so much more could go if this were just sitting in the back of those two pams.

Offline SeaKingTacco

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Re: What do we want from Army Doctrine and Cbt Tm in Ops?
« Reply #30 on: January 19, 2019, 15:46:26 »
A pet hobby horse of mine in the defence has always been the importance of siting machine guns properly (enfilading fire from defilade; overlapping and mutually supporting arcs of fire; tgt registration) and tying them into the overall defensive fireplan.

If we want to have any hope of surviving a Russian MRR, reverse slope siting of mutually supported defensive positions, overhead cover, and camouflage all have to be stressed and backed up with first principle reasoning.

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: What do we want from Army Doctrine and Cbt Tm in Ops?
« Reply #31 on: January 19, 2019, 16:25:11 »
A pet hobby horse of mine in the defence has always been the importance of siting machine guns properly (enfilading fire from defilade; overlapping and mutually supporting arcs of fire; tgt registration) and tying them into the overall defensive fireplan.

If we want to have any hope of surviving a Russian MRR, reverse slope siting of mutually supported defensive positions, overhead cover, and camouflage all have to be stressed and backed up with first principle reasoning.

Agree.

But why limit yourself to that template for machine guns?  Why not for other direct fire, line of site weapons?  Like Anti-Armour weapons?  You'd get a higher percentage of flanking shots and tend to obscure the launch signature.  And be better able to manage the fire of what are essentially single-shot weapons.

It worked for the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo against the French Cavalry.  Why not against Russian tanks?
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: What do we want from Army Doctrine and Cbt Tm in Ops?
« Reply #32 on: January 19, 2019, 16:35:15 »
Another principle by which I'm approaching this thing.  We must explain why we do certain things and the inherent assumptions behind them.  By explaining why and the assumptions used our doctrine will be able to be much more instructive for those who lack experience in any particular area.  As Ballz noted above the defence is the perfect example.  We went several years paying lip service to the defence and often not practicing it at all.  We then have a generation of leaders with no experience of it and so they don't understand the why behind certain TTPs.  Those same leaders then start teaching at schools and can't provide required background to their students and we wind up in a vicious cycle where we have to regain precious institutional knowledge through experience.  If doctrine explains the why and the assumptions those can be re-examined to see if they're still valid and will enable people to better understand any particular TTP, it's importance, and how to modify it based on the situation.

As I read this thing I'm more and more convinced that it should become an annex in the Coy/Squadron in Ops pams.  I'm reading about the importance of a reverse slope position which clearly belongs in the Coy pam.  I've cut a lot so far but so much more could go if this were just sitting in the back of those two pams.

OK, now you've got me thinking.

Once upon a time, pams were just an 'Aide Memoire'... literally just a memory jogger for things you did alot anyways.

Now that skill fade is so prevalent in a variety of conventional war - and other - battle tasks, and turnover seems pretty high, we may need to re-conceive the whole purpose of pams that contain our doctrine.

And backing up our hard copy pams with this kind of YouTube product (well, not EXACTLY like this, but you get my drift) might be really, really important https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qBG_vZ0zDs



"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline SeaKingTacco

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Re: What do we want from Army Doctrine and Cbt Tm in Ops?
« Reply #33 on: January 19, 2019, 17:09:02 »
Agree.

But why limit yourself to that template for machine guns?  Why not for other direct fire, line of site weapons?  Like Anti-Armour weapons?  You'd get a higher percentage of flanking shots and tend to obscure the launch signature.  And be better able to manage the fire of what are essentially single-shot weapons.

It worked for the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo against the French Cavalry.  Why not against Russian tanks?

Fair point. All crew served weapons need to be sited by the OC and protected by riflemen.

Offline Old Sweat

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Re: What do we want from Army Doctrine and Cbt Tm in Ops?
« Reply #34 on: January 19, 2019, 21:32:43 »
The challenge the army faces is beyond being solved by a set of new pamphlets. However, while it takes time, it can be done. The first step is to understand the issue and make and follow a plan.Think TEWTS, study groups and formal instruction as well as a lot of down and dirty FTXs, and the good, old brigade summer concentration that got us away from the garrison crap and thinking about fighting.

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: What do we want from Army Doctrine and Cbt Tm in Ops?
« Reply #35 on: January 20, 2019, 11:52:24 »
PLAY

A four letter word that nobody wants to utter.

But a key element in creating a flexible mind that reacts well to adversity.

You can issue all the pams, aides, guidances and principles you like but you can never generate a manual that will cover every eventuality.  As soon as you write down your plans the enemy will discern them, if not immediately from seeing them then over time from watching you implement them, and immediately do the other thing - the one not covered by any of the plans.

You need to develop the resilience in your troops to keep doing, to keep trying, even when the plans fail.

Fighting, in a cage or in the field, is not about the plan.  It is about never losing focus on winning.  And that means you keep doing things until you find something that works.

And that is facilitated in peace time by expensive, time-wasting, inefficient experimentation.

Also known as PLAY.

"Wyrd bið ful aræd"