Infantry Drills

1-13: Foundations of Unified Land Operations

Previous: 1-11: Unified Land Operations

1-13. The foundation of unified land operations is built upon initiative, decisive action, Army core competencies and mission command. By integrating the four foundations of unified land operations, leaders can achieve strategic success.

1-14. To seize, to retain, and to exploit the initiative, Army forces strike the enemy, lethal and nonlethal, in time, places, or manners for which the enemy is not prepared. To seize the initiative (setting and dictating the terms of action), Army forces degrade the enemy’s ability to function as a coherent force. Leaders then prevent the enemy’s recovery by retaining the initiative.

1-15. Army forces conduct decisive and sustainable land operations through the simultaneous combination of offense, defense, and stability (or defense support of civil authorities) appropriate to the mission and environment. Army forces conduct regular and irregular warfare against conventional and hybrid threats. (Refer to JP 3-27 for more information.) This includes:

  • Offensive tasks are tasks conducted to defeat and destroy enemy forces, and seize terrain, resources, and population centers. They impose the leader’s will on the enemy. (ADRP 3-0)
  • Defensive tasks are tasks conducted to defeat an enemy attack, to gain time, to economize forces, and to develop conditions favorable for offensive or stability missions. Defense is aggressive, and platoon leaders use all available means to disrupt enemy forces. (ADRP 3-0)
  • Stability tasks include various missions, tasks, and activities conducted outside the United States in coordination with other instruments of national power to maintain or reestablish a safe and secure environment, restore essential government services, and provide emergency infrastructure reconstruction and humanitarian relief. (ADRP 3-0)
  • Defense Support of Civil Authorities represents the Department of Defense (DOD) support to U.S. civil authorities for domestic emergencies, law enforcement support, and other domestic activities, or from qualifying entities for special events. (Refer to ADRP 3-28 for more information.)
  • Homeland defense is the protection of U.S. sovereignty, territory, domestic population, and critical defense infrastructure against external threats and aggression, or other threats as directed by the President. DOD leads the response, with other departments and agencies in support of the DOD efforts. (Refer to JP 3-27 for more information.)
  • The philosophy of mission command—the exercise of authority and direction by the commander using mission orders to enable disciplined initiative within the commander’s intent—guide leaders in the execution of unified land operations. Unified land operations begin and end with the exercise of collective and individual initiative to gain a position of advantage while degrading and defeating the enemy throughout the depth of enemy’s organization. (Refer to ADRP 6-0 for more information.)

Next: 1-16: Operations Structure

Go Back To: U.S. Army FM 3-21.8: The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad