Doctrine comes to life at Maneuver Center of Excellence

Fort Benning published Army Techniques Publication 3.21-8, Infantry Squad and Platoon, as living doctrine.
By Desiree Dillehay, Fort Benning Public Affairs /

“The greater vision is where we have a doctrinal library at the fingertips of any leader and Soldier out there across our Army,” said Lt. Col. Bryon Bonnell, chief of the Leader Development Division for the Maneuver Center of Excellence Directorate of Training and Doctrine.

After two years of development, Army Techniques Publication 3-21.8, Infantry Platoon and Squad, is now a living doctrine available on the Fort Benning website.

“They can pull it wherever they are because we’re a paperless Army. The whole intent is to get rid of carrying around the bulky manuals,” said Bonnell. “All I need is my phone or some media device that has internet connection.”

According to the Life Long Learning Programs Branch at the Maneuver Center of Excellence, the previously static pages of doctrine come to life through animations, videos and other multimedia attributes.

“So if (Soldiers) want to see what we mean by maneuvering a platoon, bounding or conducting movement with four different platforms, they can see it play out in a video. And then we’ve also embedded some applications in the manual too,” Bonnell said.

“I think the biggest impact it has is to provide (leaders and trainers) another training-enabler,” said Bonnell. “If they have access to it, they can pull it right off and they can do classes and training at the platoon level … they can see it visualized before they go act it out on the ground … and out in the training environment.”

Fort Benning is leading the way in living doctrine, added Bonnell.

“Now of course this is our first manual, and of course we started at the platoon level,” he said. “So our next one is actually the tank platoon, because the platoon is our predominate fighting force out there for the maneuver unit.”

He added that living doctrine makes its way out to the operational force through strategic messaging from the schools.

“But as Soldiers go through here, hopefully they take that knowledge of the availability and they pass it around to the force.”

Soldiers, leaders and trainers can go to the Fort Benning website now for the first piece of living doctrine, and it should be up on the TRADOC Application Gateway soon, Bonnell said.

According to the Army Training Support Center website, the TAG is a capability to link, host and track mobile apps developed for Army professionals. The TAG requires users to sign on with their common access card, and allows them to view all available apps and books in a store format and download them to their devices.

“And that’s the whole idea – just the reach of a media device,” said Bonnell. “Hopefully in the future they should be able to look up anything they need from the proponent that supports that training.”

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