SFC Asher, FM 3-0 subject-matter expert
(click on image above to access FM 3-0)
MSG Half-Mast recently stopped by scenic Ft Leavenworth, Kansas to meet and greet SFC Matthew J. Asher, the face of the newly updated FM 3-0, Operations (Oct 22).
SFC Matthew J. Asher currently serves as a spokesman for the Combined Arms Doctrine Directorate (CADD) at Ft Leavenworth. CADD falls under the US Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). SFC Asher made his first appearance there in early 2021 and typically hangs around the post's gyms, commissary, DFAC and bowling alley, talking with Soldiers. He supports static displays with members of the CADD team and recently appeared in a Fall 2022 doctrine developer’s newsletter article regarding multidomain operations. Some find him a bit two-dimensional (MSG Half-Mast can relate), but few know FM 3-0 better than this seasoned NCO.
MSG Half-Mast: It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance, SFC Asher. My understanding is that your mission is to help get Soldiers interested and invested in “reading and heeding” doctrine. Why is that important?
SFC Asher: Every profession has a foundational body of knowledge that shapes how and, more importantly, why individuals and organizations perform their jobs the way they do. For the Army, doctrinal publications form a significant portion of that body of knowledge (as you know, technical manuals or TMs form another). But, producing and publishing these manuals is only half of the battle. Soldiers need to know where to find the latest doctrine, and they must read and understand the fundamentals it contains.
MSG Half-Mast: The new FM 3-0 (Oct 2022) establishes multidomain operations as the Army’s new operational concept. Please explain multidomain operations and how they differ from previous concepts, such as unified land operations.
SFC Asher: I’m going to sound a bit preachy here but, hey, that’s my job. Multidomain operations are the standard for how the Army must fight today and into the future. It requires Army forces to employ land, air, maritime, space and cyberspace capabilities in complementary and reinforcing ways to create and exploit advantages against an adversary or enemy during all operations. It’s important to note that creating and exploiting advantages begins long before the Army enters armed conflict. We must create advantages during our training and preparation for armed conflict.
Multidomain operations differs from previous operational concepts in that it expands the idea of combined arms beyond the Army’s traditional focus on air and land capabilities. Our leaders need to understand how land forces influence other domains and how capabilities applied in other domains influence outcomes on land. For example, we don’t control satellite communications or air interdiction, but they impact us and we impact them.
MSG Half-Mast: As you might know, PS Magazine’s mission is to keep Soldiers informed about maintaining their vehicles and equipment so they’re always combat-ready. How does this focus on equipment readiness mesh with multidomain operations? Put another way, are there particular aspects of multidomain operations that are more acutely dependent on equipment readiness than before?
SFC Asher: Isn’t one of your tag lines, “Would you stake your life, right now, on the condition of your equipment?” Multidomain operations meshes well with the mantra of always being combat-ready. With multidomain operations, the Army continues to reinforce the idea that Soldiers and leaders may need to deploy on a moment’s notice to fight or to respond to a crisis. In either situation, if we show our adversaries that we’re combat-ready in terms of training and equipment readiness, then that may cause an adversary to reconsider whether to initiate or continue hostile activities. Our readiness may prevent the next war. If we must enter armed conflict, then we’re prepared to win. And, again, equipment readiness is a huge component of that preparedness.
MSG Half-Mast: Doctrine (just like TMs) doesn’t make for the most compelling reading, and some Soldiers think that only their leaders need to do it. Why is it crucial that Soldiers/warfighters at every level read FM 3-0?
SFC Asher: The threats facing our nation today impact Soldiers not only on the battlefield, but also at home station. So, Soldiers need to understand how the Army conducts operations to meet and overcome these threats. FM 3-0 is the starting point for that understanding.
MSG Half-Mast: What are some strategies and resources that CADD at Ft. Leavenworth is developing and employing to help make it easier for Soldiers to consume doctrine? For example, are there videos, podcasts, MS Team training sessions, etc. available to them and their units? What more lies just over the horizon?
: CADD offer several multimedia products to improve accessibility and understanding of Army doctrine. For about 4 years now, we’ve been producing audiobooks of our publications. You can find our library of audiobooks on the Central Army Registry (CAR) HERE
We have a YouTube channel where we post videos that explain the many terms and concepts found in Army doctrine, including a feature-length video of our CADD director explaining the major changes found in the new FM 3-0, Operations HERE
We produce a podcast called Breaking Doctrine,
where we discuss a variety of doctrine-related topics with Army senior leaders. We cover a broad range of subjects, so there’s something there for everyone. You can find Breaking Doctrine
on Spotify, Apple Podcast, or the Google Podcast websites.
Finally, we’re active on both Facebook and Twitter where we promote all our products and offer our followers the latest information on emerging Army and joint doctrine. Help us help you and follow us on our social media sites.
MSG Half-Mast: Any final thoughts you’d like to share on the new FM 3-0, doctrine in general and the ways they reinforce and rely on personal, vehicle and equipment readiness?
SFC Asher: The US Army is a doctrine-based force. Doctrine informs how we operate as an Army. It drives how we train, personnel requirements, equipment and how we organize. The Army is making a significant shift as we transition from unified land operations (ULO) to multidomain operations. That shift starts with doctrine.
To make the transition, it’s important that all Soldiers understand multidomain operations. So, read the new FM 3-0 or listen to the audiobook and check out our multimedia resources to help us help you.
You know, MSG Half-Mast, doctrine, vehicles and equipment aside, our success as an Army is built on the great Soldiers we have the opportunity to lead. We, as leaders, owe it to these Soldiers to be the best we can be and being the best starts with a foundation of Army doctrine.
To view, download and read FM 3-0, click HERE