Skip to main content
Woman in red on laptop
Main content

Operating Concept - Army

Army Operating Concept

The Army has released its new operating concept for 2020-2040 which describes how future Army forces, as part of joint, interorganizational, and multinational efforts, operate to accomplish campaign objectives and protect U.S. national interests.

It describes the Army’s contribution to globally integrated operations, and addresses the need for Army forces to provide foundational capabilities for the Joint Force and to project power onto land and from land across the air, maritime, space, and cyberspace domains. The Army Operating Concept guides future force development through the identification of first order capabilities that the Army must possess to accomplish missions in support of policy goals and objectives.  The complexity of future wars with respect to cultural dimensions will place a premium on cultural readiness. Click here to view the document.

As Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno writes in a foreword, it is "designed to "prevent conflict, shape security environments and win wars."  The concept, released by the service's Training and Doctrine Command, lays out the framework for how the Army fights and takes into account "both continuities in war's nature and changes in its character," Odierno says. "Conflicts in the future, like those in the past, will ultimately be resolved on land," he writes - contradicting the conventional wisdom that the United States is moving away from the land wars of the past decade and toward a strategy more reliant on air and sea power.

“The purpose of the Army Operating Concept is to ask big questions; not focus on small answers. This concept focuses on three big questions; what level of war is the concept going to address, what is the environment we think Army forces will operate in, and what is the problem we are trying to solve. This concept focuses on all three levels of war: tactical, operational and strategic. The environment the Army will operate in is unknown. The enemy, location and coalitions involved are unknown. The problem we are focusing on is how to 'Win in a Complex World.’”
– Gen. David Perkins, commanding general of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command

Click here to view the document.

A green, tree-filled park with a tall, two-story pagoda in the middle.