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NEWS | Nov. 30, 2023

Army publishes first doctrinal manual dedicated to information

By Randi Stenson Mission Command Center of Excellence Public Affairs

The Army released its first doctrinal publication dedicated to the topic of information and its role in multidomain operations on the Army Publishing Directorate website, on Nov. 27, 2023.

Army Doctrine Publication 3-13, Information, codifies the Army’s approach to the military uses of data and information and recognizes all activities generate informational effects that can contribute to, or hamper, achieving objectives.

“Information is central to everything we do. It is the basis of intelligence, a fundamental component of command and control, and the foundation for communicating thoughts, opinions and ideas,” said Lt. Gen. Milford Beagle, Jr., commanding general, of Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth. “As a dynamic of combat power, Army forces fight for, defend, and fight with information to create and exploit information advantages — the use, protection, and exploitation of information to achieve objectives more effectively than enemies and adversaries.”

Authors from CAC’s Combined Arms Doctrine Directorate, the organization charged with writing the new manual, acknowledge that changes in the security environment necessitated an update to the doctrine. Adversaries are already using informational power to try to gain regional influence and control well ahead of potential armed conflict. These actions make the competition for information and ideas continuous and persistent.

Key to achieving objectives in a contested environment like this means gaining an information advantage, a new term now defined in doctrine. An information advantage is “a condition when a force holds the initiative in terms of situational understanding, decision making, and relevant actor behavior.”

“Our new doctrine makes it clear that everyone plays some role in achieving information advantage,” said retired Army colonel and CADD Director Richard Creed. “Similarly, commanders need to consider information from a combined arms perspective because all Army capabilities create effects in the information dimension of our operational environment. We can’t make it the sole purview of a single staff section or certain specialties and expect success during operations. Operations now require leaders to consider how information enables operations, how to protect friendly information, how to employ information against an enemy or adversary, and how to attack the enemy’s ability to use information effectively.”

To facilitate that process, ADP 3-13 gives leaders a framework for developing information advantages during operations and at home station. It also spells out how commanders can leverage aspects of information that enable command and control; protect data, information, and networks; inform audiences; influence threats and foreign relevant actors; and attack the threat’s ability to use information.

The publication of ADP 3-13 is just the start of a sustained education campaign from CAC. As with the release of FM 3-0, CADD is developing a series of products to help Soldiers understand the new doctrine. Articles, videos and podcasts devoted to ADP 3-13 are in the works and will be announced via CADD’s social media channels. The team will also work closely with the Centers of Excellence, Army University and the combat training centers to ensure this information is incorporated into professional military education and training. In addition, mobile training teams will visit select installations and organizations to further integrate the ideas outlined in the manual.

“ADP 3-13 provides the intellectual underpinnings that describe how Army forces will gain, protect, and exploit information advantages; however, doctrine is only the beginning. The hard work starts when we begin to internalize these ideas into leader development, education, and training,” said Beagle.

To learn more about ADP 3-13 and other doctrine, visit the Combined Arms Doctrine Directorate website.