Army forces conduct full spectrum operations within operational environments characterized by complexity, uncertainty, and continuous change. In operations, commanders face thinking and adaptive enemies, changing civilian perceptions and differingMoreArmy forces conduct full spectrum operations within operational environments characterized by complexity, uncertainty, and continuous change. In operations, commanders face thinking and adaptive enemies, changing civilian perceptions and differing agendas of various organizations in an operational area.
Commanders can never predict with certainty how enemies or civilians will act and react or how events may develop. Success in operations requires leaders to build, maintain, and revise their situational understanding throughout an operation. Leaders must anticipate, learn, adapt, and manage transitions more effectively than their opponents.
This manual describes how commanders-supported by their staffs, subordinate commanders, and other military and civilian partners-exercise command and control during the conduct of full spectrum operations. The operations process consists of the major command and control activities performed during operations: planning, preparing, executing, and continuously assessing the progress of an operation. Battle command is at the center of the operations process. The six chapters and its associated ten appendixes of this edition of field manual (FM) 5-0, The Operations Process, constitute the Armys view on planning, preparing, executing, and assessing operations.
Together with FM 6-0, Mission Command: Command and Control of Army Forces, this manual provides the Army with a common philosophy and language for the exercise of command and control throughout the conduct of operations. This version of FM 5-0 increases the scope of the manual over previous versions from strictly a manual on planning and orders production to a manual that addresses all activities of the operations process.
It describes how commanders, with support from their staffs, drive the operations process through battle command-the art and science of understanding, visualizing, describing, directing, leading, and assessing operations to accomplish missions. This change intends to better describe the dynamic relationship among the commander, staff, subordinate commanders and their staffs, and other military and civilian partners throughout the operations process-not just planning. In addition, FM 5-0 incorporates design within the operations process. Design is an approach to critical and creative thinking that assists commanders in understanding, visualizing, and describing complex problems and developing approaches to manage or solve them.
To comprehend the doctrine contained in FM 5-0, readers must first understand the fundamentals of full spectrum operations described in FM 3-0, Operations. In addition, readers must be familiar with FM 3-90, Tactics, FM 3-07, Stability Operations, and JP 3-28, Civil Support.
They must understand how offensive, defensive, and stability or civil support operations complement each other. Readers must also understand the fundamentals of command and control addressed in FM 6-0 and the fundamentals of leadership addressed in FM 6-22, Army Leadership. This manual applies to all Army forces. The principal audience for this manual is Army commanders and unit staffs (officers, noncommissioned officers, and Soldiers). Commanders and staffs of Army headquarters serving as a joint task force or a multinational headquarters should also refer to applicable joint or multinational doctrine for the exercise of command and control.
Trainers and educators throughout the Army also use this manual. FM 5-0 applies to the Active Army, the Army National Guard/Army National Guard of the United States, and the United States Army Reserve unless otherwise stated.