1. Concept Development
The military community often uses the terms "vision," "concept," and "doctrine" interchangeably, but they are not synonymous. A "vision" is a rudimentary abstract description of a desired endstate. A "concept" translates a vision or visions into a more detailed, but still abstract description of some future activity or endstate. "Doctrine" is a body of thought that comprises the fundamental principles by which military forces guide their actions in support of objectives. It represents consensus on how the Army conducts operations today. Visions and concepts generate questions about the future while doctrine provides answers about today. Integrated multidisciplinary teams produce concepts. Doctrine evolves as questions about concepts are answered or as concepts are validated through analyses, experiments, exercises, or actual operations.
The TRADOC Commander develops the Army's future warfighting vision. It is a holistic description of desired Army capabilities as seen during a commander's recon from a "mountain top" in the distant future. Because of the lack of a clearly defined adversary, warfighting experience and the national security and military strategies are most influential to vision development, with science and technology opportunities providing a frame of reference. (See Figure II-2.)
|Figure II-2. Concept Development
An Integrated Concept Team (ICT) formed by the TRADOC Deputy Chief of Staff for Combat Developments (DCSCD) translates the future warfighting vision into an overarching warfighting concept. This concept is a more detailed description of Army capabilities as seen during a "staff ride" from the same mountain top visited by the TRADOC Commander. In addition to codifying the future warfighting vision, the overarching warfighting concept reflects more direct linkages to the National Military Strategy (NMS), the Defense Planning Guidance (DPG), Joint Vision, the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Capabilities Plan, the various Commanders in Chief Integrated Priority Lists (CINC IPL), the Joint Warfighting Capability Assessment (JWCA), the Army Long-Range Planning Guidance (ALRPG), The Army Plan (TAP), and the Army Modernization Plan (AMP). In so doing, the overarching warfighting concept becomes the primary reference for all other concept development activities. The Army's overarching warfighting concept is documented in TRADOC Pamphlet (TP) 525-5.
Since the overarching warfighting concept provides a holistic, macro-level description of the future Army, it is augmented by more detailed operations and functional concepts, which describe the full range of interdependent and related future Army capabilities from a variety of perspectives and levels. HQ TRADOC, school commandants, and selected non-TRADOC leaders form ICTs to produce these concepts. All warfighting concepts begin as intellectual products which are further developed through constructive analysis and experiments. This allows them to be defined in greater detail, refined, and substantiated as a relevant framework for requirements determination. The TRADOC Commander approves all concepts. Examples include: Division Operations, Modularity, Information Operations, Battlefield Visualization, Non-Lethal Operations, Space-Support to Land Warfare.
A key function to be matured at HQ TRADOC is a holistic analytical constructive ability to allow an annual, or biennial, review of future force concepts and designs. This will require Army-wide acceptance of a series of constructive simulations, the sum of which depict a reasonable estimate of the Total Army Force required at any point throughout the program period. This will provide a forum for review of all "new ideas" that have emerged during the year with the intended outcomes being a holistic picture of a force and how it might fight and dismissal of obviously "bad" concepts.
Concept development usually leads to S&T research or experimentation. Concept development occasionally produces a compelling idea that can be defined as a DTLOMS requirement. In those cases, the S&T and experimentation phases are bypassed. Early--accurate--requirements definition is the ultimate goal of our requirements process.