Tactical Operations Always Require Judgment and Adaptation to the Unique Circumstances of a Specific Situation. ADP 3-90 Provides Commanders with a Set of Tools to Use in Developing a Solution to Their Tactical Problem.
This Army publication is the Army’s standard reference for all tactical art and science students. It outlines the organization of forces, minimum essential control measures, and general planning, preparation, and execution considerations for each primary offensive and defensive task.
ADP 3-90 is the Army’s collective view of how prompt and sustained tactical offensive and defensive tasks are conducted in large-scale ground combat. It provides a common framework for commanders, supported by their staffs, to plan, prepare, execute, and assess offensive and defensive tasks. It also provides guidance on the basic concepts and control measures associated with the art and science of tactics.
In general, ADP 3-90 lays out the principles and standards that guide the employment and ordered arrangement of forces in relation to each other (JP 1-02). It also prescribes standard, detailed steps for performing specific tasks (JP 1-02). This publication is authoritative, but it requires judgment in application.
The five chapters in ADP 3-90 focus on the tactics used to employ available means to prevail during large-scale ground combat (in the offense and the defense). They constitute the Army’s collective view of how it conducts prompt and sustained tactical offensive and defensive tasks on land.
The offense aims to defeat and destroy enemy forces, seize terrain, resources, and population centers, and pursue the enemy. It consists of four primary tasks: movement to contact, attack, exploitation, and pursuit.
The defense aims to economize forces, defeat an attack, gain time, and develop conditions favorable for offensive or stability tasks. It consists of three basic tasks: security, reconnaissance, and troop movement. These are normally combined arms activities. They are conducted to support whichever operational framework (defined in ADP 3-0) is being used: decisive-shaping-sustainment operations, main and supporting efforts, or deep-close-security.
Army Doctrine Publication ADP 3-90 Content
The Army Doctrine Publication ADP 3-90, OFFENSE AND DEFENSE, is the foundational publication for all Army students of tactical art and science. It is the standard reference for commanders’ use in conducting prompt and sustained tactical offensive and defensive tasks on land. It contains fundamentals, tactics, techniques, and procedures that are combat tested and modified to exploit emerging Army and joint offensive and defensive capabilities.
ADP 3-90 presents the overall Army doctrinal concept for prompt and sustained land operations based on a collective view of how Army forces conduct offense and defense tasks in large-scale ground combat. It consists of five chapters, each focusing on the tactical conduct of an offensive or defensive task. ADP 3-90 establishes the lexicon commanders use to describe their tactics and constitutes the Army’s common view of how it conducts offensive, defensive, stability, and defense support of civil authorities tasks on land.
Chapter 1: Tactical Fundamentals briefly introduces the fundamental principles and concepts that are the basis for the other chapters in ADP 3-90. It covers the basic organization of forces, minimum essential control measures, and general planning, preparation, and execution considerations for each primary offensive or defensive task.
In addition, the chapter provides the reader with information on the four operational frameworks – offense, defense, stability, and defense support of civil authorities. Each framework has its own specific characteristics and enables the commander to rapidly shift emphasis from one element or subordinate task to another for flexibility in transitioning to different types of operation.
Each operational framework also has a set of common tactical enabling tasks that commanders employ to assist in the conduct of the offense, defense, stability, and defense support tasks. These tactical enabling tasks are not conducted in their own right but are employed to shape or support the conduct of any of the other elements of decisive action.
In preparing the table of contents for ADRP 3-90, we sought to ensure that the document presented the most up-to-date information on current tactical issues. To do this, we updated terminology to reflect Army decisions made since 4 July 2001. In addition, we rescinded terms that were outdated and introduced new information.
Tactics are the art of employing, ordering, and directing forces to achieve a military objective. The best tactics synchronize the elements of combat power in a way that creates multiple dilemmas for the enemy while reducing the effort to win. The most effective tactics require judgment and adaptation to the unique circumstances of a given situation. The Army has a lot of tricks up its sleeve and a lot of training to get those tricks into action. ADP 3-90 is the Army’s standardized manual on this subject. It is a must-have for all Army commanders and tactical planners.
The newest edition of ADP 3-90 was published in July 2019 and is available on the Army website. This field guide is designed to help the next generation of Army leaders and their civilian counterparts get the most out of their time on the job. The latest edition has been optimized for mobile usage and rolled out across the Army. The book is designed to be the most up-to-date and relevant guide to cutting-edge Army technology.