As you look at a deployed Army in the field you don’t see all the paperwork that stands behind. Most of us would assume that there are SOPs (standard operating procedures) TTPs (Techniques, Tactics and Procedures), regulations or guidance out there. After all, there has to be a way for everyone to understand what they are about, how to do it, and a standard for accomplishments.
At the beginning, there is a core of doctrine defining those who, whats, whys, hows and wheres. At the headquarters (very senior headquarters) all of these documents are on a regular review cycle. Feedback on the effectiveness of doctrine and gaps comes up from the field through various channels and becomes incorporated into the planned way of doing business.
AMS stands for [British] Army Medical Services. As the two star headquarters and the equivalent to the US Army’s Surgeon General’s office, the doctrine function is housed down the hall from me.
All of this is to explain why at 0930 this morning I found myself attending a meeting regarding Core Concepts and Doctrine. At least there was coffee, tea and biscuits (cookies for you US types) provided.
Discussions ensued on evacuation times, capability terms of reference, implications of changes for staffing, training and equipping. Printed documents averaging two inches thick had been gone through line by line with consolidated comments prior to the meeting.
Two hours later, I was relatively sane. Except for one attendee, this is an intelligent, professional group. The odd man out, on the other hand, kept wandering down various rat holes and and bringing things back up long after every had moved on to the next item. The guy running the meeting was pretty good – polite, firm and kept to the agenda. (I think the wandering dude had enough rank that everyone had to be polite…..).
Spent a quiet afternoon and evening listening to a couple of podcasts and reading.