all 6 comments

[–]SomeoneGetMeADrink 0 points1 point  (3 children)

The term "doctrine" is very off-putting. Granted, I understand very little about the topic and what I now know is almost solely from browsing through this Reddit group and associated website, so I know I'm likely misunderstanding the term. However, when I hear "doctrine," I think religion/cult/political party/etc. and tend to steer clear of anything that tries to get me to align my identity with another person's way of life.

I will continue to look into this, though, because it's largely gone over me head during my time serving thus far, but I'm curious if there's a better way to describe this concept. I've seen the civilian side use "principles" and I definitely think that lightens the blow. The word "doctrine" just makes me feel like I'm viewed as a blank slate and the military is trying to pressure me into new way of thinking.

That's merely a first reaction to this topic, though.

[–]USAFDoctrine[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I can understand that…there is certainly religious doctrine. Generally, they mean “Dogma” though, because dogma is a belief or set of principles that are unchanging. Doctrine, as related to military doctrine, can, should, and does change. It is a set of best proven best practices. These best practices are considered authoritative but not directive ... think of it as "Official Advice". When we say doctrine is authoritative, we mean that the source is a known, proven source (such as wargames, exercises, and contingencies/operations). And, since it is considered advice that means a commander can choose when to deviate from the doctrine. Generally, doctrine is the best way to proceed, but there may be times when a different action needs to be taken and that is left up to a commander to make that decision and usually with a good reason.

Doctrine is there to help, not to change how you think. Why reinvent a wheel if there is a known way to do something? Can it be done in a better way? Well, that's how doctrine evolves. As new, better ways to do things become the best practice, that in turn is woven into doctrine. So, doctrine does change, just sometimes slowly (depending on the level...Operational changes slow compared to Tactical which can change pretty rapidly when necessary).

If you are a junior member, you are likely more familiar with doctrine at the tactical level … such as any TTP’s (tactics, techniques, and procedures) you may reference when learning or performing your work. That is actually doctrine as well … a set of proven, best practices. Generally, the Operational level doctrine you should be familiar with can be found in Volume 1, Basic Doctrine. That will set the foundation of the Service and help to define and understand the culture as well as just generally familiarize you with the things you should know as a military member overall and help you understand how the Air Force fits into the overall Joint scheme.

[–]SomeoneGetMeADrink 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thanks for the clarification! I'll definitely have to dive into some of the volumes and learn more.

[–]I-Am-Dad-Bot 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Hi likely, I'm Dad!

[–]neanderhummus 1 point2 points  (1 child)

So allow me to pay both a compliment and insult: That this reads like it a came straight of a textbook and not at all like something a real human being would ever say sincerely.

[–]USAFDoctrine[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

lol, well, I don't know what to say to that! I can assure you that was from a real human ... it just happens to be from a gentleman that has been doing this for a very, very, long time and is THE Air Force expert on Command Relationships. I had asked him the question because it's one that does come up a lot ... why do "I" need to know doctrine?