The wreckage of an armored personnel vehicle sits on a road to a Donbas village on June 2, 2022.

The wreckage of an armored personnel vehicle sits on a road to a Donbas village on June 2, 2022. Celestino Arce/NurPhoto via Getty Images

US Army Delays Doctrine Release to Incorporate Lessons from Ukraine

A service team is in Europe talking to Ukrainian troops and U.S. trainers, gathering information to refine its multi-domain operations playbook.

The U.S. Army is delaying the release of its multi-domain operations doctrine by a few months to refine it with lessons from the war in Ukraine, the commander of Army Training and Doctrine Command said Thursday.

The conflict is an opportunity for the Army to look at their doctrine without risking American soldiers, Gen. Paul Funk said during an Association of the United States Army event.

“Let's make sure this is working. Let's not put something out that doesn't have a chance to work, right? Doctrine just gives you a basis from which to change,” Funk said. “So you want to make sure when somebody's actually modeling that for you, you ought to take advantage of it, right? That's what we're doing.”

TRADOC laid out the service’s most recent concept for operating as part of a joint force in 2018’s “The U.S. Army in Multi-Domain Operations 2028.” Since then, the concept has been expanded into a detailed set of operating principles—that is, doctrine—that was expected to be released this month.

Instead, the Army has dispatched the entire Center for Army Lessons Learned team to Europe “to capture these observations so that we can come back, check our doctrine, make sure it's up to speed,” he said.

The team includes an assortment of Army officials, from doctrine writers to military educators, who are speaking to U.S. trainers, Ukrainian forces, and even refugees to learn as much as they can about the tactics and strategies being used in the war, Funk said.

“They're trying to gather on everything. But they're trying to do it through a lens of, ‘are we going to be ready for the future,’ right? So, we don't want to learn the lessons from the past, we want to be ready for the lessons of the future,” he said.

Since February, Defense Department officials and experts have repeatedly mentioned lessons—in reconnaissance, combined arms, and logistics—that they are learning from the fight between Russian and Ukrainian forces.