their operations on the overall mission, and give them the freedom and responsibility to develop
opportunities which the force as a whole can exploit to accomplish the mission more effectively. Force
commanders must then be able to shift their main effort quickly to take advantage of enemy
vulnerabilities their subordinates discover or create.
(1) Agility, the ability of friendly forces to act aster than the enemy, is the first prerequisite
for zing and holding the initiative. Such greater quickness permits the rapid concentration of friendly
strength against enemy vulnerabilities. This must be done repeatedly so that by the time the enemy
reacts to one action, another has already taken its place, disrupting his plans and leading to late,
uncoordinated, and piecemeal enemy responses. It is this process of successive concentration against
locally weaker or unprepared enemy forces which enables smaller forces to disorient, fragment, and
eventually defeat much larger opposing formations.
(2) To achieve this, both leaders and units must be agile. Friction, the accumulation of
chance errors, unexpected difficulties, and the confusion of battle, will impede both sides. To overcome
it, leaders must continuously "read the battlefield," decide quickly, and act without hesitation. They
must be prepared to risk commitment without complete information, recognizing that waiting for such
information will invariably forfeit the opportunity to act. Units likewise must be physically and
psychologically capable of responding rapidly to changing requirements. Formations at every level
must be capable of shifting the main effort with minimum delay and with the least possible necessity for
reconfiguration and coordination.
(3) In the end, agility is as much a mental as a physical quality. Our Army has traditionally
taken pride in its soldiers' ability to "think on their feet" and to see and react rapidly to changing
circumstances. Mental flexibility must be developed during the soldier's military education and
maintained through individual and unit training.
(1) Depth is the extension of operations in space, time, and resources. Through the use of
depth, a commander obtains the necessary space to maneuver effectively; the necessary time to plan,
arrange, and execute operations; and the necessary resources to win. Momentum in the attack and
(2) Momentum in the attack is achieved and maintained when resources and forces are
concentrated to sustain operations over extended periods, adequate reconnaissance is provided beyond
areas of immediate concern, committed enemy forces are adequately sized, uncommitted enemy forces
are interdicted or otherwise prevented from interfering, adequate air protection is provided. Also, the
enemy's command and control system is disrupted,