Marine Corps Maneuver Warfare - The Historical Context

This article is the fi rst in a series we call The Maneu-verist Papers, discussing maneuver warfare doctrine in the Marine Corps. Under the leadership of Com-mandant Gen Alfred M. Gray, the Marine Corps fi rst codifi ed maneuver warfare as Service doctrine with the 1989 publication of Fleet Marine Force Manual 1 (FMFM 1), Warfi ghting, although the signifi cant intellectual effort that produced the underlying concepts had begun well over a decade earlier. In 1997, Gen Charles C. Krulak oversaw the revision of Warfi ghting as MCDP 1, which clarifi ed and elaborated on select ideas from the original but did not change the essence of maneuver warfare in any way. Maneuver war-fare doctrine has thus served the Marine Corps for over three decades. Much has happened in those years, especially two lengthy wars that saw signifi cant changes in the conduct of warfare. In contrast, during the same period of time, U.S. Army doctrine has evolved from AirLand Battle to Full-Dimensional Operations to Full Spectrum Operations to now Unified Land Operations over a span of nine capstone fi eld manuals. Now the Marine Corps is set to undertake arguably the most dramatic changes to structure and capabilities in over a half century.

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