2d MARDIV Maneuver Warfare Study

On 11 January, MajGen A.M. Gray, commanding general, 2d Marine Division hosted a combined audience of 250 officers from the 2d Marine Division, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, 2d Force Service Support Group, and Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, to focus attention on current tactics and the concept of fighting outnumbered and winning. The assembly was invited to hear Col John R. Boyd, USAF(Ret), speak on his evolving theories of warfare.

Col Boyd’s five-hour presentation, which also has been given to students at Quantico, is entitled “Patterns of Conflict.” Based primarily upon an analysis of military history, it is an attempt to discern and synthesize basic trends that reoccur in warfare with emphasis on fluidity, surprise, deception, and flexibility of command. Boyd believes that it is vital to “get inside” what he calls the enemy’s observation-orientation-decisionaction (OODA) cycle. This is done supposedly by maintaining a rapid tempo and taking swift, unpredictable actions that surprise and confuse the enemy and keep him off guard.

Col Boyd’s visit was designed to cap off a six-month campaign by the 2d Marine Division’s Maneuver Warfare Board to expose the division to the basic concepts and theories underlying maneuver warfare. (See Oct81 GAZETTE, p.6, and Books Section in Nov81 or Dec81 GAZETTE.) The board will now focus its attention on refining, interpreting, and translating those concepts into realistic training and techniques for unit commanders in the field.