PME Workshop Held

Nearly 130 Marines, instructors from formal schools around the Corps, gathered at The Basic School in July for the first professional military education (PME) workshop. Schools represented included Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One, Landing Force Training Commands, Schools of Infantry, Quanticobased schools, Fort Sill, the Army War College, and National Defense University where faculty members are Marines. The purpose was to familiarize the instructors with maneuver warfare doctrine outlined in FMFM-1. Warfighting and to ensure that instructional materials and curriculums are headed in the right direction.

William Lind, Col John Boyd, USAF(Ret), Dr. Stephen Canby, and West German Gen Hasso von Uslar-Gleichen were among the guest speakers on hand for the week-long event. Each gave presentations on their respective areas of expertise-Lind on maneuver warfare, Boyd on “Patterns of Conflict,” Canby on light infantry, and Gen von Uslar-Gleichen on techniques used to exercise military judgment. After the presentations, attendees broke down into discussion groups, examining issues raised in the presentations and suggesting ways to ensure that doctrinal concepts are properly woven into all PME instruction.

The primary thrust of the workshop was to stress that the philosophy in FMFM-1 must permeate the Corps’ structure from top to bottom. Understanding the theory and nature of maneuver warfare, how to prepare for this style of warfare, and how to incorporate its underlying principles into daily routine are vital to the successful employment of maneuver warfare.

Other manuals that amplify FMFM-1 are due for release within the next year. These will focus on tactics, operational art, Marines and strategy, fighting the Marine airground task force (MAGTF), and amphibious operations. In the meantime, the newly established Marine Corps University is planning more workshops to cover such topics as the strategic value of terrain and geography, fighting the MAGTF, and command and control and staff action.