Paving the Road to the Warfighter: Preparing to Provide Legal Support on the Battlefield
The Army Lawyer, DA PAM 27-50-350, 58-73, March 2002
17 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2017
Date Written: March 2002
Army Field Manual (FM) 1-04 (formerly 27-100) defines “operational law” as “that body of domestic, foreign, and international law that directly affects the conduct of operations.” More precisely, it states that operational law is a practice that consists of legal services to support the command and control and sustainment functions of a military operation. Given this doctrinal charter, judge advocates (JAs), legal administrators, and paralegal specialists must be prepared to provide operational law support on the battlefield, not only understanding and applying the relevant law, but also effectively advising commanders as fully integrated members of the battle staff.
The purpose of this note is to share with the operational legal community the steps that the XVIII Airborne Corps Office of the Staff Judge Advocate (OSJA) took to prepare for computer-simulated battles, called “Warfighter Exercises” (WFXs).
Reprinted in significant part as an appendix to this note is the Battle Command Training Program (BCTP) Study Guide that the author, then XVIII Airborne Corps’ Chief of International and Operational Law, created in accordance with the Corps SJA’s guidance, to support the Corps OSJA BCTP preparations.
This Guide proved an invaluable reference for the Corps and subordinate command OSJAs, and republishing it for a wider audience will hopefully assist other judge advocates as they prepared for the BCTP or, more importantly, for actual contingency operations. This note’s closing comments summarize salient observations on Corps OSJA WFX preparation and exercise participation.
Keywords: Mission Command, Battle Command Training Program, BCTP, CTC, Combined Training Center, Judge Advocate, JA, Army, Warfighting Functions, Warfighter, WFX, War Game, Wargame
JEL Classification: K1, K10, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation