Page:USMC MCDP 1-3 - Tactics.djvu/11

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MCDP 1-3

In military operations other than war, tactics may be the schemes and methods by which we perform other missions, such as to control a crowd or to provide a secure environment for the delivery of food, medicine, or supplies to a nation or people in need.

As stated in the definition, tactics is a combination of art and science to gain victory over the enemy. The art of tactics lies in how we creatively form and apply military force in a given situation. It involves the creation, positioning, and maneuver of combat power. When do we flank the enemy, and when do we ambush him? When do we attack, and when do we infiltrate? How do we use speed and momentum to achieve a decisive advantage? This creativity is a developed capacity, acquired through education, practice, and experi- ence.

The science of tactics lies in the technical application of combat power. It includes mastering the techniques and procedures that contribute to the development of warfighting skills such as marksmanship, navigation, gunnery, and close air support. The execution of these techniques and procedures must become second nature for us; this requires intensive and continuous training. Without mastery of basic warfighting skills, artistry and creativity in their application are impossible.