Field manuals or practical experience: A KLA instructor training a group of soldiers

On Field Manuals

By on October 14, 2017

If you are in a regular army, you follow the field manuals: that’s why they were written.

Field manuals are usually used in training. The officers or non commissioned officers (NCOs) are reading them and base their training on the content of these field manuals.

If they would do otherwise, they probably would be disciplined. Still, theoretical knowledge is one thing and battlefield experience is something else. Good instructors will “spice up” and enrich their field manual based training with the knowledge that they have gained in the war zones.

Never forget: a good field manual is written by people with profound knowledge of the matter and (if it’s on a combat related subject) field experience. A lot of experience has been incorporated into these manuals and it’s worth following what they teach.

On the other hand, if your manuals are outdated or suck, you better throw them out of the window and improvise.

Like in many other professions, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. If it’s already a proven practice and written down, you stick to it. There is no need to come up every time with something new.

Photo: A group of Kosovo Liberation Army soldiers during training in the Kosovo mountains, 1999. During the Kosovo war, the Kosovo Liberation Army had no field manuals, but still, the instructions that were taught to new soldiers were based on what had once been learned from field manuals, books and manual based training, combined with experience from the battlefield. Credits: Visar Kryeziu