Mass: Concentrate combat power at the decisive place and time.
Make the best use of military power to achieve the commander's aims by overwhelming the enemy's military capacity. Mass the effects of overwhelming combat power at the decisive place and time. Synchronizing all the elements of combat power where they will have decisive effect on an enemy force in a short period of time is to achieve mass. Massing effects, rather than concentrating forces, can enable numerically inferior forces to achieve decisive results, while limiting exposure to enemy fire. Example: Crossfire
Objective: Direct every military operation towards a clearly defined, decisive, and obtainable objective
Direct every military operation toward a clearly defined, decisive and attainable objective. The ultimate military purpose of war is the destruction of the enemy's ability to fight and will to fight.
Offensive: Seize, retain, and exploit the initiative
Maintain operational tempo by attacking the enemy. Offensive action is the most effective and decisive way to attain a clearly defined common objective. Offensive operations are the means by which a military force seizes and holds the initiative while maintaining freedom of action and achieving decisive results. This is fundamentally true across all levels of war.
Surprise: Strike the enemy at a time, at a place, or in a manner for which he is unprepared.
Seize the initiative by attacking the enemy when, where and how he least expects it. Strike the enemy at a time or place or in a manner for which he is unprepared. Surprise can decisively shift the balance of combat power. By seeking surprise, forces can achieve success well out of proportion to the effort expended. Surprise can be in tempo, size of force, direction or location of main effort, and timing. Deception can aid the probability of achieving surprise.
Economy of force: Allocate minimum essential combat power to secondary efforts.
Make efficient use of forces, conserving energy and material to prevent unnecessary depletion. Restoration of reserves and restoration of combat capability is of paramount concern of the modern, fast paced battlefield. Employ all combat power available in the most effective way possible; allocate minimum essential combat power to secondary efforts. Economy of force is the judicious employment and distribution of forces. No part of the force should ever be left without purpose. The allocation of available combat power to such tasks as limited attacks, defense, delays, deception, or even retrograde operations is measured in order to achieve mass elsewhere at the decisive point and time on the battlefield.
Examples: Logistics management, asset reserves, fast-deploy squad
Maneuver: Place the enemy in a position of disadvantage through the flexible application of combat power
Be able to respond to unexpected changes or attacks and be able to modify one's plans accordingly. Place the enemy in a position of disadvantage through the flexible application of combat power. Maneuver is the movement of forces in relation to the enemy to gain positional advantage. Effective maneuver keeps the enemy off balance and protects the force. It is used to exploit successes, to preserve freedom of action, and to reduce vulnerability. It continually poses new problems for the enemy by rendering his actions ineffective, eventually leading to defeat.
Example: Pinching manuever
Unity of command: For every objective, ensure unity of command under one RESPONSIBLE commander
Ensure that the maritime, land and air components work in unison to achieve the end-state. For every objective, seek unity of command and unity of effort. At all levels of war, employment of military forces in a manner that masses combat power toward a common objective requires unity of command and unity of effort. Unity of command means that all the forces are under one responsible commander. It requires a single commander with the requisite authority to direct all forces in pursuit of a unified purpose.
Security: Never permit the enemy to acquire an unexpected advantage
Never permit the enemy to acquire unexpected advantage. Security enhances freedom of action by reducing vulnerability to hostile acts, influence, or surprise. Security results from the measures taken by a commander to protect his forces. Knowledge and understanding of enemy strategy, tactics, doctrine, and staff planning improve the detailed planning of adequate security measures.
Examples: Posting guards, sending out patrols, Recon
Simplicity: Prepare clear, uncomplicated plans and clear, concise orders to ensure thorough understanding
Prepare clear, uncomplicated plans and concise orders to ensure thorough understanding. Everything in war is very simple, but the simple thing is difficult. To the uninitiated, military operations are not difficult. Simplicity contributes to successful operations. Simple plans and clear, concise orders minimize misunderstanding and confusion. Other factors being equal, parsimony is to be preferred.