Soldiers developing SOPs for their units are encouraged to apply critical thinking while referring to the models and other resources to aid their own content development. At a minimum, portal users must be familiar with this ATP, Field Manuals (FMs) 5-0 and 6-99.2; Army Regulations (ARs) 25-1, 34-4, and 380-5; and Department of the Army Pamphlet (DA Pam) 25-403. Soldiers are encouraged to use the portal to collaborate, to improve the portal's contents, and to upload new SOP examples. The SOP portal is secure and requires an Army Knowledge Online or Defense Knowledge Online login. The portal's contents are unclassified. Neither this manual nor the SOP portal is intended to regulate the appearance or content of unit SOPs.
Note. In June 2010, JP 3-31 changed standing operating procedure to standard operating procedure. The meaning is unchanged.
The doctrine in this manual provides techniques for developing unit tactical SOPs. Units throughout the Army can take advantage of technology to obtain guidance, collaborate in real time, and find information quickly. This manual and the SOP portal are intended to enhance operational adaptability Army-wide. In the short term, the information in the SOP portal will help units establish or improve SOPs more rapidly. In the long term, the intention is that more and more units will build SOPs using the portal and the doctrine in this manual. Ideally, SOPs throughout the Army should increase in similarity as the combination of doctrinal guidance and Army-wide milWiki collaboration facilitates consensus. This will help units communicate and coordinate with one another more easily. Reassigned Soldiers and units will become familiar with SOPs in their new assignments more quickly.
Chapter 1 of this ATP discusses resources for integrating SOP development with collaborative technology, doctrine, and policy. Chapter 2 discusses a process to help authors develop effective SOPs. Chapter 3 provides the SOP portal's URL and detailed instructions on how to use the portal. To enhance standardization of tactical SOPs, the SOP portal provides tactical SOP guidance organized according to the Army operation plan and order format. For the reader's convenience, chapter 3 of this manual shows a list of attachments and responsible staff officers as table 3-1 (pages 3-4 to 3-7). Table 3-1 serves as an approximate table of contents for the information under the portal's tactical SOP guidance tab. Because the volume and variability of material in the portal, providing a fixed listing of the portal's contents in this ATP is not practical. Unit SOP examples are organized under the portal's categories tab (described in chapter 3). The general categories used for SOP examples are nondoctrinal and variable; they will expand or change as Soldiers modify them.