The following description is from the CJCSI 5120.02 series on the Joint Doctrine Development System and discusses the differences between doctrine and policy (Policy = CJCS/JS instructions, manuals, notices, and guides):
“Doctrine and Policy. Policy and doctrine are closely related, but they fundamentally fill separate requirements. Policy can direct, assign tasks, prescribe desired capabilities, and provide guidance for ensuring the Armed Forces of the United States are prepared to perform their assigned roles; implicitly, policy can therefore create new roles and a requirement for new capabilities. Conversely, doctrine enhances the operational effectiveness of the Armed Forces by providing authoritative guidance and standardized terminology on topics relevant to the employment of military forces.
Most often, policy drives doctrine; however, on occasion, an extant capability will require the creation of policy. Policy makers and doctrine developers should work interactively and in full understanding of the other arena, striving to issue harmonized policy and doctrine. It is not always clear when a void is identified whether filling it will require new (or revised) doctrine or policy (or perhaps both). As a general rule, if the need can only be adequately addressed by using such prescriptive words as “shall” and “must,” then the void is in policy, and policy development should precede doctrine development.”
Items to remember:
CJCS/JS Directives – Policy and Guidance contained within do not involve the employment of forces.
Joint Doctrine – Does not establish policy.
CJCS/JS Directives – The Directives Program is maintained by the Joint Secretariat, Information Management Division, Records and Research Branch (SJS/IMD/RRB).
Joint Doctrine – Program maintained by the Joint Education and Doctrine Division (JEDD – J-7)
CJCS/JS Directives – Access on NIPR here.
Joint Doctrine – Joint Publications (doctrine) can be accessed via the Joint Doctrine Electronic Information System (JDEIS) on NIPR SharePoint at this link.