MILM1201 Land Power Basics

Course code: 
Course name in Norwegian Bokmål: 
Landmaktens grunnlag
Program of study: 
Bachelor i militære studier
Level of study: 
Teaching semester: 
2022 Spring
Assessment semester: 
2022 Spring
Person in charge: 
Ola Kjørstad
Course content

The course Land Power Basics is divided in a practical section focusing on the troop commander and a theoretical section with four topics. The practical section will provide the cadets with an understanding of the challenges faced by a troop commander during combat. This is where the troop commander attempts to lead operations with infantry units in all forms of combat focusing on winter conditions. The theoretical section will provide an understanding of what facilitates land power and how land combat is thought to be conducted according to national doctrines. Therefore, the aim of the course is to establish a practical and theoretical foundation in order to plan and lead operations at the platoon, company, and battalion levels later in the programme.

The theoretical topics are based on guiding documents within the Norwegian Armed Forces. The topics aim to create an understanding of the content within the documents, but also to delve into and understand what the content means. The main emphasis is placed on the Norwegian Armed Forces Land Operations Doctrine (FDLO), where the Army and land power is key. In order to create an understanding of the role of the Army within the Norwegian Armed Forces, you must also understand the other branches of the Armed Forces – Sea, Air and Home Guard. Therefore, these will be touched upon, but to a lesser extent than the Army and land power. 

The development of the officers is ensured through an increased understanding of the role of land power and by identifying the demands imposed on the military profession's practitioners and leaders in combat (leadership identity). At the start of the course, some time should be set aside to establish new teams and learning groups. In addition, within this course, a methodical approach to preparations and postproduction will be introduced in connection with major practice arenas. The practice arenas of the course provide a knowledge of, and experiences with, the assignments and demands imposed on the military leader and professional practitioner. Through the use of various learning and reflection methods in the forefront, during and after practice, individual and collective learning and development (learning skills) are strengthened. This is achieved by focusing on the individual (and potentially, collective) ability to make decisions (professional expertise) and the ability to provide support (relationship skills). In order to create a prerequisite for further officer development, the individual cadet must prepare a gap analysis and action plan for his/her own leadership development during the programme. This is based on the work requirement analysis that is drawn up in semester 1, and the experiences made in the topic "Troop Commander Basics".

Learning outcome


After completion of the course, the cadet is able to: 

  • explain the role of the army within the Norwegian Armed Forces.
  • explain the role and assignments of the troop commander and the conditions under which these should be performed.
  • explain how winter conditions affect soldiers, units and mission solutions.


After completion of the course, the cadet is able to: 

  • apply personal, military material in winter conditions.
  • ensure the fighting capacity of himself/herself in winter conditions.
  • analyse the Norwegian Armed Forces Land Operations Doctrine’s (FDLO) theoretical platform.

General competence:

After completion of the course, the cadet is able to: 

  • understand the role of the Home Guard within the Norwegian Armed Forces and the importance of the Home Guard regarding civil protection.
  • understand the roles and assignments of the other branches and domains.
  • Have insight in what is required to safeguard the department's combat capability in winter conditions
Working and learning activities

The course is divided into two sections, the first section is led by the Norwegian Army Weapons School (HVS), whilst the second section is conducted at the NDUC's Department of the Norwegian Military Academy. The purpose of the first section is to create an understanding of the roles and assignments of a troop commander, as well as the context of these. The practical part of the course will be carried out at the Norwegian Army Weapons School (HVS) with a focus on the troop commander in combat. The second section of the course will form a basic understanding of what land power is, its rationale and its assignments. In the transition between the practical period at Rena and the beginning at Linderud, a TEWT (Tactical Exercise Without Troops) is carried out at Bagn. TEWT Bagn is an arena where you gain an insight into the realities of the officer profession and help to create a professional identity. 

The theoretical section of the module utilises self-study, group seminars, lectures, and seminar lessons. The main principle behind the module is providing the cadets with the best possible time to read, analyse and understand the literature. Lectures are intended as an arena where the cadets can discuss the issues raised by the literature, or go into more depth on specific issues within the topic. Within the seminars, the cadets has the opportunity to test and exchange knowledge with their fellow cadets and thereby expand their own and others' knowledge. The seminars are driven by the cadets, but will be supported by instructors. Digital tools will be used during teaching.

The module will back itself up with historical examples as an educational tool for creating understanding. The Falklands War and Germany's attack on France in 1940 will be a backdrop for the module, and is used to exemplify theoretical concepts and expressions. These historical examples will help to demonstrate the role of the officer during war and extreme situations (officer identity), and with a focus on the “Chief of Defence’s view of leadership within the Norwegian Armed Forces", the implications that the theories and doctrines have for the officer and what characteristics are required will be discussed. 

The purpose of the practice arenas is for the cadets to have an opportunity to put theoretical knowledge into practice, and to experience the demands imposed military leadership, including the planning and implementation of operations. In connection with the practice arenas, good preparatory work and postproduction is emphasised in order to reinforce the learning and promote the development of officers. The following methodological approach, in conjunction with larger practice arenas, is introduced to the cadets within this topic:

  • At the forefront of this, sufficient information is provided regarding the activities and time necessary for individual and collective preparations to be carried out. This is achieved by briefings, mission analysis and expectation clarification, development of the foundation for supervision and pre-supervision, in addition to potential professional replenishment, training, mental and practical preparations. 
  • Following this, time is set aside to reflect on, discuss and share your own experiences related to the course’s topics. If necessary, time is also set aside for individual and collective feedback, and writing of the reflective note. It is important that the postproduction is not only retrospective, but that attention is also directed towards how your own and others' experiences can be applied in the further development of the officer.   

The course is organised around the following topics:

Topic of Troop Commander Basics (HVS)

The topic of Troop Commander Basics sets the target image for the troop commander through practical exercises in fields where the cadets take up different roles within the troop framework. The topic focuses on the infantry squad and its capacities, but also provides a picture of other branches of weapons. The topic trains the cadets in mastering winter conditions.

Topic of Land Power Theory

Within the topic of "Land Power Theory", you will study key theorists who formed the basis for the Norwegian Armed Forces Land Operations Doctrine. You begin with Clausewitz' thoughts on the nature and being of war, which was studied in module 3 "The Officer and War”, and then look closer at several theories which, in summary, forms the basis for the manoeuvre warfare approach that the Norwegian Armed Forces Land Operations Doctrine builds upon. In this context, you will also study examples of alternative, selected manoeuvre theories.

Topic of The Land Domain

Within the topic “The Land Domain”, the Norwegian Armed Forces Land Operations Doctrine is still the focal point. The topic addresses the environment in which land conflicts occur, and the key agencies involved in this. During this topic, the Army's role within the Norwegian Armed Forces is exemplified, where you study the organisation of the area of operations, missions given to army units and the capacities that the Army possesses in more detail.        

Topic of Land Operations

Within the topic of Land Operations, you study the operations in which the Army participates. In this, you will gain some insight into joint operations, while the Army's operations are simultaneously emphasised. The topic ranges from high to low intensity, and from defensive to offensive operations. The topic creates a necessary understanding of the tactical cooperative operations that occur within the Army.

Topic of The Home Guard

Within the topic of "The Home Guard", you will specifically look at the role the Home Guard plays as part of the land power. Important factors that are touched upon are missions, organisation, capacities and the interface between the Army and the Home Guard.

Sensor system

Sensur gjennomføres i henhold til Forskrift for opptak, studier og eksamen ved Forsvarets høgskole.


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Angstom, J. & Widen, J.J., Contemporary military theory: The dynamics of war (London: Routledge, 2015) (Kap 6 s. 93-109, kap. 7 s. 110-119) (25s)

Clausewitz, Carl von, On War, red og oversatt av Paret Peter og Howard Michael (London: David Campell Publishers Ltd, 1993) s.427-452 og s.633-642 (35 s)

Condell, B. & Zabecki, D.T.,On the German Art of War: Troppenführung. (Mechanicsburg: Stackpole Books, 2009) (s.17-38) (21s)

Department of the Navy, MCDP 1 Warfighting (Washington, 1997)

Doughty R. A., The Breaking Point (Connecticut: Archon Books, 1990) (s. 166-201) (35s)

Forsvaret, Forsvarets doktrine for landoperasjoner (Oslo: Forsvarsstaben, 2004) (kap 1-3, 7 og 8) (92s)

Forsvaret, Forsvarets fellesoperative doktrine (Oslo: Forsvarsstaben, 2014) (kap 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 5.7 & 7.1) (65s)

Frieser, Karl-Heinz, The Blitzkrieg Legend (Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 2012) (Kap 4 og 5) (97s)

Frost, John. 2 Para Falklands The Battalion at War (Reading: Cox and Wyman ltd. 1984). (s.59-95 og 127-153)

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Clausewitz, Carl von, On War, red og oversatt av Paret Peter og Howard Michael (London: David Campell Publishers Ltd, 1993.) (s.83-114, 138-140, 145-171)

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Form of assessmentGroupingDurationType of durationGrading scaleProportionOral examinationCommentSupported materials
Skriftlig eksamenIndividual4HoursA-F 50 %Not required
PraksisIndividual4Week(s)Pass / fail50 %Not requiredOfficer assessment Troop Commander Basics HVS
Form of assessment:Skriftlig eksamen
Type of duration:Hours
Grading scale:A-F
Proportion: 50 %
Oral examination:Not required
Supported materials:
Form of assessment:Praksis
Type of duration:Week(s)
Grading scale:Pass / fail
Proportion:50 %
Oral examination:Not required
Comment:Officer assessment Troop Commander Basics HVS
Supported materials: