The Defence Doctrine and Reform Initiative (DDRI)

The Defence Doctrine and Reform Initiative (DDRI) is one the flagship projects of MNDF and was officially launched in February of 2019. With the new government and change in top military command of MNDF, the DDRI effort was aimed at undertaking organizational reform; modernization of MNDF and transforming MNDF into a professional, capable, and competent defence force. Furthermore, DDRI was also focused on formulating the necessary doctrines and tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs), and establishing operational and tactical level battle procedures. It was also focused on refining democratic civilian control over the military and instilling a higher ethos of stewardship of the military profession.


The DDRI process was setup as an academically analytical, participatory, and inclusive process. Officers, Warrant Officers and Enlisted soldiers and sailors were drawn from all services, units, and functional areas of MNDF. Through a process of thematic debates, focused discussions and guided paper presentations, members of the DDRI Committee rationalized the force structure for the MNDF into its present iteration. Further, the Capstone Doctrine of MNDF was also formulated through the DDRI process.

Doctrines guide military forces in translating policy and serve as the bridge between policy and actions at the operational and tactical levels. They reflect international best practices, learned and tacit knowledge of officers and enlisted leaders, institutional memory and personal experience of units and subunits. The MNDF Capstone Doctrine, officially launched by His Excellency the President and Commander in Chief Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on 23 April 2019, is the first publication of its kind in MNDF’s long history.

DDRI effort is a continuous and ongoing endeavor. At present, DDRI committee is engaged in creating awareness on doctrine, as well as facilitating the establishment of the envisaged services and functional commands. Additionally, DDRI has also been tasked to undertake and propose revisions to the MNDF Act and oversee the formulation of various service doctrines and operational procedures.

DDRI represents MNDF’s efforts to meet the challenges of the contemporary operational environment through a structured and intellectual process. The evolving strategic and security environment of today demands informed and thoughtful leadership, nuanced understanding of the constraints and opportunities and a highly adaptive application of force. DDRI enabled MNDF to do just that.