Guidance for Employment of the Force (GEF)

The GEF is classified (Secret) written guidance from the Secretary of Defense to the Chairman for the preparation and review of contingency plans for specific missions. This guidance includes the relative priority of the plans, specific force levels, and supporting resource levels projected to be available for the period of time for which such plans are to be effective. It is the primary source document used by the Chairman to develop the Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan (JSCP). The SecDef’s GEF and the Chairman’s JSCP are companion documents: The GEF provides strategic guidance while the JSCP provides implementing guidance.

The GEF requires the geographic combatant commanders (GCC) to produce Theater Campaign Plans. To support this mandate, the GEF provides GCCs with:

These campaign plans include security cooperation, Phase 0 (Shape), and contingency plans. The JSCP-tasked contingency plans are considered branch plans to the theater campaign plan. The GEF specifies campaign planning priorities to the GCCs by the following categories:

Source: Patrick C. Sweeney, Guidance for Employment of the Force (GEF), Joint
Strategic Capabilities Plan (JSCP), the Adaptive Planning and Execution
System, and Global Force Management (GFM) (Newport, RI: United States Naval
War College, July 2013.