USMC: Escalation of Force - Non-Lethal Effects

U.S. Marine subdues a person during Escalation of Force (EOF) training.

U.S. Marine subdues a person during Escalation of Force (EOF) training.

July 31, 2017 | Source: Marine Corps Concepts and Programs,, 10 July 2014

Escalation of Force – Non-Lethal Effects (EoF-NLE) is the application of non-lethal capabilities that enable an individual to control a situation and execute a variety of missions while minimizing risk of significant injury and collateral damage. The definition presumes the individual’s right to self-defense and does not limit or rule out the use of lethal force.

The EoF continuum addresses the full range of response capabilities and possibilities (from non-lethal to lethal, offense to defense, and from peace to war). EoF-NLE addresses only the non-lethal portion of the EoF continuum. EoF-NLE efforts encompass a wide variety of activities and scenarios in coordination with other functions within the unit organization.

EoF-NLE actions are separated into six broad categories:


EoF-NLE can be used at both operational and tactical levels. EoF-NLE is not a mission in and of itself - it is a tool to support mission accomplishment. EoF-NLE provides options to the Commander that may permit the ability to non-lethally control or de-escalate a situation. EoF-NLE is employed both complementary to lethal force, and in mutual support of other non-lethal capabilities.

Also see related articles, USMC: Escalation of Force - Mission Modules (EoF-MM),, and USMC: Non-Lethal Indirect Fire Munition (NL-IDFM),