WASHINGTON – The Marine of 2030 will be a digital native, born in the Internet of Things era and raised with drones, virtual reality goggles and maybe even 3D printers at home – which will make the Marine Commander comfortable to be able to to control a battlefield swirling with information.
General David Burger described today’s young Marines borrowing their parents’ smartphones in elementary school, but tomorrow’s Marines had their own technology at an even younger age, giving them greater mastery of information.
This will give the service an advantage on a modern battlefield, Berger said at the Modern Day Marine 2022 convention, but only if the Marines properly train and educate these Marines and find ways to best harness their interests and skills.
“We go beyond the idea that every Marine has a skill, a professional specialty,” Berger said. “Today’s Marines … [are] able to master more than one skill, more than one weapon system, and to stay ahead of our competitors, we will need them. ”
In the 2030 Infantry Battalion, for example, “these Marines will be able to operate the full range of organic weapon systems in one small arms company – no identity as a machine gun or mortar,” Berger continued. “They will be able to control every communication device in the battalion. They will be trained as a chief engineer. They will have life-saving training. They will probably also have skills in steering small boats.
These many military specialties will be complemented by areas of interest to the Marines – coding, flying drones, the use of social media and more.
Berger wrote in his November 2021 Talent Management 2030 document that the service must invest in data-driven tools and models to target employees specialties where they can develop their talentscontribute the most to the larger corps and find career satisfaction, so they continue to record again.
That said, having the right Marines with the right training and personal interests in the right blanks should create a force that can be broken down into small, scattered units and still be well prepared for victory.
“The experiments we’ve done so far with design show that it’s not just possible, it’s necessary,” he said.
Berger described an infantry battalion from 2030 that could produce detachments or platoons that could control the entire killing chain on their own – with available experience to find the enemy, conceal or distort their own signature and position, use deadly or non-lethal effects and then move to a safer place – without relying on the help of specialized units.
Some critics of Berger’s vision worry too much that Marines will be recruited or that they will lose the skills that come with focusing on a weapon system.
Berger said that in the last year and a half, the service has conducted nine force-to-force exercises at the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Force Ground Combat Center in California to confirm the new look of the infantry battalion.
“Every event is proven to be small, distributed, deadly teams that can use organic.” [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance], wandering ammunition and weapons such as Javelin, Carl Gustav – much more deadly than larger formations that use traditional structures and concepts of force. And it’s not even close: so far, out of nine, this is a perfect record of 9-0 inches for the renewed infantry battalion.
Berger said that providing the Marines in a small unit with a number of lethal and non-lethal systems to choose from, and trying to control them on their own, was a change in the game, allowing small units to expand into much larger areas.
At a separate press conference on May 5, Berger said he could imagine a day when the traditional combined armed training event at Twentynine Palms’ Range 400 could include threats on the range, but the Marines see and pursue their targets from a distance. , as their reach continues to grow over time.
It is important that these Marines, who fill the squads and platoons, will be digital locals, Berger said. He sees 21st century combined weapons as an effective combination of ISR, precision fires, cyber, information warfare and e-warfare, he said in a speech – and this must be conducted at the lowest tactical level effectively to win. future battle.
“The ability to manage your own electronic signature, locate the threat, detect and exploit their communications, block their broadcasts, interfere with their command and control – this has always been important in war, but today I would suggest that they can be decisive. “A fighter who can control the spectrum of e-war and run a narrow cycle from ISR to decision-making, a closed chain of assassinations, can really dictate the pace of the conflict,” he said.
For older Marines, it may seem that they have to fight in several domains at once. For digital locals, operations in the information and cyber fields are second nature, Said Berger.
He said he hoped the industry would leverage the rapidly growing power of artificial intelligence and machine learning by providing small units with the tools to merge data from their own sensors and the broader picture and to provide useful information.
Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro, who spoke with Berger at Modern Day Marine, said the heads-up display of F-35 pilot helmets is a great example of how technology can help an individual make sense of vast amounts of data, and he said that he hopes something similar will be developed for Marines on Earth.
In addition, Berger said that these Marines will feel comfortable in the information and cyber domains, but the service will have to figure out how to refine their behavior to be suitable for competition or conflict with the enemy.
The training part, the training part, will train the team leader, platoon commander on the offensive and defensive aspects of cyberspace and a clear understanding of how to manage your signatures and how to try to influence the ability of the threat to get into your network and what damage it can cause, “he said.
Megan Eckstein is a Navy War reporter for Defense News. It covers military news from 2009 with a focus on US Navy and Marine operations, acquisition programs and budgets. She has reported from four geographic fleets and is happiest when recording stories from a ship. Megan is a graduate of the University of Maryland.