The Future Of Marine Infantry: Cyber-Warriors or General-Purpose, All-Weather Grunts?
Author(s)Bryant, L. M.
Contributor(s)MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
KeywordsMilitary Forces and Organizations
Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
*MARINE CORPS PERSONNEL
NETWORK CENTRIC WARFARE
21ST CENTURY LAND WARRIORS
MARINE ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM
RMA(REVOLUTION IN MILITARY AFFAIRS)
POST-COLD WAR ERA
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AbstractMarine infantry innovation should focus on enhancing the basic performance of the riflemen vice pursuing advanced technologies to create an "army of star troopers." Both services that possess an infantry arm are pursuing "enhancements" aimed towards divergent objectives. Specifically, the U.S. Army is seeking an infantry arm of "human sensors" that will link into the "digitized" battlefield of the future and have the capability to contribute and share in the "perfect knowledge" of the future Army, Force XXI. Army leaders are encouraging technology developments with the erroneous expectation that future battlefields will be characterized by reduced friction or fog of war. On the other hand, the U.S. Marine Corps is pursuing a low-tech approach with hesitant involvement in the Army's high-tech efforts. This approach appears to be the better choice for the variety of possible missions that Marine infantry will be assigned in the future. While high-tech soldiers may be attractive in many respects, they will be too expensive for the Marine Corps and will not possess the flexibility to operate in the grimy and disorderly world of the infantry environment of the near future. Further, these infantry units will have reduced applicability across the complete spectrum of war, from Operations Other Than War (OOTW) to conventional warfare. The Marine Corps should continue to create an environment for innovation but watch the creation of the high-tech soldier with a jaundiced eye.
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