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Marine Corps plan calls for some future Marines to skip boot camp

dimsum

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We Make Marines,” proclaims a banner at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, summarizing the service’s ethos that recruits have to prove they have the mental and physical toughness to serve in the Corps by surviving boot camp. By the time men and women receive their Eagle, Globe, and Anchor, they have proven that they have the physical and mental toughness to earn the coveted title of “Marine.”

But Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger wants “exceptionally talented Americans” to be able to bypass the Corps’ traditional rites of passage and begin serving “at a rank appropriate to their education, experience, and ability.”

Berger’s radical new Talent Management plan calls for allowing civilians with critical skills to be able to join the Marine Corps “laterally” as opposed to starting at the very bottom as new recruits.

“As a result of the significant lead time necessary to build expertise, we are unable to respond quickly to changes in the security environment that demand urgent course corrections,” Berger wrote in his plan, which was first made public on Nov. 3. “The rapid rise in importance of the cyber domain, for instance, has challenged us to find creative ways to quickly build critical skills at mid-career and senior levels. Unless we find a means to quickly infuse expertise into the force – at the right ranks – I am concerned that advances in artificial intelligence and robotics, among other fields where the speed of technological change is exponential, will force us into a reactive posture.”

 

stoker dave

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I have worked with a bunch of guys who are former US Marines (or once-a-marine, always-a-marine?). They are exceptionally good workers. They have been extremely well trained to focus on their job, follow instructions, be sure they clearly understand those instructions, work hard, get along with others and solve problems.

Instilling that culture in any organization is extremely difficult. From what I have seen, the US Marines excel at that. I hope they know what they are doing in making a change that may fundamentally impact their organization's culture.
 

quadrapiper

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Wonder what the intended scale is: might be looking at numbers too small, or personnel moving into trades already peculiar enough ("special" or computer-related, e.g.), to matter to the overall culture.
 

dimsum

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Wonder what the intended scale is: might be looking at numbers too small, or personnel moving into trades already peculiar enough ("special" or computer-related, e.g.), to matter to the overall culture.
It seems to me like niche capabilities (hiring experience cyber folks, etc) and quickly getting management/leadership experience (civilians getting hired on as a senior rank).
 

CBH99

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I'm with Dimsum on this, it sounds - from the article anyway - that being able to fill niche positions quickly is what he is after. Personally, I think it's a good idea. These folks aren't going to be out in the field bayonetting the enemy with the rifle companies.

I doubt this will interfere with the overall culture of the USMC. The USMC has a very professional, warfighting oriented culture, and as others have pointed out - they are flexible, adaptive, and make a point of cooperating/engaging with others in effective ways. A huge majority of folks who join the USMC will still go through boot camp, and earn their title.



Cyber really is a more terrifying component of modern warfare than I think many folks realize. Having the ability to quickly infuse talented people into specialized positions, and at a rank that allows them to make decisions & execute on those decisions, without having to go up & down a CoC for everything, does make a lot of sense. Timing can be absolutely critical.

Fingers hitting keyboards can be just as important as fingers pulling triggers these days - knowing what to do, and being able to do it without having to consult a line of people - would make a huge difference in a real world cyber attack. (I'm thinking of a peer vs peer scenario where the enemy shuts off our internet for a few days, or electricity, while actual combat is occurring elsewhere.)
 

daftandbarmy

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Fingers hitting keyboards can be just as important as fingers pulling triggers these days - knowing what to do, and being able to do it without having to consult a line of people - would make a huge difference in a real world cyber attack. (I'm thinking of a peer vs peer scenario where the enemy shuts off our internet for a few days, or electricity, while actual combat is occurring elsewhere.)

More important, I would say. And the USMC, like others, are in stiff competition with other big organizations for a small pool of cyber capable workers hence the fast track approach...
 

CBH99

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More important, I would say. And the USMC, like others, are in stiff competition with other big organizations for a small pool of cyber capable workers hence the fast track approach...
I absolutely agree.

A person with a rifle/machine gun/ATGM can engage a nearby target, and usually take out that target. Nothing new there.

But a person skilled in cyber operations, who knows what to do & how to do it? That person can shut down our entire society while drinking a coffee.


Imagine even having banking related internet disruptions for just a few days. No debit. No checking our accounts. No transferring funds, getting paid via direct deposit, depositing anything other than via a teller, etc.

We wouldn’t be able to buy groceries, gas, food, etc etc. And by the time a workaround solution is found, the crisis would be over anyway.

Apply that to water treatment plants - no clean water coming out of our sinks or showers.

Telecommunications disruptions - can’t call 911. (Yeah, China, you can f**k right off with your ‘offer’ to manage our 5G networks.)

Cyber is far scarier than most people realize.

We (collectively the west) spend a lot of money and time developing defenses against ICBMs. We have Aegis systems on warships and land sites, radar and satellite networks to detect their launch and track them during flight. We’ve developed ever improving generations of interceptor missiles, and ever improving direct energy weapons.

We spend how much money paying Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed, BAE Systems, etc to design and develop ever improving solutions to these problems. And we spend how much money training service personnel to become effective in using various radars, sensor systems, missile systems, etc - and also those who repair and maintain those systems.

And while it is good to be prepared as much as one can be for that type of scenario, the likelihood of such happening is low.

Yet we invest relative pennies into cyber, and the likelihood of a devastating cyber attack is pretty high.


If open hostilities ever kick off in the SCS, and the US is involved (which it absolutely will be) - you can bet money that China already has a well developed plan to create absolute chaos on US soil via cyber.

We spend relative pennies developing our ability to counter this threat, and it really is far more likely than having dozens of nukes soaring back & forth in the atmosphere.


0.02
 

SupersonicMax

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The work of a single cyber operator has a great potential for a strategic effect, which is very unlikely for a single traditional soldier. We need the bests. But we are faced against giant companies with deep pockets.
 
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