FOE and develops concepts that get after our service requirements. Our capstone concept, the Marine
Corps Operating Concept, was signed last fall and
we are in the process of writing new concepts like
Littoral Operations in a Contested Environment and
Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations.
Our Wargaming Division takes concepts and runs
them through unforgiving scenarios to gather valuable information to feed our Campaign of Learning.
We recently incorporated the Marine Corps Center for
Lessons Learned, which ensures we are truly a learning organization.
From there, our Experimentation and Science and
Technology Divisions devise plans to test the concepts
and technology we think might give us the advantage
on tomorrow’s battlefield. Last summer, we laid out a
10-year experimentation roadmap, Sea Dragon 2025,
to ensure we capitalize on existing and emerging technology and outpace our adversaries.
For innovation to take root it requires failing every
now and again, but when we identify a viable option,
our Rapid Capabilities Office works to get it into the
hands of our warfighters quickly.
MCWL is also the home to the Ellis Group, a select
group of military thinkers who focus on warfighting
challenges and opportunities for increasing naval war-
fighting effectiveness. They collaborate throughout the
Marine Corps, DoD [Department of Defense] and partner
nation militaries, and play a critical role in what we do.
Our work has shown concepts and technology alone
do not solve all of our problems. To be a truly modern-
ized warfighting organization, the CMC has tasked us to
redesign the force to fight and win in the future. Through
Marine Corps Force 2025, we have brought in experts
from every element of the Marine Air-Ground Task
Force to conduct a detailed force structure review that
incorporates new capabilities like cyber, electronic and
information warfare. From the beginning, nothing was
off the table, to include relevancy of occupational fields
and even the size of our infantry squad. As one can imag-
ine, discussions have been heated — as they should be.
So, once again, we find ourselves in defining times.
The complexity and instability around the globe will
continue and we need a force that is naval, expeditionary, agile and lethal. From where I sit, I am confident
the Marine Corps will change (for the better). Our
Marines and Sailors deserve it. Our nation expects it.
And I am honored to be a small part of it. n
Brig. Gen. Julian D. Alford, commanding general, Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, addresses Marines, family and friends during the Infantry Training
Battalion Relief and Appointment Ceremony on Camp Geiger, N.C., June 12, 2015, when he was assistant division commander, 2d Marine Division.