Force Design 2030
 
 
The Mission of the United States Marine Corps (U.S. Code: Title 10):

"The Marine Corps shall be organized, trained, and equipped to provide fleet marine forces of combined arms, together with supporting air components, for service with the fleet in the seizure or defense of advanced naval bases and for the conduct of such land operations as may be essential to the prosecution of a naval campaign.

 

 

 
The Marine Corps Never Operates in Isolation

The Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Navy, and Congressional committees and stakeholder members have been fully briefed, and our active ranks have been involved at all levels in FD 2030 development. 

 

 

The Threat that Informs the Design

We are redesigning the Corps because current and future threats call for a significantly more capable force, with new operating concepts.  

Advancements in sensors, signal processing, and machine learning, coupled with robotic applications, will give rise to new use cases for autonomous systems. Even undercapitalized collections of people can use relatively inexpensive and risk-worthy drones and loitering munitions to conduct effective intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; strike; and command and control within a contested airspace to counter armor and mechanized units.

Potential adversaries are building a robust, lethal force with capabilities spanning the air, maritime, space and information domains, enabling them to impose their will on others. Contested norms and persistent disorder confrontations will likely become violent and will include competition below the threshold of traditional armed conflict.

Future adversaries use ground-based, long-range, precision anti-surface and air defense system – integrated with air, maritime, cyberspace, and space strike capabilities – to deny forces access to the conflict zone.

If entry is achieved, enemy extended range, massed fires, augmented with precision munitions engaging in high payoff targets, challenge traditional large-scale land assembly, maneuver, and sustainment.

The reach of modern stand-off weapons like hypersonic glide vehicles and associated targeting systems are so great that Marines will constantly operate under threat rings of these systems; they will not be guaranteed freedom of movement without the enemy’s cognizance. Near-peer states will have an anti-access/area-denial capability, but numerous adversaries will also have at least some capabilities to challenge US operational access.

Implications for Marines:

 

Marine formations must operate within the adversary's weapons engagement zone and under technical surveillance that is ubiquitous in nature. Smaller and lighter units of action must be capable of disaggregated reconnaissance and counter reconnaissance operations.
 
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The Process that Informs the Design

The work of redesigning the Marine Corps is threat informed, concept based, and accountable to a campaign of learning. Strategic guidance calls for a Marine Corps able to survive and thrive inside contested spaces. Developed concepts are tested through experimentation and wargaming. Integrated planning teams study and analyze the concepts for validation and refinement. 

 

 
Marines Have Always Adapted

In every era, the Marine Corps has established a focus area for force development pertinent to national and naval strategy.  We have consistently retained the operational flexibility to conduct a wide variety of missions to meet national objectives. 

 

“If we fail to adapt, fail to innovate, fail to develop and grow, we will find ourselves forever reacting and struggling.  How do we adapt? When do we realize that the old models do not work anymore?"

– Gen (Ret) Tony Zinni in Leading the Charge.

 

“It is our obligation to subsequent generations of Marines, and to our Nation, to always have an eye to the future - to prepare for tomorrow's challenges today.”

– 34th Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen (Ret) James T. Conway in the Foreword to Marine Corps Vision and Strategy 2025

 

“The fact of the matter is that the Marine Corps has a history of innovation...we’ve been improvisers.  Amphibious doctrine, close air support, the use of VSTOL, the use of vertical envelopment - those are all Marine Corps innovations.  And yet, if you go back to the Commandants in those times and said, “Hey, General Vandergrift, was it easy?  Did everyone jump on board?”  His answer would have been, “Absolutely not.” Because change is tough, it is hard.”

– 31st Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen (Ret) Charles Krulak in 1997 

 

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MARINES ARE NOT ABANDONING COMBINED ARMS

The Marine Corps of the future will have a well-trained, well-resourced, and lethal infantry capability. Organic precision fires will provide multiple echelons of the infantry battalion with a loitering, beyond-line-of-sight precision strike capability. In combination with T-UAS, it will provide a hunter/killer capability at the tactical level to rapidly engage an enemy beyond the range of direct fire weapons.

 

 

The individual infantry Marine continues to be trained and equipped to shoot, move, and communicate in order to locate, close with, and destroy enemy forces.

 

 

The Marine Corps will still employ aviation assets in support of the six functions of Marine aviation: offensive air support, anti-air warfare, assault support, air reconnaissance, electronic warfare, and control of aircraft and missiles.

 

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Sustaining the Fight

Combat Service Support (CSS) units will be modernized for contested environments to include improved distribution, maintenance, and supply capabilities. We also are increasing the number of multifunctional Combat Logistics Battalions from 15 to 18 and standing up two Distribution Support Battalions. Any CSS capacity reductions are focused on legacy capabilities with savings being reinvested into modernization.

 

 
The People Part of Force Design

In October 2021, the Commandant published Talent Management 2030 to share a vision and layout a plan to create and retain Marines capable of the aspirations contained in Force Design 2030.

TM2030 is strategic guidance that describes and prioritizes the modernization of Manpower processes and procedures. It outlines a problem set and gives broad guidance on options to move forward. 

The Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps formed the Talent Management Strategy Group (TMX) to provide executive-level oversight of this important venture. 

 

The Marine Corps is currently in PHASE ZERO - Design

 

Among the commonly discussed and misunderstood aspects of TM2030 are the tasks describing Lateral Entry and the effort to Mature the Force.

Lateral Entry.  Through the 2019 NDAA, Congress provided the authority to grant constructive service credit (CSC) to individuals receiving appointments as Active Duty commissioned officers based on needs of the Service. 

 

Lateral Entry is not a program or policy to circumvent the ethos or the legacy of our Marine Corps. 

 

Currently, the Marine Corps is exploring courses of action to make use of the statutory authorities Congress has granted by offering constructive service credit to officer candidates who possess advanced degrees or experience in high demand fields.  Furthermore, the scope and accession model will be open to prior service recruitment – capitalizing on those Marines who left the service, earned a degree or gained extensive experience, and are ultimately invited back to serve as a senior non-commissioned officer or officer.

Mature the Force.  The design of the Marine Corps for the 21st century requires a force of Marines possessing the maturity and capability to decide and act without the centralized leadership structures of recent conflicts. The matrix for success in maturing the force is currently under study / experimentation with an emphasis on retention of our best, and resolving for a better return on our substantial recruiting and training investments. 

 

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Questions? Contact Communication Directorate at (703) 614-8010.

 

Force Design 2030: The Future of the Marine Corps
Communication Directorate
July 30, 2021 | 2:04
Force Design 2030: The Future of the Marine Corps
Communication Directorate
July 30, 2021 | 2:04
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