Photo Information

A U.S. Marine combat instructor with Alpha Company, Infantry Training Battalion, School of Infantry - West, fires an M72 light anti-tank weapon during fire and maneuver drills as part of the seventh week of the Infantry Marine Course on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., March 11, 2021. IMC is a 14-week pilot course designed to create better trained and more lethal entry-level infantry Marines prepared for near-peer conflicts. The course uses a redesigned learning model for students intended to develop their capabilities for independent and adaptive thought and action. The program of instruction for IMC has been in development for a year and follows guidance from the 2019 Commandant's Planning Guidance and Force Design 2030.

Photo by Sgt. Jeremy Laboy

2030 Infantry Battalions

2 Aug 2021 | Courtesy Story Headquarters Marine Corps

The 2030 Marine infantry battalion will contribute to joint and naval combined-arms formations that are essential components of the future, persistently forward-deployed, naval expeditionary force. These modernized infantry forces will execute mission-critical tasks for the fleet commander or maritime component commander, often in conjunction with or in support of SOF partners.

To accomplish their tasks, infantry battalions will be equipped, starting at the squad level, with resilient, networked communications and precision fires capabilities, including loitering munitions enabled by artificial intelligence. These units must be light, mobile, and capable of distributed operations. They must be able to embark aboard all types of Navy and auxiliary vessels, and they must be armed with organic systems capable of sensing, cueing, and shooting in support of naval and joint sea-control and assured-access missions. Mature, competent, highly trained and educated Marines equipped with state-of-the-art weapons and equipment are essential to achieving this vision.

 “…we are modernizing our infantry battalions and traditional reconnaissance units to create more distributable formations with much greater organic lethality in accordance with units traditionally associated with special forces and commando units.” Gen D. H. Berger, SASC Testimony 23 Sept 2020

These following changes are to enable Infantry Battalions to meet the requirements for Distributed Operations and Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations, to provide more lethal, versatile, and experienced units with more multi-disciplinary Marines.

To enhance the infantry battalion’s capabilities, we will add organic multi-domain sensing (Operations in the Information Environment, Electronic Warfare, and Unmanned Aircraft Systems) capabilities, organic loitering munitions, and increased mobility. One of the changes being evaluated is a shift to an “arms room” concept with the elimination of Weapons Company and the shift of weapons systems formerly associated with Weapons Company, 81mm mortars and the Javelin for example, into the headquarters or rifle companies. This will allow the rifle company to tailor mission specific lethality.

 

Through the Fog Photo by Cpl. Aaron Patterson

Adjusting to this concept will require a multi-disciplinary Marine, supported by a longer, more comprehensive entry-level training pipeline; this is an effort currently underway within Training and Education Command. The Marine Corps is enhancing the Infantry Marine Course by increasing the Program of Instruction by six weeks (from 8 to 14). 

Within the additional time:    

• Marines will be technically and tactically proficient with more company-level infantry weapons systems.

• Marines will be trained in a variety of expedient communications platforms to facilitate small-unit communications, command, and control.

• Marines will be proficient in all-spectrum signature management and enhanced camouflaging techniques.

The reorganization of the infantry battalion is supported by a campaign of learning, to include wargaming, studies. And modeling and simulation. 

Under the observation of the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, each MEF will experiment with its respective infantry battalion reorganization.  The Marine Corps is not experimenting with the reorganization in a limited exercise scenario in a controlled environment at a training facility, but instead equipping, training, and deploying under the new construct. 

Upon completion of the deployment, fleet feedback will be closely monitored and applied to future modeling and simulation events.  Outcomes will help to validate and influence follow-on reorganization decisions.