By Lance Cpl. Timothy R. Smithers, Defense Media Activity
STAFFORD, Virginia --
The Marine Corps Tech Design Meeting, a unique collaboration among Marines with various military occupational specialties, was in Stafford, Virginia, June 13-17, 2016.
The convention was unique because of its “rankless” environment.
All personnel, regardless of status or station, wore civilian attire in order to give an even the most junior member an even say in the discussion.
“I’d definitely preach to my command about sending at least one lower guy and one higher,” said Cpl. Dennis Kirk, Libya Analyst for 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. “So we’re not forgetting the little guys that don’t see a lot of this higher up policy making changes.”
Five teams with individuals ranging from a few years to more than 20 plus years in the Marine Corps spent five days coming up with solutions to problems they had encountered within the Marine Corps intelligence community.
Each team came up with specific tools and systems they thought could be employed in the Marine Corps.
On the final day of the symposium the teams pitched their ideas to Col. William Seely III, Director of Intelligence Headquarters Marine Corps.
Seely took notes and spoke with each of the teams after their presentations. The teams and Seely spent a few minutes considering the pros and cons of the ideas and how they could be implemented in the Marine Corps intelligence field.
“We’re trying to institute change, good change, relevant change,” said Joseph Toscano, Branch Head for the Signals Intelligence Branch at Headquarters Marine Corps Intelligence Department. “It’s evolutionary and revolutionary all wrapped up into one.”
Toscano added that this collaboration is similar to meetings that take place in successful tech companies like Apple and other Silicon Valley giants.
Such conversations could generate progressive change in the Marine Corps intelligence community.