Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Marine View from Down Under

There is a lot of good ... and sometimes not so good ... arguments pro and con on the decisions being made by and the direction where Gen.  David Berger, USMC is taking our Marine Corps - but the fact he has engaged a lot of minds and forced a lot of people to think is a service in itself to our nation's security.

In his visit earlier this month to Australia, he summarized some points that just cannot be said often enough.

You have to repeat the basics to as many people as you can as often as you can...because most people either don't know or don't understand the basics.

This is just superb, and I wish our Navy's senior leadership would use this mindset every time they have the opportunity.

Has Berger upset some people? Yes.

Good. That means he's standing for things and making people uncomfortable with their ideas.

Berger has done his thinking. If you are going to counter him - you had better done yours;

... in the long term, the marines’ value to the US military joint force was as an expeditionary element that was forward all the time and which could gather information while preventing an adversary from doing the same. That presence could ‘open the door to places’, Berger said.

‘Some of it is back to our roots where we came from.’

The marines have had to adjust their structure and posture, how they train and manage their people, their warfighting concepts, what platforms they use and what capabilities and weapon systems they need wherever they operate to make sure they stay ahead of change happening around the world, Berger said.

‘As a service chief, we have two responsibilities to make sure we provide the forces today for a conflict, but also to make sure that five, 10 years from now we’re in the right spot. We have made the investments in the right places so that the future is in a good place.’

A likely challenge for the marines and for allies such as Australia would be to keep maritime choke points open to allow commerce to flow freely and they would need to develop the tools to do that.

‘You have to be able to monitor that, to engage an adversary who wants to close it down. So, we need things like anti-ship capabilities, the surveillance, the collection capabilities in the maritime domain that we don’t have right now. We need the ability to move laterally, both by air and on the surface at a tactical level, with greater frequency and in smaller numbers than we do right now.

‘But I would say, beyond a piece of hardware, the most important part is that human part of operating in an austere, expeditionary, maritime environment without any developed infrastructure, but getting a job done. And being able to transition quickly if there’s a crisis.’

A little sidenote on the pic above (you see more on DVIDS); it represents a part of Marine culture I have always respected. The most senior Marine is visiting your command, and is just there talking to a few other Marines while everyone else just carries out the Plan of the Day as if he's just another Marine ... which he is.


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