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AY2019 MAGTF Operations Afloat Essay

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AY2019 MAGTF Operations Afloat Essay

AY2019 MAGTF Operations Afloat Essay

Essay Question

In light of A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower and the Marine Corps Operating Concept, how will the changing character of war impact the future of amphibious operations and what steps should the Marine Corps take to best posture for that new reality?

Your essay must be typed, double spaced, and between 1,000 – 1,500 words.


“The MOC does not provide an answer to every problem. Rather, it is intended to generate professional debate and discussion about our future challenges. We need every Marine and Sailor to seek creative solutions to today’s and tomorrow’s complex problems. We need your ideas and your critical thinking. We need to change where it makes sense, adapt as quickly as possible, and constantly innovate to stay ahead of our adversaries. Our ability to adapt more quickly than our enemies will be vital to our future success. We need all Marines to read, discuss, and challenge the ideas in the MOC.” 


General Robert B. Neller, Foreword, Marine Corps Operating Concept


The Marine Corps is currently not organized, trained, and equipped to meet the demands of a future operating environment characterized by complex terrain, technology proliferation, information warfare, the need to shield and exploit signatures, and an increasingly non-permissive maritime domain.

Statement of the Central Problem, Marine Corps Operating Concept

“War is both timeless and every changing. While the basic nature of war is constant, the means and methods we use evolve continuously.”

MCDP 1 Warfighting

“The character of war describes the changing way that war as a phenomenon manifests in the real world. As war is a political act that takes place in and among societies, its specific character will be shaped by those politics and those societies – by what Clausewitz called the ‘spirit of the age.’ War’s conduct is undoubtedly influenced by technology, law, ethics, culture, methods of social, political, and military organization, and other factors that change across time and place.”


Christopher Mewett, Understanding War’s Enduring Nature

          Alongside Its Changing Character


In the early-1920’s, Major Earl “Pete” Ellis, published Operation Plan 712 – Advanced Base Operations in Micronesia, which became the foundation of War Plan Orange and ultimately the campaign to defeat the Empire of Japan following Pearl Harbor. As part of his analysis supporting that document, Ellis peered into the future, assessed the changing character of war and advocated for adjustments to doctrine, manning, training and equipping that would best posture the Marine Corps for the reality he envisioned. Foremost in his focus was the future role of the Marine Corps in amphibious operations. It could be argued that we are currently at a similar inflection point in the history of warfare, where the changing character of war in the coming decades will drastically alter the Marine Corps’ approach to amphibious operations. This essay assignment requires you to present your perspective on that possibility and explain how the Marine Corps can best position itself to keep pace with the change.


Note the essay prompt has two parts, both of which must be addressed in your submission. First, make an argument as to the future of amphibious operations based on the changing character of war discussed in A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower and the Marine Corps Operating Concept (MOC). You are encouraged to consider not only the impacts of emerging technology, but also the realities of the future physical and political environments that will shape the character of war and therefore the Marine Corps’ amphibious approach. Second, make an argument as to what steps you believe the Marine Corps should take to prepare for the future reality you have described. You may want to consider your argument from the perspective of recommended adjustments to doctrine, organization, training, material, leadership and education, personnel and/or facilities (DOTMLPF). Do not fall into the trap of simply listing initiatives discussed in the MOC; rather, rise to meet the Commandant’s challenge quoted on the previous page. Finally, the scope of this essay assignment is vast and therefore some students may be challenged by the limited word count (i.e., no more than 1,500 words). In such a situation, you will certainly have to carefully balance and prioritize elements of your two interdependent arguments.

Begin requirement on the next pag

(The format is preset: 1” margins, double-spaced, Time New Roman font.)













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