'Strategic Corporal,' 2025: Operationalizing Small-Unit Leaders for Theater-Level Operations   [open pdf - 219KB]

From the thesis abstract: "In the future, the Marine Corps will retain its core competencies delineated under Title X, U.S. Code, which provide America with an expeditionary force in readiness. It must remain the force that is 'the most ready when the nation is the least ready.' That being said, the 2006 National Security Strategy and Quadrennial Defense Review emphasize the conduct of activities that foster relationships among U.S. friends and partners, and create conditions inhospitable to terrorism and rogue regimes. Despite the establishment of the Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC) and its Marine Special Operations Advisory Group in 2006, the Marine Corps can and must do more to strengthen its capability to reinforce the U.S. Special Operations Command's (USSOCOM) ability to build partner capacity through security cooperation (SC), security assistance (SA), and FID [Foreign Internal Defense] missions. The Corps must develop a comprehensive plan to train, equip, and resource its small-unit leaders' abilities to actively participate in specific SC/SA/FID missions in the future. By selecting qualified company grade and noncommissioned officers, equipping them with advanced technologies, cultural awareness training, adequate operational authority, and real-time subject-matter expertise reach back, the Marine Corps has the ability to significantly enhance the Nation's ability to conduct SC/SA/FID missions."

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