To stay ahead of its adversaries, the Marine Corps is constantly improving its warfighting capabilities through advancement in science and technology.

To ensure this operational strategy continues to evolve in a 21st century battlespace, several military officials conducted a Science and Technology Experimentation Office Advisory Group at Camp Lejeune.

“We’re challenging Marines to think outside the box and to be innovative in dangerous environments,” said Navy Capt. Robert Higgins, assistant chief of staff of the G-9 (future capabilities, science technology and experimentation) with IIMEF. “We live in a very technology-heavy world and the military intends on operating in a very technology-heavy environment.”

The advisory group’s focus on experimentation in science and technology looks to enhance the way Marines operate as they face new challenges on future battlefields.

“There are a lot of lines of effort in terms of science and technology across all the warfighting capabilities that the Marine Corps has,” Higgins said. “Even in the civilian sector, technology moves very fast and you always have to think about where your adversaries are with their advancements as well.”

The Marine Corps, along with the Office of Naval Research and various other Department of Defense agencies, are looking at ways to limit their critical vulnerabilities through trial and experimentation.

“The big connector is experimentation,” said Jeremy Hoff, Office of Naval Research science advisor to II MEF. “One of the main outputs of getting together is so you’re identifying these challenges and working together to find a science and technology based solution and an experimentation opportunity to learn from.”

Marines can submit their recommendations to the Commandant of the Marine Corps’ Quarterly Innovation Challenge. The challenge, recently referenced in Marine Administrative Message 065/19, allows anyone with an idea to improve or enhance overall mission readiness.

“The Department of the Navy wanted to look within the service for innovative ideas from its Marines and Sailors,” Higgins said. “The Commandant of the Marine Corps posts a quarterly innovation challenge to the service, challenging service members to come up with innovative ideas within their respective fields.”

Service members can register for the innovation challenge at www.marines.mil/innovate.

“Experimentation is a way for the operators, the lance corporals and corporals of the Marine Corps who are dealing with the day-to-day challenges to contribute to the modernization effort of the service,” said Gary Sokoloski, liaison officer to the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab. “It’s helping to re-engineer the Marine Corps so we can be better organized, trained and equipped for tomorrow’s fight.”