The U.S. Marine Corps has published its latest doctrine on information which focuses on how the Marines utilize information in warfighting scenarios, and emphasizes the importance of information being “as powerful a tool as any weapon system in our military arsenal.”

The doctrine laid out in Marine Corps Doctrinal Publication (MCDP) 8 “marks the establishment of the first capstone service doctrine to describe the purpose and mechanics of the Marine Corps’ seventh warfighting function,” according to the Marine Corps website.

“Information is key to gaining advantage in all domains, whether during kinetic actions on the battlefield or during day-to-day operations in competition,” stated Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger on Twitter.

“It’s especially critical when our Marines need to sense and make sense of the operating environment in support of the joint force or to exploit opportunities and take action against our adversaries,” he said.

The purpose of the new doctrine, the service branch said, is to understand and create a foundational sense about how information plays a key role in the future of warfighting, and to avoid becoming complacent during an era of rapid technological progress.

The doctrine introduces four fundamental ideas that play a key role in trying to formulate how information can be a tool for the Marine Corps:

  • Understanding the nature of information, as well as understanding how important it is along with its characteristics;
  • Understanding the theory of information and the attributes of information in war;
  • Effective use of information and the principle of the information warfighting function, as well as information advantages across the competition continuum;
  • Institutionalizing Information, and distinguishing the information warfighting function, among other functions.

“Information is the foundation of all human interaction. It is the basis for how we sense, make sense of, and interact with our environments and each other,” Gen. Berger said in the new doctrine document. “Rapidly evolving modern technologies have accelerated and expanded our ability to process, store, and communicate information with a tempo and scale previously unimaginable.”

“Our globally interconnected world has deepened our collective dependence on information to the extent that the slightest vulnerability in how we handle, store, or transmit information could endanger Marines, their families, and all that we have sworn to defend,” he said. “In a contest between hostile and irreconcilable wills, information is as powerful a tool as any weapon system in our military arsenal. Therefore, it is vital to the future of our Corps.”

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.