Ender’s Galley

by Ender’s Galley Club Members

The character of war is changing faster than a stagnant U.S. defense bureaucracy can adapt. New concepts and capabilities associated with operations in the information environment necessitate military professionals, from the schoolhouse to the fleet, to organize for innovation. The future force will deftly maneuver through the physical, cognitive, and informational domains, utilizing the time-tested principles of war. We will always seek to create and exploit positions of advantage and not let the enemy beat us “unfairly.” But how do we get there, and who will connect the stars to create constellations and a map by which to navigate? Enders Galley (EG) is here to enter the public forum, and ?t will bring to bear the resources and diverse student body of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College (CSC) to develop new concepts for operations in the information environment.

Our genesis stems from students previously assigned to information operations billets at I MEF, III MEF, the Marine Corps Information Operations Center (MCIOC), and commensurate joint force units. We are a dedicated group of like-minded professionals seeking to learn more about and explore operations ?n the information environment. Our area of interest includes information operations, information warfare, information environment operations, cyberspace operations, Russian reflexive control, Chinese stratagems on deception, and everything related to the study of maneuver warfare ?n the information environment.

The mission of Marine Corps CSC is to “develop critical thinkers, innovative problem solvers, and ethical leaders.”2 The curriculum is rigorous, inspiring, and diverse. We want to build on what we have learned to develop solutions for the future force. We strive to leverage the student body and accomplished staff to develop and experiment with radical ideas for the future information environment in a “safe to try, safe to fail” environment. We will apply the principles of maneuver warfare doctrine to achieve asymmetrical advantage and overmatch against the adversaries of the future. Our mission statement is as follows: Ender’s Galley is a Marine Corps University student-led organization promoting the exchange of ideas and improving the understanding of the information environment in order to enhance the students’ ability to serve as future commanders, planners, and staff bfficers. Our lines of effort (LOE) are: 1) Build a community of interest, 2) Organize lectures and expert panels, and 3) Provide feedback to the battlefield.

LOE 1: Build a community of interest. LOE 1 begins with CSC students because there is no EG without the people. In the spirit of the Marine Corps Operating Concept (Washington, DC: HQMC, September 2016), we aspire to “exploit the competence” of students, military faculty, academic faculty, and organizations in the National Capital Region (NCR). We have a small student staff with a large group of students ready to learn. EG includes joint and coalition officers with diverse experiences. We are currently connecting with the Deputy Commandant for Information, MCIOC, the Marine Corps Civil Military Operations School, Marine Forces Cyber Command, the Marine Corps Information Operations and Space Integration Branch, and 1st Army Information Operations Command to accomplish our mission. These organizations form the core of our professional network thus far, but we are looking for more forward thinkers who believe disciplined intellect is essential to the profession of arms.

LOE 2: Organize lectures and expert panels. This is how we leverage our professional network to facilitate some of the forward thinkers and key leaders in order to expand the conversation of how the military can create and exploit positions of advantage via information environment operations. Our namesake now comes into play; this is our “Galley.” We want to use these moments to provide a deeper understanding, going beyond the conceptual discussions in our exercises or classes. The environment is designed to be conducive to galley discussions-free-spirited conversations incorporating everything from wild, innovative ideas to stern criticism. How do you call for offensive space or cyber fires? Is the MEF Information Group a good concept? Why or why not? What new technologies can we leverage to enhance maneuver warfare in the information environment? EG seeks deep discussions on difficult concepts, using lectures and expert panels to illuminate topics worthy of consideration.

LOE 3: Provide feedback to the battlefield. Internal dialogue alone is of little utility until exported. We will create a dialogue with the Marine Corps and larger joint force to inform the discussion from our vantage point. One method will be crowdsourcing via a website for our information environment challenges (IEC), which will be published in future Marine Corps Gazette issues. These IECs are loosely modeled after traditional TDGs or Mokkes map exercises, seeking input to an array of problem sets across the information environment’s physical, cognitive, and informational dimensions. Additionally, our future articles will focus on important aspects of the information environment and how the Marine Corps should posture to sharpen its competitive edge. We seek divergent opinions, critiques, and challenging problem sets, all in the name of enhancing the marketplace of ideas.

Regardless of futuristic technology, autonomy, or manned-unmanned operations, war remains a human endeavor. Warriors have always sought to apply new technologies and concepts to the battlefield. The examples of Scharnhorst, the Chowder Society, and Ender’s Game show us that relationships and dialogue are the foundation of innovation and creativity. If you or your organization would like to join EG or provide your expertise to advance our cause, contact us at MCU_endersgalley@usmcu.edu. “Remember, the enemy’s gate ?s down.”3 Sometimes the battlefield orientation is entirely relative. Ender’s Galley seeks to challenge the common battlefield orientation to exploit information as part of the 21st century concept of combined arms. We want your company and your feedback.


1. Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game, (New York: Tor Books, 1991).

2. Information is available at https://www. usmcu.edu.

3.Ender’s Game.