Integrating Naval Education and Training

Last week the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) published FRAGO 1/2019: A Design for Maritime Superiority, laying out similar objectives as General Berger’s Planning Guidance and his recent publication in War on the Rocks: Notes on Designing the Marine Corps of the Future. “Notes” followed closely on the heels of Navy Chief Learning Officer John Kroger’s Charting the Future of Education and Training for the Navy-Marine Corps Team. When we view these documents and amplifying articles alongside, one thing is clear: Our naval leaders are all playing from the same sheet of music.

FRAGO 1/2019 presents the same clarity, unity of purpose, and description of how the Navy will be lead that we saw in the 38th Commandant’s Planning Guidance (CPG) earlier this summer. Like the CPG, FRAGO 1/2019 highlights force design, people, education and training as the lines of effort that will set conditions for victory in future fleet actions. Marines should be particularly intrigued by the following sections:

  • Master Fleet-Level Warfare: “We will learn from fleet battle problems and the Large Scale Exercise (LSE 2020), then restore LSEs as the means by which we operate, train, ad experiment with large force elements.”
  • Integrate and Align Naval Education Into Warfighting Development: “Under the Naval University System, we will prioritize and align academic efforts and resources for all naval education activities to achieve warfighting advantage. Student and faculty research in warfighting concepts and technology will contribute directly toward this end [emphasis added].”
  • Mature and Expand Live Virtual Constructive (LVC) Training: “LVC will allow us to optimize training time and enable operators to develop and master tactics, techniques and procedures in secure, controllable conditions.”
  • Integrate Decision Science into Leadership Development: “Decision science will be included in leader development in all levels of training and education to improve our understanding of human judgment and, through that understanding, improve decision-making and leadership.”

Clearly the CNO and the Commandant are of like minds as to the state of naval integration, the future fight and the efforts that must be made to take the Navy and Marine Corps to a place where it is manned, trained and equipped to achieve the nation’s objectives. The road that gets us there is paved with Training and Education Command actions, activities, and investments. It is going to be easy to get this wrong, how do we get this right? How are you reaching out to your Navy / Marine counterparts to ensure that we-from the well deck to the bridge-are advancing together? There are a great many good things happening in the Marine Corps-last week all the Marine Expeditionary Units and Expeditionary Warfare Training Groups came together in Quantico. Thankfully, naval counterparts from the Expeditionary Strike Groups to OPNAVs were well represented. What are your thoughts on furthering Naval Integration in education and training?