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The Marine Corps Operating Concept: How an Expeditionary Force Operates in the 21st Century

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Technical Report

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As a warfighting organization, we must recognize the challenges of the future and develop an operational approach to fight and win. The MOC embraces our naval character, expeditionary mindset, and professional approach to constantly improve and build on our foundations of maneuver warfare and fighting as a combined arms force. The challenges of the future will impact how we organize our Corps and ultimately fight our Nations battles. The MOC describes the steps we will take to design, develop, and field a future force for the 21st century. The success of this concept depends on our Marines and Sailors. Our people have always been the Marine Corps center of gravity and the key to our success as warfighters. Their ability to think critically, innovate smartly, and adapt to complex environments and adaptive enemies has always been the key factor we rely on to win in any clime and place. The profession of arms is unforgiving mistakes are paid for in blood and incompetence can lead to catastrophic defeat. When we fight, we must win. There is no alternative. The American people expect and deserve nothing less from their Marine Corps. Our preparation for the inevitable conflicts of the future begins with this operating concept. It charts how we will transform ourselves to deter and defeat the threats of tomorrow. Yet the MOC also acknowledges the timeless, violent nature of war and reaffirms our primary purpose. The Marine Corps exists to defeat our Nations enemies. Even in a world of ever-increasing technology, we must continue to provide combat formations capable of closing with and destroying the enemy. This imperative drives us to demand physical toughness and resilience in our Marines and Sailors, and expect their brilliance in the fundamentals of warfighting. While the means and methods we use to wage war will evolve, we must always be prepared for the violence of combat. The MOC does not provide an answer to every problem.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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