[Defense in Brief] USMC establishing ‘red teams’ for all MEFs, MEBs – Forward Observer Shop

[Defense in Brief] USMC establishing ‘red teams’ for all MEFs, MEBs

The Marine Corps is setting up “red teams” within each Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) and Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) to “identify and reduce risk” and “expose plans and concepts to rigorous examination thereby improving [the Marine Corps’] adaptability to constantly changing environments,” according to an Aug. 7 memo. The goal is to work through various scenarios and situations “to challenge prevailing notions, rigorously test current [tactics, techniques and procedures] and counter group-think,” said former Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos when he began to develop the red team concept in 2010. “The Marine Corps continues to adapt to an ever-changing environment, both international and domestic, and one of the newest tools we have to accomplish our mission is the red team,” notes the Marine Corps Gazette. The aim of red teams is to challenge established protocols and orthodoxy in a way that forces an organization to improve its effectiveness. These teams have proven highly successful in organizations that are steeped in tradition and where strong cultures exist [that would certainly apply to the Marine Corps]. As the global security situation changes, the Corps has recognized it may also have to change the way it fights.


Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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