The Need for Old School Skills in a New School World

  • Colonel Douglas C. Van Weelden

The United States Military has become increasingly dependent upon technology in the recent decades. While the use of technology and automation has improved the its effectiveness, the dependence upon that technology creates a vulnerability that is targeted by adversaries. The cyber domain is relatively new. As such, military technical capabilities are dependent upon it, yet the institution doesn’t have the capacity or understanding of how to dominate this domain. U.S. forces must retain the ability to operate absent the technology that makes them so effective. U.S. military and defense strategies currently overlook or undersell this necessity. U.S. military forces need to train to operate in absence of technology. The level and depth to which this training and associated proficiency must be maintained correlates with the level of risk each force faces regarding cyber compromise or digital denial. Until the U.S. military is able to assure cyber dominance or supremacy, it must train service members to fight enemies absent of technology.