The Future of Army Science and Technology Requires Punctuated Equilibrium

  • September 17, 2016
  • Colonel John R. Cavedo Jr.

Science and Technology is the “seed corn” for the Army’s Future warfighting systems. As such it must be exceptionally managed if the Army is to be prepared to fight and win in a Volatile, Complex, Uncertain, and Ambiguous environment. The recently released Army Operating Concept (AOC) asserts that innovation is required to ensure the Army is prepared to fight and win in that complex world. Further, the AOC highlights how the Army must be able to “continuously learn, adapt and innovate” and that this ability must not only be mastered by the operational forces, but by the institutional forces as well. Army S&T efforts are managed by bureaucratic institutional “enterprise”, which may be ill-suited in its current construct and policy limitations to meet the demands of the future. The Army S&T enterprise may require a period of punctuated equilibrium, where, as an enterprise, it must be adaptive and innovative lest the Army finds itself at a technological disadvantage in the Future Force 2025 and Beyond (F2025).