Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Hey, why isn’t there a Uniformed University of Computer Sciences?

That question occurred to me yesterday as we were discussing the future of war. The military has its own medical school, but not a school for computer sciences. If I were running things, I’d take some of the land at Fort Ord, about 90 minutes south of Silicon Valley, and open it up there. I’d ...

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

That question occurred to me yesterday as we were discussing the future of war.

The military has its own medical school, but not a school for computer sciences. If I were running things, I'd take some of the land at Fort Ord, about 90 minutes south of Silicon Valley, and open it up there.

I'd hire some recent Stanford grads and rich retirees from computer firms who want to do something for their country. I'd pair them with some crusty active-duty colonels to make sure the thing plugs into the military -- how it thinks, what it must focus on. I'd also start up a reserve unit for cyberwarriors and base it there. It could even be a joint unit, with members of all services.  

That question occurred to me yesterday as we were discussing the future of war.

The military has its own medical school, but not a school for computer sciences. If I were running things, I’d take some of the land at Fort Ord, about 90 minutes south of Silicon Valley, and open it up there.

I’d hire some recent Stanford grads and rich retirees from computer firms who want to do something for their country. I’d pair them with some crusty active-duty colonels to make sure the thing plugs into the military — how it thinks, what it must focus on. I’d also start up a reserve unit for cyberwarriors and base it there. It could even be a joint unit, with members of all services.  

In the longer run, I’d consider changing over West Point from its emphasis on civil engineering to making it a computer science school. Think of it: In the 19th century, when West Point was the nation’s premier engineering school, railroads and other companies snapped up Army officers. They understood the job and they knew how to lead organizations. When was the last time you heard of Google, Amazon, Oracle, or another computer-related firm looking for young officers to run their core operations?

The military "health sciences" school even has a hockey team. I wonder what sort of teams a "geeks with guns" (HT to SM) school would field? Laser tag?

That is all I have today on reforming the military education.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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