Best Defense

A Marine sergeant on how much he learned from being in an OPFOR

“Having served as an infantryman for four and a half years, I learned more about tactics and how to employ Marines more effectively in the 10 days spent at the experiment in the desert than I did in the entirety of my service."

U.S. soldiers on a training mission. (Department of Defense)
U.S. soldiers on a training mission. (Department of Defense)

“Having served as an infantryman for four and a half years, I learned more about tactics and how to employ Marines more effectively in the 10 days spent at the experiment in the desert than I did in the entirety of my service. By assuming the role of an intelligent and realistic OpFor [opposing force], I gained a new perspective on warfare. I have a greater understanding of initiative-based decisions.” — Sgt. Luke Cardelli on “MAGTF Integrated Exercise (MIX-16),” in the November issue of the Marine Corps Gazette

I think that our military could benefit enormously if every small unit combat leader on up could have a similar experience as a member of an opposition force. It is both training and 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. @tomricks1

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