Participated in the US Marines Basic Analytic Wargaming Course with the II Marine Expeditionary Force, July 18-22 at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, NC, in a losing battle game scenario. BAWC is a 5-day course that gives students hands-on experience designing, executing, and analyzing wargames in an instructor-led environment.

Wargaming is a type of strategy game that simulates warfare in a realistic tabletop environment that can replicate historical military scenarios or create new ones. It helps military personnel train their minds in the art of strategic thinking, as well as study real-world battles and future battles, essential to implementing 21st century Marine Corps concepts.

Senior Lecturer of Naval Warfare Studies Institute and retired Dr. “We bring a group of students to speed wargaming and it allows us to examine the human decision-making process,” said Jeff Applegate. US Army colonel, “which is critical to executing plans, getting ready to go into theater and doing the things we need to do in wartime.”

“…I’ve learned better how to think when designing a war game…” Lt. Col. Thomas Driscoll, II MEF Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Plans

Applegate said students at BAWC learn the scope, goals and issues of play, as well as key limitations, constraints and assumptions. He added that wargaming learning is an important part of the military planning process, critical to the future of II MEF and ultimately to the Marine Corps’ implementation of Force Design 2030.

“Force Design 2030 gives us the commandant’s vision,” said U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Thomas Driscoll, II MEF deputy assistant chief of staff for plans, “of what the service will be able to provide in the future warfighter. Capabilities and specific capabilities in certain situations, the Navy together with the force”

Wargaming was a significant contributor to the annual update of Force Design 2030, published in May, and is included in the directed actions and areas of further analysis. Wargaming gives the Marine Corps insight into future operations and new concepts being developed so the force can better anticipate how to adapt to challenges that may otherwise be overlooked. “If we don’t use wargaming, we’re more likely to be surprised by unexpected decisions on the battlefield,” Applegate said.

Analytical War Gaming
Photo by Cpl. Eric Ramirez

US Marines with the II Marine Expeditionary Force attend the Basic Analytic Wargaming Course at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, NC, July 22, 2022. BAWC is a 5-day course that gives students hands-on experience in designing, developing, executing. and analysis of war games. Wargames are a type of strategy game, and to apply 21st century Marine Corps concepts, it is necessary to replicate or create a military scenario that helps military personnel train their minds in the art of strategic thinking.

It is important for II MEF personnel who have a key role in the decision-making or planning process to know how to war properly and how to use it as a long-term force advantage tool, especially as the Marine Corps positions itself to compete and win against adversaries. 21st century.

“II MEF is building its wargaming capability,” said US Marine Corps Maj. Daniel Yurkovich, II MEF modeling and simulation officer. “It helps us take generally broad questions and boil them down to detailed questions in which we can put players in an experiential learning environment to answer senior leaders’ questions.”

Wargaming is also an important part of the Marine Corps Campaign of Learning, as Marines can continue to learn in the Navy as they implement scenarios that evaluate stand-in force concepts such as warfighting tactics as well as expeditionary amphibious base operations.

“As a student, I learned better how to think through the design of a wargame which will then allow all of us students to take future scenarios and be able to replicate and create new and different wargames,” said Driscoll. .