Jennifer McArdle is an Adjunct Senior Fellow with the Defense Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) and a Product Strategist at Improbable LLC, an emerging global leader in distributed simulation technology for military planning, training, and decision support. Her research focuses on military innovation, readiness, and synthetic training. She currently serves as an expert member of a NATO technical working group that is developing cyber effects for the military alliance’s mission and campaign simulations. Her work has been featured in Real Clear World, The Cyber Defense Review, National Defense Magazine, and War on the Rocks, among others. Ms. McArdle previously served as an Assistant Professor of Cyber Defense at Salve Regina University, where she lectured on the relationship between national security and disruptive technologies.
In our interview with Ms. McArdle, we discuss the future of the Synthetic Training Environment, flexibility and scalability in training systems, and the critical need for a new agile approach to training that can keep pace with the dynamic character of warfare. The following bullet points highlight key insights from our interview:
Stay tuned to the Mad Scientist Laboratory for our next episode of “The Convergence,” featuring our interview with Terry Young, Founder and CEO, sparks & honey — “a cultural intelligence consultancy helping organizations understand explosive and immediate cultural shifts, as well as cultural tastes that develop over time.” We will discuss the future of workplaces, the meaning of true diversity and how to achieve and measure it, and how to leverage AI and machine learning to build cultural intelligence across a wide spectrum of future topics on 14 October 2021!
If you enjoyed this post and podcast, check out the following related content:
From Legos to Modular Simulation Architectures: Enabling the Power of Future (War) Play, by Jennifer McArdle and Caitlin Dohrman
The Synthetic Training Environment [view via a non-DoD network], presented by then MG Maria Gervais, Director, STE Cross Functional Team (CFT) / Deputy Commanding General, Combined Arms Center-Training (DCG, CAC-T), from the Mad Scientist Installations of the Future Conference, co-sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment (OASA (IE&E)) and the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) on 19-20 June 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia, and see her associated slide deck
The STE discussion in the Top Ten Takeaways from the Installations of the Future Conference
Fight Club Prepares Lt Col Maddie Novák for Cross-Dimension Manoeuvre, by LTC(P) Arnel David, U.S. Army, and Major Aaron Moore, British Army, along with their interview in The Convergence: UK Fight Club – Gaming the Future Army and associated podcast
The Convergence: The Future of Software with Major Rob Slaughter, then listen to the associated podcast
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Army Futures Command (AFC), or TRADOC.
In this latest episode of “The Convergence,” we talk to Dr. Alexander Kott, Chief Scientist for the Army Research Lab (ARL). In this role, he provides leadership in development of ARL’s technical strategy, maintaining the technical quality of ARL research, and representing ARL to the external technical community. In this episode, we discuss the Internet of Battlefield Things and modernizing the Army. Highlights from the conversation include: The battlefield is becoming saturated with devices that can do computation, some kind of thinking, and can communicate. These are not just things the Army owns. Complexity can actually be a good thing. Being able to “hide” on the battlefield is a good thing and we can hide in the complexity of the Internet of Battlefield Things. The battlefield of the future will be populated by multiple intelligent species. Humans will be very important but just one among them. How do humans co-exist with those intelligent species? We humans are not known for working and living well with other species, not even ourselves. The Army (and larger Department of Defense) has a collaborative relationship with industry that is actually beneficial. It is not just a competition for talent but rather a relationship that is a strength. A rising tide lifts all our boats. Every war has seen greater and greater ranges in magnitudes from the Civil War up to the Global War on Terrorism. In the future we may see an Army missile that could be intercontinental. We could see artillery “spanning a fraction of the globe.” This leads to global ground warfare and changes the battlefield calculus. Such a shift in warfare could change the Army’s relationship with other services and actualize the reality of multi-domain operations even more. Regimes that are unethical, immoral, and authoritarian lose the technological edge ...
In this latest episode of “The Convergence,” we talk with guest bloggers LTC Arnel David, U.S. Army, and Major Aaron Moore, British Army, who recently penned Fight Club Prepares Lt Col Maddie Novák for Cross-Dimension Manoeuvre — describing the nascent revolution in Professional Military Education (PME) wrought by the convergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI), digital assistants, gaming, and Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR). Using storytelling and backcasting, LTC David and Maj Moore vividly described how Leaders will seek out and leverage these technologies to hone their warfighting skills across all dimensions, enabling them to “think, fight, learn, repeat” and enhance their versatility as innovators on the battlefield. In today’s podcast, LTC David and Major Moore further discuss the convergence of technology and wargaming that resulted in Fight Club and how it is transforming Leader development: Fight Club designs realistic wargames to remove hierarchies and encourage players to attempt innovative solutions, while also creating a safe environment to fail repeatedly and learn from mistakes. These games replicate expensive training through a virtual setting, and harness younger generations’ aptitude for technology and virtual networking. The virtual setting also allows Fight Club to better connect players of different backgrounds, making the gaming more available and accessible. The DoD should implement more gaming in training. Wargaming can be effective in more frequent, smaller-scale games to increase Service members’ exposure to these types of decision making. Wargaming helps the Army and its international partners increase interoperability without having to run large-scale, time-compressed exercises. Gaming will allow the military to push innovation and will continue to attract younger generations who thrive in interactive environments. The competitive nature of gaming can inspire action and push people to develop ...
In this episode of “The Convergence,” we discuss reading and its implications on leadership and forecasting, the future of command selection, and cultivating effective communicators and thinkers in the future force with LTC Joe Byerly, an active duty armor officer in the U.S. Army who has served in both conventional military and Joint assignments. In 2013, LTC Byerly started From the Green Notebook to share this thoughts on self-development — “I’m passionate about leader development and want to help others to lead with the best version of themselves. I created this site to provide a platform for leaders to help each other by sharing lessons learned. Lessons that come from our own green notebooks.” The following bullet points highlight key insights on leadership and reading from our interview with LTC Byerly: Leaders can learn and prepare for the future by reading and understanding how we got to where we are, studying economics and the social sciences, and focusing on what the classics tell us about human behavior. Reading science fiction as part of our personal study program serves as a mental laboratory to push our thought and help us break from linear projection (now) into the future. To understand the possibilities of the future, you have to connect disparate things and bring them together. Reading broadly and connecting these dots improves strategic thinking. Ideal Soldiers in the future will love to learn, demonstrate empathy, and have the ability to fight and win. Communication is a key skill for the future to describe vision and intent. A favorite quote – “If the people can’t see your vision, then it is a hallucination.” Talking to future Soldiers, we must convince them to own their personal development. The ...