When Fighting Coronavirus, Be Like the Marines

U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Michael Espinosa packs 3-D printed face masks for health workers treating coronavirus disease (COVID-19) into a box at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, U.S. March 30, 2020. Picture taken March 30, 2020. U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Sco
April 10, 2020 Topic: Security Region: Americas Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: Marine CorpsFireteamCoronavirusCOVID-19Public Health

When Fighting Coronavirus, Be Like the Marines

Marine Corps tactics emphasize speed and tempo during maneuver warfare.

The Marine Corps' long-held tradition and doctrinal warfighting philosophy lay the groundwork for a working model.  A fast-moving pandemic is akin to maneuver warfare and requires policy that is fast, flexible, and anticipates the public health and economic issues that accompany the virus itself.  The key to success is buy-in and unity of effort.  The Marine Corps accomplishes this through rigorous training with a focus on repetition and indoctrination that begins at entry-level training.  American civilian institutions, unfortunately, do not get that same training.  We must rely on core principles of federalism and process and rely on existing subject matter expertise to have a chance at success.

Richard Protzmann is an attorney in Newport Beach, California, and a Captain in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Marine Corps the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.

This article by Richard Protzmann first appeared in Real Clear Defense on April 4, 2020.

Image: U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Scott Jenkins/Handout via REUTERS.