The United States military is gearing up to face an array of complex global challenges, including strategic competition with major powers like China and Russia, nuclear proliferation threats, and the rise of violent extremist organizations. In response to these evolving threats, the military is adopting the Joint Warfighting Concept (JWC) as its roadmap for the future.
The JWC, hailed by former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark A. Milley as the “roadmap to the future,” is a strategic vision guiding the joint force—comprising the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Space Force—on how to operate and fight as an integrated team across all domains. The concept emphasizes the need for seamless integration, synchronized planning, and effective communication across different services to maintain an advantage in modern warfare.
Each branch of the military, from the Army to the Space Force, is aligning its force design and development efforts with the JWC’s tenets, which include an integrated, combined joint force, expanded maneuver, pulsed operations, integrated command, agile control, global fires, information advantage, and resilient logistics.
Army’s Modernization Efforts Reflect JWC’s Influence
The Army, for example, is embracing Multidomain Operations (MDO) as a guide for its force design. The concept involves the combined arms employment of joint and Army capabilities to create and exploit advantages across all domains. The Army is investing in capabilities such as long-range precision strike weapons, mobility systems, and an updated battle management C2 network to enhance its readiness and ability to respond to multidomain attacks.
Marine Corps Prioritizes Speed and Initiative
The Marine Corps, through its Force Design 2030 initiative, is prioritizing speed, initiative, and current advantages. By divesting legacy materiel and reorganizing units, the Marine Corps aims to better align itself with the National Defense Strategy (NDS) and the challenges of modern warfare. Force Design 2030 emphasizes the importance of integration with other services to increase the capability, lethality, and effectiveness of the joint force.
Navy Focuses on Distributed Maritime Operations
The Navy’s contribution to the JWC is Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO), its central organizing concept. DMO aims to increase naval lethality and survivability while providing operational advantages to the joint force. The Navy’s Navigation Plan focuses on force design imperatives such as expanding distance, leveraging deception, and ensuring delivery to support DMO and align with the JWC.
Air Force Adapts with Future Operating Concept
The Air Force’s Future Operating Concept (AFFOC) centers on core functions like air superiority, global strike, and integrated C2. The AFFOC aligns with the JWC, providing a common baseline for future concepts. The Air Force emphasizes the need for joint-mindedness, agility, and adaptation to respond to the changing character of war. The concept of “pulsed airpower” echoes the JWC’s tenets of expanded maneuver and pulsed operations.
Space Force Carves Its Place in Evolving Warfare
As the newest service branch, the Space Force faces the unique challenge of establishing its role among the services. Guided by the JWC, the Space Force focuses on fielding combat-ready forces, amplifying the Guardian spirit, and partnering to win. The Space Force serves as the guiding star for the future of warfare, emphasizing the importance of synchronizing timelines and technology across the joint force.
National Guard Embraces Joint Operations
The National Guard, representing 20 percent of the U.S. military, plays a vital role in DOD readiness. Leaders in the National Guard stress the importance of disseminating and explaining the JWC to Guardsmen to ensure they understand their role in joint operations. The National Guard aligns its training and operations with the JWC, contributing to the overall readiness of the U.S. military.
In summary, the adoption of the Joint Warfighting Concept by the U.S. military reflects a proactive approach to address the evolving global challenges and maintain a strategic advantage. The integration of the JWC’s tenets across different service branches enhances joint operations, ensuring a cohesive, adaptive, and effective response to contemporary and future warfare.