By Debbie Gregory.
Gen. Robert B. Neller, commandant of the Marines Corps, says it’s time that his troops to step away from their cell phones.
Neller said today’s Marines have gotten a little too soft with their mod cons, and they need to get back to the more stereotypical Marine, which will serve them better on the battlefield.
Additionally, Neller feels that using mobile devices could give away troop positions to their adversaries.
One example he provided involved a Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), a large unit designed for front-line combat operations.
Neller said, “What do you think the largest electromagnetic signature in the entire MEF headquarters emanated from? The billeting area. Why? Because everybody had their phone on.
The Navy has already come up with plans to reduce its reliance on modern electronics to make its force harder to trace. One of those plans includes sailors re-learning to navigate using the stars instead of GPS.
For the Marines to get back to basics in the field, they will need to eliminate fixed bases and stay on the move.
“We’ve been operating out of fixed positions. We have not moved across the ground. We have not maneuvered. We have not lived off the land,” Neller said. “We’ve been eating in chow halls and drinking green bean coffee. That’s pretty nice.”
But in order to keep his Marines safe on the battlefield, Neller wants to see them go old school.
“You’re living out of your pack, you’re going to stop at night, you’re going to dig a hole, you’re going to camouflage, you’re going to turn off all your stuff, and you’re going to sit there, and you try to sleep,” he said. “And you’ve got to be careful to not make any noise, and you’re going to try to have absolutely no signature. Because if you can be seen, you will be attacked. That’s the difference, and that’s where we’ve got to get.”