Recording knowledge learned through battle-tested situations is more important than ever. To improve Marines combat effectiveness the Marine Corps Center for Lessons Learned (MCCLL) has created an online Lessons Management System to ensure this information will be readily available. This web-based system contains documented experiences from before Operation Desert Storm, including some from Vietnam.
“One of the things we are finding new with the current MCCLL is we are relearning lessons again and again,” said Maj. Kevin Mooney, liaison officer, II Marine Expeditionary Force (FWD) and reservist from Hercules, CA “If we go back to World War II and look at an after action report, you can see the repetition over the years. We’re doing the same things wrong now that we were doing back then. We are also doing the same things right that we were doing back then, but the lessons learned usually come hard.”
The MCCLL is part of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command and aims “to collect, analyze, manage and disseminate knowledge gained through operational experiences, exercises, and supporting activities in order to enable Marines to achieve higher levels of performance and to provide information and analysis on emerging issues and trends in support of operational commanders,” according to the official MCCLL Web site.
The LMS is user friendly and is designed to be accessed by anyone who has valuable information. “With our new web-based system you can pull up those lessons, the databases are all searchable,” said Mooney, a Deputy Sheriff for the Contra Costa County Sheriffs Department. “For instance, if you have a particular area of interest, such as fighting in urban environments, you can search the database for that specific topic.”
“We are trying to do a quick turnaround and get them [lessons learned] back down to the Marines who are on the ground by inserting them in the training and operational process,” said Mooney.
One example was recently provided in a Red Herring article:
“For decades, the Corps taught new recruits to think twice before tying a tourniquet on a wounded comrade. A tourniquet stanches bleeding better than pressure to the wound, but the blood-starved limb would likely die before the Marine would see a medic. Everything below the tourniquet would be amputated.
Corps training changed during the battle of Fallujah in November when Marines realized that medics were reaching the wounded much faster than they ever had before. Drill sergeants instantly changed their lesson plans.”
That source also adds the detail that:
“By using a card reader that fits into a USB port on any PC, the audience is now opening up beyond the so-called dot mil network to include Marines at home reflecting on battlefield experiences and Pentagon contractors designing materiel for combat.”
See also: USMC.mil, from Lance Cpl. Evan M. Eagan, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Iraq (May 17, 2005) – Lessons Management System helps Marines learn from past, change future