Series at Small Wars Journal on military innovation by Thaddeus Jankowski, long-time reader, source and colleague.
From the start:
In 2006-2007 I was one of the first few officers within U.S. Central Command to initiate the comprehensive Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle program as we know it today—for all the Services. MRAPs rapidly became the largest land acquisition program in DoD history, comparing favorably in the history of American warfare to toolsets such as Higgins boats, F16s/F18s, A10s and LAVs in terms of breadth of use and overall importance. Since thousands are alive today because of innovations like this, a few perspectives from an actual innovator of this and other technologies may help the Pentagon better understand technology in wartime. On the battlefield, military officers have embraced change, rapid maneuver and chaos; now we must learn to extend these time-based theories to the support establishment.
My experience initiating MRAPs, along with many other important new devices of counter insurgency warfare, suggests that little has changed since Col. Burton wrote the words above. From 2006 to 2010, I systematically and repeatedly advocated for something that was common in civilian businesses but lacking in the Department of Defense: application of maneuver warfare principles to the support establishment. We needed a disciplined, transparent, rapid technology initiation process.
The opening piece is a great one. The other four articles in the series are coming out one per week over the next four weeks. All will be worth reading.