The Marine Corps' Installations and Logistics wants to cop best practices from Silicon Valley and companies like FedEx to make the Corps more efficient.
That's why the deputy commandant of installations and logistics took his team to the UPS Global Logistics Distribution Center in Kentucky to see how they operate.
"They and FedEx both are extremely efficient in how they package, move, and take care of their workforce," Lt. Gen. Michael Dana said in an interview with Marine Corps Times.
Dana said the Corps' logistics train has many parallels to the private sector.
"They do supply and maintenance, and they do it to be very efficient and to be very effective," he said. "So any best practices that we can get from private corporations on how to do lift and distribution, supply and maintenance better, benefits the Marine Corps because individual loads on Marines will decrease."
Dana is also looking to glean technology from the private sector. He and his team went to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, where they got an up-close look at virtual-reality technology.
Dana sees a lot of potential as this technology matures. It can be incorporated into helping troops overseas, he said. For example, if there is a problem with a vehicle in another country, a mechanic in the United States can use virtual-reality glasses to see what the vehicle operator is looking at and offer help.
"That is absolutely brilliant because you do not have to fly the mechanic all the way over there," he said. "He can just look at the work through the eyes of the operator."
As for innovation within the Marine Corps, Dana challenged Marines in June to come up with ideas to improve capabilities and processes. Winners of the innovation challenge will partner with a government lab to prototype their idea, which could be implemented across the fleet.
"They will actually take their idea and do their best to bring that idea to fruition," he said. "And the young Marines will have the opportunity to be part of that."
Dana said the results of the challenge will be released soon.
Charlsy is a Reporter and Engagement Manager for Military Times. Email her at email@example.com.