Because the system uses augmented intelligence, each one of those moves can be toggled to show the ripple effects through five years of planning—the standard planning window. It’s all done with a click and a drag. In the past, it was pages and pages of Excel spreadsheets and human analysis alone. The custom dashboard allows commanders to see the readiness level (skills, length of current deployment, distance from battle zone) of the units on a single pane of glass, to aid their decision-making, getting the right people to the right place at the right time.
In the short term, the Marine Corps and IBM hope to expand the pilot to cover units worldwide. The goal is to implement an all-force planning tool that gives decision-makers the data to understand where to invest in additional training and recruitment, stay prepared for emergencies and unexpected conflicts, and keep troops healthy, ready, and safe.
The real breakthrough will come with optimization and prediction: technologies like this will eventually go beyond analysis and be able to actually recommend courses of action, which means faster and more precise data-driven decision making. The system could tell a commander and staff the best moves to make before they know they need to make them, even predicting the need for a surge in recruitment of new Marines who won’t even be ready to deploy for years. In the end, though, it’s all about getting even more dads—and moms—home safely.