Dominating Information Dominance


You may not know it, but there is a battle going on within the Navy. At stake is nothing less than cerebral dominance.

Back in the old days, like about a year ago, the Navy was comprised of a lot of specialized communities. Intelligence, Cryptology, Oceanography, Space, and Information Warfare communities all enjoyed their own empires and their own hierarchies. They coexisted and tolerated the other groups with similar “information intensive skills” (CNO-speak for “people with big brains”), as long as they stayed in their own lanes and didn’t challenge the respective communities’ unique skills. But in October of last year the Navy – if for no other reason than to enjoy the spectacle – combined them all into the Information Dominance Corps.

They even got their own warfare pin.

Imagine if you were Valedictorian of your high school class, and then found out that four other schools were joining yours just before graduation – each bringing its own Valedictorian. Who would give the speech? Who would be declared smartest of the smart?


It’s not like the wrestling teams would have that problem. They would just have an all out brawl to see which wrestler would be number one.

But the thinkers don’t work like that. I know what makes them tick because I was once one of them (I got in on a technicality).

The new InfoDoms will be more cunning. More coy.

They’ll wait for the right moment to pounce, and when that moment comes they will strike with polite but brutal efficiency. Most likely this will happen in one of the scientific conferences they attend – the preferred arenas for hand-to-hand (or cerebrum-to-cerebrum) battle. (“Excuse me, but your premise is incorrect. One might suspect that you either don’t understand the principles supporting my argument, or you simply failed to do your homework. Didn’t I see you hanging out with some aviators last night…in a bar?” (audible gasp from the audience).) This is the Information Dominance Corps equivalent of a right cross to the chin.

To make matters more complicated, each community has to grit its teeth and learn a little something about the others. Weather guys have to learn what cryptologists do (good luck with that). Intel guys have to learn about Information Warfare, and so on. It’s like the scene out of “Remember the Titans” when everyone had to learn something about each of the other players.

It will be mayhem.

Oh sure, on the surface they will put on a brave face and do their best to work together. But inside, their guts will be shredding. They will all know – KNOW – that theirs is the dominant community. E Pluribus Unum means “Out of many, one.” The Information Dominance Corps’ slogan would roughly translate to, “Out of many, one is better than the others.”

The good news is that these people are smart, and I imagine they’ll work it all out in the end. And who knows? Maybe the new corps will emerge stronger and more capable because they all speak the same language. Maybe the pecking order will naturally just work itself out.

And if it doesn’t?

There is always the all out brawl.


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1 Comment

  1. I thought this was just something you had made up – I didn’t know that this was an actual ongoing thing until I saw it on Navy News This Week.
    I’ve got a great idea for a cartoon; new community pins that didn’t cut it. For MS’s (or wait, that’s Culinary Specialists now – jeez…), you could have crossed spatulas with a mixing bowl superimposed. For Mass Communications Specialists, a pair of crossed microphones with a TV cameras over them.

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