New Galactic Encyclopedia
The Stone Doctrine and the Science Corps
(Section taken from "IU Military College: Armed Forces Compendium.")
Symbol: Stylized atomic nucleus with crossed M1911A1 pistols beneath it.
Motto: "Cum Scientia Defendimus." (Old Latin for "We Defend With Science.")
Structure: Paramilitary Arm of the Singulartech Foundation
Type: Specialized Anti-Existential Risk Task Force
The Stone Doctrine
The Science Corps indirectly traces its roots through countless strategists from Old Earth. However, there is one figure who is held as a particularly note: Petty Officer First Class Jeremiah Stone of the US Navy. (There is some controversy regarding the specific rank at the time of his retirement, although he is traditionally known by the rank he first published his now-famous works at.) Stone himself wrote from a combination of experience and research, although his works languished in obscurity until the Singularity. (There are uncomfirmed reports of him finding US government employment for the MITRE organization, although these are still classified.)
Stone envisioned tactics, technologies, and unit structures that were more in line with fourth generation warfare than the dominant thinking at the time. With public support clamoring for withdraw of American forces from foreign military bases and increasingly expensive weapons systems, there were severe cutbacks approaching. While he lacked a formal engineering or scientific background, he did grasp the implications of new technologies.
The early web, as several other officers and analysts already had written, was nearly impossible to control in the sense of a conventional battle-space. In his era, there was a military with mounting breaches in security and increasing cost to encrypt the bulk of their reports and data. Yet paradoxically, the military became increasingly reliant on wireless communications. Even insurgent forces in remote parts of the world were able to intercept and even decipher some encrypted feeds.
If the US was to remain a superpower (or even a Great Power), it would have to step up its informational processing capacity. As such, he advocated giving military personnel enhanced, real time intelligence amplification, in terms of both computational power and intelligence gathering. Instead of a highly centralized network, he recommended setting up ad hoc wireless networks with randomized security and encryption protocols prior to every operation, so enemy electronic warfare specialists would find it more difficult to infiltrate. He also called for research into wearable devices able to integrate information in a manner so even an untrained enlisted figure would be able to use it. (This created funding for several of the first militarized wearable electronics.) In the modern terms, he was referring to undergoing a fyborg driven Singularity as a means of economizing national defense.
This was combined with an approach he called "return to realpolitik," with the US returning to its "traditional" role as an offshore power. Instead of foreign military bases or even costly offshore mobile platforms, it referred to the ability to strike anywhere with rapidly assembled task forces and with little to no prior warning. (This meant the Marine Corps was to be the primary rapid response force and the spear-point of any expeditionary force.) Stone was forward thinking in the sense that the days of the expensive super-carrier battle-group may end, and troops could gain the ability to strike from orbit (or beyond). The Navy had its role guaranteed under this strategy, in the form of providing logistics and escort ships in major ocean areas. In any given ocean, there would be a number of elements waiting to provide operational supply when an operation commenced.
These ad hoc task groups would retain a number of separate vessels. Supply vessels were essential, as were vessels for housing Marines, SEAL teams, and other group groups at sea for all time. Even if an operation's initial assault came from a team that was orbitally inserted or airdropped, the ad hoc task group would be able to reinforce rapidly, provide medical care and supplies, and air and offshore artillery support. Personnel would be rotated on shifts, allowing for at least a number of resources to be available any particular zone. Even if a particular expensive or non-common acquire class of vessel was required, it would be placed around locations where it was likely they would be most needed.
There was also a call for increasing automation on vessels and improving the capacity for drones, to allow for operations with fewer essential personnel. (The first devoted drone carrier vessels would later gain the nickname "hive-ships.") Even a conventional aircraft carrier equipped with pilots leading flocks of support drones that followed the human pilot's command could reduce the costs of combat air patrols.
In addition to the reshaping of hard power, there would also be more efficient use of existing resources. Personnel would be increasingly cross-trained in several disciplines to help cover more areas, and better able to adjust to loss of specialists. This would reduce the total size essential for a number of operations. The more capable each individual was, the lower the costs were, and the greater chance of mission success. This doctrine was referred to as "Personnel Modularity," and is believed to be influenced by the Australian military of the era. The use of intuitively user-friendly wearable electronics and less reliance on conventional carrier doctrines were key to this strategy.
There were also some minor aspects of Stone's works that focused on more general issues. "Personnel Modularity" would reduce the number of outside contractors to be required. Seeing as private contractors were often expensive compared to performing the same task "in house," and able to become political liabilities, it was a way to reduce political infamy and cost. Another possible change was adopting more energy efficient and modular vehicles, to allow for reduced costs, sharing of parts with other branches, and allow military fuel reserves to last longer. More thermal emissions could easily equate to more profile for thermally sensitive equipment (such as heat seeking missiles or infrared scopes).
Some traits were even more fundamental concerns. The information that personnel would receive was significantly increased. Noting that sensory overlord in a war zone was a leading cause of post-traumatic stress syndrome, Stone recommended a simple changes in basic training. Incorporation of meditation and biofeedback techniques would allow personnel to focus more clearly on tasks at hand in a environment full of distractions, and significantly reduce the chance of them acquiring PTSD. He also recommended moving to one of the "intermediate calibers" for standard rifle and pistol rounds. In particularly, the troublesome AR-15 derived family of weapons should be phased out and replaced with superior alternatives, such as AR-18 derived short stroke piston designs of the era, or a bullpup rifle with high marks from allies, such as the Steyr AUG or Tavor TAR-21. There was also smarter use of soft power, such as political, economic, and online attacks to be made.
Stone's work was largely ignored by top brass, until the changing realities of cost, politics, technology, and warfare drove many to independently rediscover and implement them. Ironically, the first American fleet to implement these was not the US Navy. Instead, the US Coast Guard implemented many on their own. They designed specialized drone tenders to scan the sky and sea for drug runners, human traffickers, and stranded pilots and sailors. They switched to intermediate rounds when smaller calibers would not affect drugged-up hostiles. Other changes were made before the Navy began implementing it themselves, but by this time, other powers had employed similar structures.
The modern day Science Corps has adopted many of Stone's more relevant and proposed reforms. While their numbers are smaller compared to several individual clades or the Compact military as a whole, they typically brag they do not require large numbers to perform most of their missions. They place their recruiting standards high as a result. They requisition certain ships and personnel for different areas of space based on their projected likelihood of meeting relevant scenarios. While a small force, the Science Corps allows many members in its ranks, from baseline humans (who often require AI assistance in the field) to infomorphs to uplifted animals to other members of transhumanity. With all members required to have a background in the sciences (or comparable experiences), their thin ranks are disproportionate to their power. Many have underestimated the Sci-Corps, to their own peril. Unlike many organizations in history, the formerly obscure officer is now recognized for his foresight. Many Sci-Corps personnel even take modern caseless versions of the Steyr AUG and HK USP, the preferred firearms of Petty Officer Stone. While forgotten for years, he is now a "patron saint" of the Science Corps.