ATLANTA — Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division participated in the first Marne Innovation Workshop at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Jan. 6-9, 2022. The workshop is a collaborative event that included participants from the Army ROTC program at Georgia Tech, the United States Military Academy and the 75th Innovation Command.
“The Marne Innovation Workshop is the first opportunity for 3rd ID to partner with the Georgia Institute of Technology, and its intent is to solve today’s problems with today’s technology,” said Capt. Ben McFarlin, deputy innovations officer for 3rd ID.
Recently, 3rd ID Soldiers generated a list of challenges which were curated from feedback and survey results received from across the Division. Georgia Tech students and USMA cadets then selected a set of challenges from this list.
Groups of cadets and students worked with Soldiers during the four-day workshop to begin developing ideas and prototypes to solve the challenges brought forward by 3rd ID. The teams will continue to work together over the next six months to further hone their ideas.
The 3rd ID is currently on a modernization path that includes new equipment, weapons and vehicles across the division. The Marne Innovation Workshop complements this modernization push by focusing on enhancing and broadening its Soldiers intellectually through new industry and academic partnerships, and in new directions for problems.
“The investments that we make in people will pay off in the long run,” said Brig. Gen. Jasper Jeffers, the deputy commanding general of maneuver for 3rd ID. “I hope our Soldiers realize that they don’t have to accept barriers to their good ideas; if they have a good idea, there is a way and a path to put together a team and work on it.”
Innovation fosters a culture of development for Soldiers by giving them technical skills learned through education. It also makes their units more efficient and lethal by giving time back to warfighters to devote to readiness. Those benefits contribute to any mission the Marne Division receives, whether it’s deploying, conducting garrison operations, or modernizing the force.
Although the cadets, students and Soldiers who met during the Marne Innovation Workshop are geographically dispersed, they will remain in contact over as they collaborate to develop solutions to problems faced by 3rd ID Soldiers.