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Walk into the headquarters of any operational Army unit on any Army base in the United States, and you'll eventually bump into something claiming to perform a groundbreaking effort of “innovation.”
The members of the Innovation Task Force, the innovation cell/hub/bureau, will eagerly show you how they are “implementing new ideas,” “applying disruptive tech,” and “focusing on new capabilities for the warfighter.” You may even run into the innovation officer, who will happily describe how innovation efforts tie with commanders at all echelons. These folks will earnestly tell you that all this innovation is “creating a culture of innovation.”
Ingenuity has become orthodoxy across the operational Army. This is laudable, and every military leader should consider applying new ideas and cutting-edge tech to all operations. But this furious push to force innovation on operational and tactical units through a proliferation of disconnected efforts doesn't make them faster, more efficient, or more capable in combat. Quite the opposite: It often slows units down and depletes resources from their combat mission.
The U.S. military is in innovation overload.
“Innovation” is applied so exhaustively to so…