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The Navy Developed A Field Guide For Marines To Boost Their Senses Downrange
The Office of Naval Research has spent the last three years trying to enhance service members’ instincts to help them root out danger when operating in dangerous situations, an effort that has culminated in a fascinating training manual that's almost reads like a guide to clairvoyance downrange, according to The Daily Beast.
The 23-page field manual breaks down training, mental exercises, and methods for enhancing sailor and Marines’ natural instincts. The aim? To train service members on picking up “environmental cues, interpreting their meaning and then connecting them in a plausible story,” according to the manual obtained by The Daily Beast through a Freedom of Information Act request.
While it sounds far-fetched, the Navy thought it was worth spending three years and $4 million to look into it, and really, you can’t blame them. Afterall, who doesn’t like the idea of a point-man who can anticipate danger by reading the scene, responding to nonverbal cues, and generally, just being one bent spoon short of an M4-rocking psychic?
The ONR research focuses on enhancing the inherent intuition that troops already possess: good observation, critical thinking, and honing your instincts so warfighters can react swiftly and reflexively to even the most minor signal of danger. The manual divides sensemaking into two skill trees: “perspective-taking,” which is the ability to empathize, and “characterizing,” which involves using your imagination.
Here’s how it works: A Marine “practicing sensemaking would, through empathy, intuit the relationships and dynamics in the community and environment in which he's operating,” according to The Daily Beast. “Having gathered this raw information, he then imagines stories that, in theory, anticipate threats and opportunities.”
Though it’s certainly easy to sensationalize this research — ‘psychic soldiers’ has a certain, “straight to the tabloid news stand” ring to it — conflating “sensemaking” or intuition with extra-sensory perception isn’t quite accurate.
"I was worried about how this could be viewed in a sensational way with ‘spidey-sense’ or something that sounds like ESP or something paranormal," Gary Klein, a research consultant whose work on sensemaking inspired the Navy to pursue the study, told The Daily Beast."That’s not what the military’s interested in. They’re interested in developing expertise and the core part of expertise is tests, knowledge and the ability to make sense of situations."
This sort of research isn’t particularly new, and it’s certainly not the first time the military has investigated topics or themes that border on the paranormal. In her book “Phenomena: The Secret History of the U.S. Government’s Investigations Into Extrasensory Perception and Psychokinesis,” investigative journalist Annie Jacobsen, chronicled the military’s 40-plus years of psychic research, from Department of Defense studies on ESP to CIA research into “remote viewing” the ability to observe a person or place without actually being there.
Due to the scientific stigma surrounding ESP, (and really anything that has to do with the supernatural), the language the Pentagon uses to describe these programs has changed in recent years, with terms like ESP swapped out for precognition, then spidey sense, and now, sensemaking.
However, Jacobsen argued in a previous interview, that the underlying goal of the research remains the same.
“In essence you have this idea, which really became the core and theme of ‘Phenomena’ which is: Is it fact, or is it fantasy?” Jacobsen told Task & Purpose in June. “Or, will advanced technology, this remarkable system of systems of technology the government has developed — which includes computer technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology — will this rubric of advanced technology allow us to solve this age old mystery: Whether or not extrasensory perception exists biologically?”
Given the Navy’s research into intuition, maybe now’s finally a good time to say “I’ve got a bad feeling about this one,” downrange.
Investigation shows Lt. Col. in charge of Corps' 1st Recon was fired for alleged 'misconduct' but has not been charged
The Marine lieutenant colonel removed from command of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May was ousted over alleged "misconduct" but has not been charged with a crime, Task & Purpose has learned.
Lt. Col. Francisco Zavala, 42, who was removed from his post by the commanding general of 1st Marine Division on May 7, has since been reassigned to the command element of 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, and a decision on whether he will be charged is "still pending," MEF spokeswoman 1st Lt. Virginia Burger told Task & Purpose last week.
"We are not aware of any ongoing or additional investigations of Lt. Col. Zavala at this time," MEF spokesman 2nd Lt. Brian Tuthill told Task & Purpose on Monday. "The command investigation was closed May 14 and the alleged misconduct concerns Articles 128 and 133 of the UCMJ," Tuthill added, mentioning offenses under military law that deal with assault and conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman.
"There is a period of due process afforded the accused and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty," he said.
When asked for an explanation for the delay, MEF officials directed Task & Purpose to contact 1st Marine Division officials, who did not respond before deadline.
The investigation of Zavala, completed on May 3 and released to Task & Purpose in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, showed that he had allegedly acted inappropriately. The report also confirmed some details of his wife's account of alleged domestic violence that Task & Purpose first reported last month.
That's right, Superman is (at least temporarily) trading in his red cape, blue tights, and red silk underpants for a high and tight, a skivvy shirt and, well, he's still rocking silkies.
A first look at the 'CoD Modern Warfare' reboot shows juggernaut and ghillie suits return to multiplayer
Late last month Activision's Infinity Ward dropped a teaser trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare — a soft-reboot of one of it's most beloved games — and just two weeks after the May 30 reveal, the game developer unveiled some new details on what's in store for the first-person shooter's multiplayer: Juggernaut and ghillie suits!