By Buddy Blouin
The future of warfare is not cyberattacks or online spaces. That’s already happening. The future just involves a whole lot more of it. Problems arise in the digital world and the U.S. Army continues to need innovative solutions and Soldiers capable of creating them for its digital initiatives. This is where the Army Software Factory comes into play. Thanks to the Army Futures Command (AFC) initiative, the Software Factory for Army is a place where anyone in the branch, regardless of rank or formation or any other qualifier, can come in with a problem and seek a solution from highly qualified Soldiers honing their craft. Now, the U.S. Marine Corps seems to also be following suit.

The Army Software Factory Creates Innovations for Today and Tomorrow

The Army Software Factory is an innovative approach to the need for in-house, proprietary software solutions for the U.S. Army. The concept comes from the efforts of the AFC after establishing the Army Software Factory in the Austin Community College District in 2021. There are four core components of the Army Futures Command Software Factory. These involve platform engineering, software development, product management, and design. Both Army civilians and Soldiers work toward common goals involving modern agile software development for the branch. The program begins with a 16-week boot camp for attendees and is followed by problem vetting, and initial scoping. Finally, once accepted, assigned teams work with their partners to build web applications creating solutions for problems the Army is facing. Rank isn’t an issue here as the focus is to provide an area in which Soldiers of varying positions can solve problems for other Soldiers. The end result is a lasting, meaningful impact that creates a stronger fighting force and provides a great asset to the Army as a whole. The Army Futures Software Factory continues to help the branch move further into the information age as a major player. War is still a physical endeavor but there is no denying that the digital component continues to grow in importance. However, the Software Factory from Army Futures Command is only one of the various programs operating in similar capacities. Both the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy already had their own initiatives, and now, the Marines are also following suit.

A Marine Software Program Is Moving Next Door

The Marine Corps has begun a trial run for its in-house software development facility, the Marine Corps Software Factory, also based in Austin, Texas. Located on the Austin Community College campus in close proximity to the Army Software Factory, the program’s goal is to train 54 Marines within the next three years. At the Marine Corps Software Factory, students will gain the skills necessary to rapidly create applications for the branch. As part of the training, Marines will receive a year of software development instruction, followed by a two-year period devoted to building software solutions for the Corps. The selection process for candidates will prioritize traits such as emotional intelligence, maturity, grit, and willingness to learn new aspects of software development. It’s a great opportunity to not only serve in this evolving capacity but to learn and improve upon in-demand coding skills for life after the military. Following in the footsteps of the Air Force and Navy in 2018, and the U.S. Army Software Factory in 2021, the Marines are hoping to fulfill its growing demand for software developers by having the program serve as an additional resource to complement and supplement existing acquisition efforts. If you are a Marine and are interested in joining the Marine Corps Software Factory, opportunities will soon become available. Conversely, those with ideas for the type of software the program should be working on are encouraged to email the factory at mcswf@usmc.mil.

Innovation and Training at the Army Software Factory Help America Remain Vigilant in a Digital World

The Internet may be evolving in more ways than one, but it’s not going away. Maybe the way we know and use it today is fading, but the idea of a connected virtual world is closer to being an infant than it is a fully realized idea. This is an exciting and scary prospect when we consider over the last several decades how many wonderful and horrible things have come as a result of the technology. But rather than fear the unknown, staying prepared and using the tool as a solution is a great way to stay ahead of the curve. The Soldiers and civilians working at the Army Software Factory understand these themes and continue to innovate useful solutions to keep Americans safe. It’s an exciting time to watch all of the branches of the U.S. military continue to invest and innovate in the digital world.




Get the latest news and military discounts