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    I MEF Wins Micro-App Innovation Challenge Against Coders Across the Marine Corps

    I MEF Wins Micro-App Innovation Challenge Against Coders Across the Marine Corps

    Photo By Lance Cpl. Kevan Dunlop | Brig. Gen. Joseph Matos, Director, Information, Command, Control Communications and...... read more read more



    Story by Maj. Gregory Carroll 

    Deputy Commandant for Information

    I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) Coding Team’s readiness application was selected the winner of the inaugural Micro-Application Development Innovation Challenge formally announced via MARADMIN number 600/21, Oct. 19, 2021.

    I MEF Coding Team’s readiness application leveraged the Marine Corps Business Operations Support Services (MCBOSS) Development-Security-Operations (DevSecOps) ecosystem to rapidly create a data comprehension and visualization tool called the Global Combat Support System Marine Corps (GCSS-MC) Reconciliation Operations Organization Tool (GROOT), drastically reducing the time and effort required by Marines to understand and report on readiness.

    The Micro-Application Innovation Challenge was announced via MARADMIN 164/21 on March 25, 2021 requesting each MEF to assemble a coding team, regardless of rank or military occupational specialty (MOS), to research, engineer, test and deploy a micro-software application to optimize operations.

    Coding teams were evaluated on three broad factors: applicability to the force on an enterprise level, software’s ease of use and capacity to decrease workload while increasing efficiency.

    “The Marine Corps has been and remains the Nation’s premier naval expeditionary force-in-readiness,” stated Brig. Gen. Joseph Matos, Director, Information, Command, Control Communications and Computers (IC4). “The Marine Corps will continue to locate, close with and destroy the enemy through fire and maneuver, but the hard work by these coding teams focused on readiness offers opportunities to improve efficiency and effectiveness in accomplishing our mission.”

    The GROOT application designed by the I MEF Coding Team enables Marines to conduct reconciliation and easily display trends of their GCSS-MC status reports. GROOT aggregates a large amount of data into a digestible format and allows Marines to easily report the status of gear.

    Focusing on development “for Marines, by Marines,” the GROOT team conducted several user evaluations to ensure the application closes the capability gap and is intuitive to use. “The Marine Corps finds good people and empowers them to do great things,” stated Maj. Victor Castro, coding team lead from I MEF. “This innovation challenge embodies that idea and allows Marines of all ranks to come together to solve problems with platforms like MCBOSS.”

    The II MEF Coding Team also leveraged MCBOSS while applying agile and scrum methodologies to create a commander’s dashboard titled Warfighting Readiness Application for the MEF (WRAP-M). With the application, morning reports can be imported to update command readiness, reducing hours of labor and increasing the accuracy of a unit’s training, medical and personnel statuses. Future anticipated additions to the established readiness algorithms, including gear and vehicles, could predict future unit readiness.

    The III MEF Coding Team developed a tool to synthesize data tied to consumption rates, capacities, and requirements of class I (subsistence), class III (petroleum, oils and lubricants (POL)) and class V (ammunition) titled Marine Logistics Planning Tool (MLPT). The application enables logisticians to rapidly understand requirements in a time constrained environment.

    By including data from several systems, MLPT can quickly plan and re-plan logistics requirements for large-scale exercises and operations in any climate.

    “The products engineered by each MEF coding team showcased the exceptional talent within our force and validated the theory which conceived this challenge,” said Lt. Col. Sean Hurley, Evaluation Panel Chair. “If given the right resources, talented Marines can design and deliver software capabilities that enable efficiencies from the tactical to the strategic level.”

    The MCBOSS environment was developed by Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic and NIWC Pacific. During the challenge, a team of six engineers from both centers supported Marine coders in app development.

    Support included training in agile and scrum methodologies, the Risk Management Framework (RMF), DevSecOps and software pipelines, and VMWare Tanzu. The engineering team also provided ongoing agile coaching, technical expertise and technical troubleshooting throughout the challenge.

    "Developing a Marine Corps cloud application while navigating the RMF process within 120 days would be a significant achievement for any full- time development team, but it is even more impressive for these Marines, who volunteered their time beyond standard duty, working nights and weekends, to participate in the Challenge,” said Maj. Andrew Hutcheon, Evaluation Panel member. "These Marines have more than validated the assertion that there is latent software development talent within our ranks, and I can't wait to see what other powerful applications Marines will create given the opportunity and resources."

    The applications discussed previously are in a development environment but the GROOT specific, winning application, is in production and available via the following common access card (CAC) enabled link:



    Date Taken: 10.24.2021
    Date Posted: 10.24.2021 21:26
    Story ID: 407879
    Location: ARLINGTON, VA, US

    Web Views: 1,109
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