U.S. Marine Corps

Concepts & Programs

User menu

Main Menu

Marine Corps Information Enterprise (MCIENT) Strategy

Last Revised: May 8, 2014, 3:16 pm
  • MCIENT Conceptual Model Diagram
    MCIENT Strategy Image

MCIENT is our Corps’ information resources, assets, services, and processes, which are required to achieve decision and execution superiority. MCIENT also allows us to share information and knowledge across our Corps and with mission partners. The MCIENT Strategy prepares us for the future by establishing a vision for our Corps as an information enterprise and by providing the objectives necessary for enhancing Service core competencies, defeating adversaries, supporting allies and mission partners, and performing our legislated role.


Our Corps will continue to meet the challenges of a complex security environment, fight and win the Nation’s battles, and endure as the Nation’s Expeditionary Force in Readiness. To ensure these imperatives, we must evolve into a knowledge-based force that leverages seamless enterprise capabilities across the spectrum of conflict in order to enhance decision-making, achieve knowledge superiority, and gain tactical, operational, and strategic advantage over the Nation’s adversaries.


Achieving our vision requires the development of improved mobile, communications, and IT services which are seamless and secure across the MCIENT. Communications and services with these characteristics facilitate collaboration, coordinated actions, and instant or NRT access to mission-critical data, information, and knowledge. Investments in core MCIENT components are crucial for our Corps to evolve into a knowledge-based force that achieves decision and execution superiority in traditional warfighting domains, cyberspace, and business mission areas.

Investments for the MCEN and the Marine Corps Information Technology Environment (MCITE) will focus on ensuring their ability to more effectively deliver, display, and manage data, information, and knowledge across the enterprise.

Investments will also emphasize better ways to rapidly infuse emerging technologies that enhance C2, extend the reach of forward deployed forces, and improve organizational and tactical agility. Planned investments will ensure that bandwidth-limited Marines and missions partners will have improved access to mission-critical data, information, and knowledge, wherever and whenever needed, and in an understandable format. Enterprise investments will focus on workforce education, training, and professionalization programs. Such initiatives will be designed to ensure Marines, Civilian Marines, and support contractors know how to use improved enterprise governance tools, policies, and technological capabilities to create an advantage in a dynamic strategic landscape.

Finally, the MCIENT will embody an institutional sense and practice for leveraging, protecting, and defending data, information, and knowledge as decisive strategic assets. To this end, we will infuse within our cyberspace capabilities an institutionalized IA practice for ensuring data, information, and knowledge yield decisive advantage to our Corps and the Nation, but not the enemy.


Focus on Deployed Forces: In the future, the location of the MAGTF – or our other forward deployed forces – will vary depending upon: the operating context, mission, and the extent to which Marines interact with internal and external organizations, and individual mission partners. MCIENT components will support these Marines by facilitating the development and fielding of communications and IT services that are: mobile, seamless, secure, and provide robust collaboration tools, and instant or NRT access to mission-critical data, information, and knowledge.

Attune to the Strategic Environment: The MCIENT facilitates the development and fielding of tools, which help Marines, Civilian Marines, and contractors better assess, adapt to, and influence change in a dynamic strategic landscape. Attuning the enterprise to the strategic environment requires a special emphasis on leveraging intelligence, including cyber-intelligence, network attack, network protection, and for successful execution across the full spectrum operations.

Grounded in Effective Governance: ensuring mechanisms are in place to ensure our capabilities are developed and fielded in support of our goals and objectives. The MCIENT Conceptual Model Diagram (pg. 218) provides a framework for integrating common functional requirements, which are applicable to MCIENT components, into Information Enterprise objectives. The MCIENT Strategy is thus the mechanism for leveraging the MCIENT model to influence enterprise Force Development priorities. The MCIENT strategy provides us with single, top-level Information Enterprise objectives used to inform future capability decisions, supporting plans, concepts, and programming initiatives.

Secure and Seamless Marine Corps Information Environment (MCIE): MCIENT core components enhance the ability for Marines and their mission partners to access the information they need in austere and distributed environments, whenever they need it. Our Director C4/Chief Information Officer will coordinate with other organizations to define the implementations required for ensuring information is visible, accessible, discoverable, and understandable in a way consistent with the effective use of constrained bandwidth. Additionally, through PoR and our IT regionalization practices, information will be distributed to deployed forces and staged as far forward as required to ensure availability in a bandwidth-constrained environment. Structured and unstructured data spanning all functional areas will support the distribution, forward staging, and sharing among all command echelons. Finally, creating a secure and seamless Information Environment requires an Enterprise Architecture (EA) that integrates all of our Corps’ components who manage segment architectures within the MCIENT (e.g., Battlespace Awareness and Force Application).

IA Institutionalization: To institutionalize IA across our Corps, our Marines and systems must embody a sense and capability for valuing information as a strategic asset. IA requires a total force approach that ensures IA skills sets and proficiencies are codified and ingrained through doctrine, policy, education, and training. IA ensures the confidentiality, integrity, availability, authenticity, and non-repudiation of enterprise information and the information system on which the information resides. We can better leverage enterprise information to help negotiate and succeed in a dynamic security environment. We will also continue to use existing development processes and continue to refine certification and accreditation processes to ensure IA requirements are identified and included early in a systems design project. We will ensure IA controls are inherent to the system, providing superior and transparent threat protection across a wide range of missions through the incorporation of emerging policies and guidance from the IA and acquisitions communities.


MCEN: At the foundation of the MCIENT model shown above, is the MCEN, which is our network-of-networks and approved interconnected network segments, which comprise people, processes, logical and physical infrastructure, architecture, topology, and cyberspace operations.

The MCEN is characterized at a minimum to include: (1) PoRs that provide network services to forward deployed forces (e.g., the Support Wide Area Network) operating in the U.S. Marine Corps.mil namespace and in U.S. Marine Corps routable Internet Protocol (IP) addresses; and (2) O&M functions that provide data transportation, enterprise IT, network services, and boundary defense (e.g., Marine Corps Enterprise IT Services [MCEITS]).

Additionally, the MCEN’s physical infrastructure is similar to the Defense Information System Network (DISN) and the Local Exchange Carrier (LEC), as it enables the MCITE and the flow of data, information, and knowledge across the MCIE. The MCEN interfaces with external networks to provide information and resource sharing, as well as access to external services.

Finally, when end-user devices, sensors, applications, and appliances are connected to the MCEN, they become part of the network through a relationship established at an interface point. Interfaces, as indicated by the circular arrows connecting the MCEN and MCITE in the Conceptual Model Diagram, represent an important feature of the model that must be managed effectively to ensure component layer integration. Each MCIENT component layer contributes to the next higher layer by providing services through an approved interface.

Regionalization of the MCEN: The Marine Corps Regionalization Strategy describes the consolidation, operation, oversight, and management of the MCEN by defining and assigning regions and sub-regions of responsibility. Conceptually and functionally, these regions form the backbone of all net-centric operations for the MCIENT. MCNOSC provides enterprise-wide operational oversight; the Regional Network Operations and Security Centers (RNOSC) provide policy and regional oversight to Marine Forces Reserves, Command, Pacific and the National Capital Region. The MAGTF IT Support Centers (MITSC) are located to provide optimal support. The MITSCs serve as support centers for the bases, posts, and stations within their region by providing IT services and support, help desk services, and enforcing established IT policies. The MCNOSC, Alternate Network Operations Center (AltNOC), MCEITS, and ALT MCEITS are classified as enterprise data centers MITSCs primarily employ a regional data center.

A key tenant of regionalization is the unification and synchronization of disparate MCEN elements to ensure the MCEN’s ability to securely and rapidly deliver robust and seamless Marine Corps Information Technology and Information Environment. Unification also involves aligning the MCEN to the Joint Information Environment (JIE) using enforceable standards, specifications, and common TTPs.

The Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) is an acquisition facilitator for unification contracts in the government-owned and government operated contractor supported environment of the MCEN. The NGEN contract will enable us to order IT services in the form of full time equivalent contractor support for the MCEN. MCEN must support Unified Capabilities (UC) defined as the integration of voice, video, and data services delivered across an interoperable, secure, and highly available network infrastructure in the future.

MCITE: The MCIENT Conceptual Model Diagram depicts the MCEN and MCITE as inextricably linked, but distinguishes the MCITE layer as that encompassing all of our owned and operated IT — including those technologies inherent and not inherent to the MCEN’s core operation. Information technologies directly associated with operating the MCEN’s logical and physical infrastructure are always considered an inherent part of the MCEN’s core operation, and are always considered a permanent portion of the MCITE.

Information technologies, which are not associated with the MCEN’s core operation (e.g., technologies such as Smart Phones, the Data Distribution System-Modular [DDS-M], and all end systems) are considered ancillary and are therefore only considered a part of the MCEN when they are connected to it through an approved interface. Like inherent MCEN technologies, ancillary technologies are always considered a permanent portion of the MCITE. The circular arrows in the Conceptual Model Diagram indicate the links between the MCEN and the MCITE. This distinction and relationship is important to note in order to highlight the intent of the MCITE layer as an encompassing construct around all of our Corps’ IT, whether inherent to the MCEN or ancillary to it. This distinction is essential for policy matters and architecture initiatives.

MCIE: Marine Corps Information Enterprise represents the broad domain for all forms of communication. MCIE comprises our data, information, knowledge, and understanding for the management processes. These processes ensure situational awareness across our Corps and with mission partners. The MCIE often leverages, but does not always depend upon, technology and communications systems to facilitate the flow of data, information, and knowledge across the enterprise. Therefore, the MCIE represents a broad domain in which all communication takes place (e.g., explicit and implicit communications). Within the MCIE, situational understanding is achieved and decisions are made.

  • About Concepts and Programs

    The vision of the Concepts and Programs project is to provide political and military leaders with timely, accurate, and relevant information. The Concepts and Programs project is the premier strategic communications vessel the Marine Corps relies on to inform Congress, the Office of Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Think Tanks about the Corps’ vision.