WASHINGTON — Not everyone realizes that many components of today’s smartphones originated as defense technology, said Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark Milley, during the Smithsonian’s 2017 Military Invention Day May 20.
“The theme for today is invention and how it is linked to the military,” Milley said. “But I want to distinguish between technological inventions and innovation.”
Inventors, scientists and engineers representing the Army, and other services, branches had the opportunity to demonstrate their cutting-edge technology at the National Museum of American History. Additionally, subject-matter experts were able to explain their design motivation, invention process and challenges they face in producing first-rate equipment for the armed forces.
As technology continues to evolve, it will change the character of warfare, Milley said. The Army must understand coming changes and adapt its organizational operating structure based on future technology deployment on the battlefield and throughout the world.
Milley pointed out that one of the best examples of a fundamental change in war technology happened between World War I and World War II when the world shifted from human- and animal-powered technologies to wheeled and tracked vehicles, airplanes and radio communications technology.
“Today, we are in the middle of another change in the character of warfare,” he continued. “The result to which we don’t know yet, but at some future point in time, there is a very good possibility that whoever [brings] together these technologies, these ideas, in the most innovative way will prevail and their nation will be secure.”