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Integration of a Military Metaverse Enhances National Defense Capabilities

The United States Marine Corps (USMC), the premier maritime land force of the nation, is venturing into the realm of the metaverse to enhance the training of its personnel. According to a report by Military.com, CGI Federal Inc., a prominent information technology (IT) company, is playing a pivotal role in facilitating the integration of metaverse technology into military training initiatives.



Contrary to the metaverse concept presented by tech giant Meta Platforms during its 2021 rebranding, CGI's approach is distinct. Victor Foulk, CGI's vice president for emerging technologies, explained to Military.com that their focus is on forging a closer connection between the real and the surreal. Currently in the development phase, this initiative involves scanning and replicating objects and integrating them with real-world mechanics, physics, and geolocation.


Horace Blackman, CGI Senior Vice-President for Defense, Intelligence, and Space, expressed the belief that the amalgamation of the Metaverse and military logistics systems will bring about a revolutionary transformation in the way defense organizations conduct training, strategize, and prepare for future challenges. He anticipates that this approach will set a new benchmark for other federal agencies.


Major Jeff Plateen, the operations officer for Blount Island Command in Florida, emphasized the practical challenges faced in military logistics, stating, "Everything’s too far apart to really consolidate our assets as we set the theater." He highlighted the need for a solution that allows local commanders to track their assets efficiently and understand incoming logistics. The simulated environment provided by the metaverse will serve as a testing ground for logistics before extending its application to other military domains.


This move aligns with a broader trend, as global entities explore the potential of the metaverse for various applications. In September, Defense News reported that German startups were incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) into the metaverse to enhance autonomy and self-learning for military purposes. The German military supported this initiative through a substantial COVID-19 subsidy package totaling $540 million.


The metaverse is not confined to military applications alone. Technologies like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), and more are regarded as gateways to the metaverse. Recently, Ohio State announced plans to use these immersive technologies for training first responders to handle real-world emergencies.


Experts anticipate that head-mounted devices (HMDs), a crucial component for experiencing the metaverse, may initially find their way into professional sectors like the military, healthcare, and science before becoming mainstream. However, as the metaverse gains momentum, concerns arise about potential links between civilian and military metaverses, posing cybersecurity threats.


As of now, the global metaverse market is valued at $82 billion, a figure projected to soar to $936 billion by 2030, according to the data aggregator platform Statista. While a military metaverse diverges from the vision presented by Mark Zuckerberg, the potential interconnection of 'civilian metaverse' and 'military metaverse' raises valid concerns regarding cybersecurity and the safeguarding of sensitive information.

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