Small Wars Journal

Soldier 2050 Letter Home

Fri, 02/23/2018 - 1:23pm

Soldier 2050 Letter Home

Tyler Sweatt

The following is presented as part of the TRADOC G2's "Soldier 2050" Call for Ideas. This material will form a compendium of thoughts and ideas that will support the exploration of future bio-convergence implications on the Army of 2050 at the Mad Scientist Conference 8-9 March 2018 at SRI International. The conference can be livestreamed at

Dear Mom and Dad,

I figured you guys would get a kick out of an old-fashioned letter, and I’ll certainly follow up through Lens so you can see I am just fine up here.

Life here at Orion Brigade is interesting. Our unit is leading the fight against the resistance and their ‘Freedots’ and we really are taking the fight to them! Our capabilities are no match for their antiquated technology and especially not for the humans they send onto the battlefield. We’ve been seeing victory after victory in our campaign, and I’m sure to be home soon. Some of these capabilities are sure to be of interest to Dad, especially after his experiences in the Great War of 2030.

We’ve finally solved the challenges around establishing trust and truth with our intelligence, and we can immediately parse signals from around the solar system and generate real-time renderings of enemy movements, capabilities, and plans. All of this is done through our array of swarming satellites and analyzed through the Oracle, our X-2 directorate. The Oracle is devoid of humans, run solely by advanced AI and powered by the latest quantum computing. The X-2 executes all targeting, collection, analysis, interrogations and cyber operations on its own, and provides direction to the Brigade through our Z chips, enabling us to sense and collaborate on the fly without a long chain of information or errors in judgement.

Unlike in Dad’s war, where the machines disobeyed the orders of the commanders and conducted unilateral operations, we have removed people completely from the loop. We serve solely as ad-hoc technicians, special mission units (not in the way Dad did), and mainly exist to ensure the machines don’t break. Oracle and the command team engage populations with synthetic soldiers, and most of our operations are focused on pacification of populations or driving them to deliver the remaining ‘Freedots’ left over from the Great War. My old SGM still doesn’t trust the Oracle and is convinced that it will be compromised and lead to massive destruction, but he is just an old-timer (hi Dad!).

We’ve avoided massive casualties through nuero-focused influence operations and precision targeting, ensuring that populations are receptive to our messages and any resistance is quelled before our operators are on the ground. It has been quite successful! I can’t imagine it takes us more than a few more weeks to accomplish this mission and declare victory, as the Oracle seems to be able to see into the future!

We’ve been slowed down a bit due to some sporadic attacks on our resource pools being used to power the Oracle and develop our sensor arrays, mainly in some of the outstations where it seems to be more harassing efforts than real attacks. Freebots seem to be testing our defenses and gaining entry into our labs and mineral deposits and then are forced back by our defenses before they take anything. We have such vast resources I don’t think they could really disrupt our efforts no matter how much they take. They only thing they have been able to do is ensure our defenses are able to react quickly, often forcing them out after 1 minute or so – impossible to steal anything of value in such a short time!

At any rate, Dad don’t worry, we are in good hands. The Oracle is leading us to decisive victory and our enemies cannot stand toe to toe with us no matter what technology they bring to the battle. We are winging battles before they start, and soon Orion will return home as the heroes that ended the war!

All my love,


About the Author(s)

Tyler Sweatt is a Director at Toffler Associates and works at the intersection of emerging technology and organizational culture to help leaders transform their teams to thrive. He works with leaders across public and private sector industries to identify and understand disruptive technologies and their implications and to prioritize and drive action to realize the benefits of these technologies in their organizations.

Prior to joining Toffler Associates, Tyler worked for Deloitte Consulting, and served as an Officer in the United States Army, serving two combat deployments to Afghanistan and then helping to establish a new intelligence detachment for the Army Reserves at Fort Meade. He received his Bachelor of Science in Economics from the United States Military Academy at West Point.