Subject Matter Expert

Mark Kustra

Mark Kustra is the Joint Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Ground Combat Element (GCE) Command and Control (C2) Innovation & Experimentation Integrations Subject Matter Expert (SME) for the Marine Corps Tactics and Operations Group (MCTOG). In this capacity, he serves as the Coalition, Joint, and Service-level Liaison for the GCE Emerging Concepts, Innovation, and Doctrine Division at the MCTOG. He coordinates, monitors, observes and synchronizes MCTOG efforts with the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL), Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC), Office of Naval Research (ONR), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and other military and government departments. He provides regular updates and analytic support to MCTOG leadership and staff on numerous topics ranging from counter-unmanned aerial systems, military operations in urban terrain, planning and decision-making tools, manned-unmanned teaming operations, and other amphibious and fire support developments relevant to the GCE and MCTOG’s mission.

Mark is a former United States Marine with over 23 years of operational experience. He has served in positions from the tactical to the strategic level. Select assignments included: Strategic Analyst in the Marine Corps’ Strategic Initiatives Group; member of the Afghanistan Pakistan Hands Program, where he served as a governance and development advisor in Helmand Province, Afghanistan; Director of Joint Operations, Joint US Military Advisor Group-Thailand; and a variety of other command and staff positions from the platoon to division levels and in locations throughout Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

Since he left active service, Mark has worked as a consultant in both the government and private sectors on security force assistance, Afghan governance and politics, stability operations, interagency operations, crisis response operations, and Asian culture and history. He is currently an Adjunct Fellow for the American Security Project. Mark earned a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in history from the United States Naval Academy and earned a Master’s in Strategic Studies from the Army War College. He currently lives in Virginia with his family. In his free time, Mark enjoys working out and reading.