They're getting exo-skeletons:

"The enhanced mobility and load carrying capability provided by the MEPAC" -- that's short for "Marine Exoskeletal Performance Augmentation Capability" -- will eventually "allow Marines to individually carry more ballistic protection and heavy weaponry," the memo says.

The first uses of exoskeleton (in about 10 years, according to the document) would be in logistics units, to "complement smaller forklifts [and] overhead cranes."   As the suits became more capable, Marines might wear 'em to lug heavy crew-served weapons around.

"Still later, the MEPAC could evolve into an objective capability that stands alone as a computationally-self-aware machine, a fully sensing and interactive endoskeletal entity that has outgrown its practical need for unmitigated Marine contact, and can act constructively on its own."

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.