Marine Corps Leadership

August 29, 2017 History

Marine Corps Leadership NonCommissioned Officers are the backbone of the Marine Corps. Each leader is very different from the other. Some Marines enjoy being a corporal only because of the increase in rank and pay. A few become the tactless leaders junior Marines try to avoid. Fortunately, many others strive to become the leader that other Marines wish to emulate. They know what it means to be a good leader. Those Marines have the traits of a leader and they get to know their Marines An important part of being a leader, consists of the fourteen leadership traits.

They are as follows: integrity, knowledge, courage, decisiveness, dependability, initiative, tact, justice, enthusiasm, bearing, endurance, unselfishness, loyalty, and judgment. They are all essential for the following reasons: -Integrity:   Marines cannot respect a leader who does not follow through with their actions and words. This involves a lot of areas such as lying and stealing. -Knowledge:   Marines are taught the basics at boot camp, MCT, and MOS school. All other knowledge is expected to be acquired through on-the-job training, MCI`s and experience.

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In order to teach junior Marines, leaders must be proficient with their MOS and basic Marine Corps knowledge ranging from weapons and first aid to history and uniform regulations. -Courage:   It takes courage to rush into gunfire to save a wounded Marine. It takes a whole different type of courage to speak up when another Marine is making self-destructive decisions such as excessive drinking. Such actions are detrimental to the mission, and to the Marine Corps itself. When we stop caring about our fellow brothers and sisters, the Marine Corps will cease to be a meaningful military institution. Decisiveness:   Leaders should take action instead of letting the task go undone. If no one knows the answer, a leader should seek it out and act upon it. -Dependability:   A leader needs to be somebody that Marines up and down the chain of command can rely on. -Initiative:   Leaders should take the initiative to better things: be it giving classes, or seeking ways to improve the shop. -Tact:   It is hard to respect a person when he calls a person out in front of everyone. It is better to correct a Marine in privacy. This is the leadership trait I need to work on. Justice:   A leader should be fair, and not play favorites with Marines. It is also important a leader hands out a fair punishment to a disobedient Marine. -Enthusiasm:   It is important for leaders to show a good attitude when working on the mission. If the leaders display good attitude, so will the junior Marines. -Bearing: How a leader conducts himself is how a subordinate will judge his professionalism. If a leader does not act confident, followers will be unsure of the leader’s ability to execute a mission. -Endurance:   This is vital mentally and physically.

A leader needs to be able to do the physical tasks-be it running boots and utes or humping for ten miles-in order to encourage Marines to do the same. To do otherwise would be hypocrisy. Mental endurance is equivalent to physical endurance in its capacity. -Unselfishness:   A leader needs to be willing to put others before himself. Send others to chow before himself; send them to the rack before himself; -Loyalty:   Respect the Corps, and a leader’s Marines. Leaders display their loyalty to their Marines by taking care of the Marines’ needs. -Judgment:   Sound decisions to ensure successful mission accomplishment.

The next part is get to know your Marines. A leader knows a Marine’s limitations, and can work upon it. If a Marine is weak in a particular area of his MOS, the leader will know where to start to help the Marine’s proficiency. If a leader knows that a Marine failed swim qual, he will know how to help the Marine improve. If a leader knows that a Marine is having financial problems, he can get the Marine the financial classes the Marine needs. If a leader knows that a Marine is having problems at home, he can get the Marine the personal counseling the Marine needs.

If a leader knows his Marines, he is in a better position to help his Marines. It also increases unit cohesion. Marines like it better if they know their leaders want to know the Marines on a personal level. The third and final part is the leadership style. A Marine’s approach is very vital to efficient leadership. I believe in order to get respect, I have to give it first. This is why I am careful to always be tactful and polite. From personal experience, I prefer a polite leader. To me it means, he respects me as a Marine; it tells me that the leader does not view me as just another faceless junior Marine to do his bidding.

I also believe that if I have a Marine’s respect, he will complete tasks I give him to my standards. Even if I do not have the Marine’s respect, I was respectful and the Marine will still complete anything I request of him faithfully. I also believe tact is very important. How you correct a Marine conveys how you view that Marine, and all Marines in general. A leader should not be screaming at Marines for the small mistakes. All it tells me is that Marine is on a power trip. He just sees the stripes on his collar, and thinks everyone should respect it.

He fails to see the Marine Corps’ objectives behind the increase in rank. But a leader that pulls his Marines aside to correct them says he cares about them. He cares to give them some one-on-one mentoring to guide them back to the right path. This is what I believe it means to be a leader. In order to lead, a person must first learn how to follow. That also entails remembering the leaders who let you down. Take what you did not like from them, and incorporate the opposite into your leadership. My ultimate goal as a leader is not only to take care of my Marines, but be a leader that they will strive to emulate.


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