Marine Corps Values

Posted: February 15, 2017

In Corps Values by David H. Freedman, it is stipulated that the U.S. Marines is committed in its quest to produce few proud people capable of scaling walls, striking hard as fast as possible, and those who can decide on life and death situation amidst battle. Ideally, the Marine Corps is dubbed as a speedy-reacting and quite adaptable organization. The Marines are identified by core values of honor, courage, and commitment in their daily operations.

Marine and Planning

According to Freeman’s article, Corps’ actions are thoroughly planned before implementation. For example, in Corps Values, the Marines invasion of parts of Camp Pendleton in San Diego had been prepared for. The unit does not take their missions lightly because of the technicalities involved (Krulak 5). In the planning exercise, challenges likely to be experienced in the mission are studied in detailed perspective. According to Spencer (34), fortunately, at least six hours of planning carried out by the Corps, who invaded Camp Pendleton, makes them well equipped to face the mission than any other military units which are capable of after about six months.

Majorly, the Corps’ planning occurs in six stages. All the phases are meticulously covered to avoid erring (Spencer 34). It begins with problem framing, where the real issue is studied. The next stage is war gaming. It entails military strategies analysis that needs to be employed. Moreover, the course of action is evaluated. The Corps are given orders which they have to develop. The last stage is a transition.

In the article, Robert Lee is sent to Vietnam with a mission of taking dozens of Marines, and then boarding a ship that has been packed with several refugees. He is supposed to secure from the aggressions of South Vietnamese soldiers. He is clueless about the mission and is compelled to strategically plan for it within the shortest time possible to avoid failing. The planning exercise gives Lee an insight of the mission. He learns that the said ship possesses several decks and opts to treat it like a large building with several floors. He plans to secure it by starting at the top to assume gravity's favor in dropping his opponents faster. Thus, the analogy portrays the Corps’ perception on planning.

Organization in the Marines

The Marine Corps work in two parallel command chains. Service chain of command starts from the President and runs through Secretary of Defense (Wilson 5). It continues to the Marine Corps Commandant. Operational chain of command begins from the U.S. President, continues to the Defense Secretary and goes directly to all the combatant’s commanders for every mission. Wilson (6) argues that it ends to the forces which are then assigned to their respective commands. Resultantly, the chain of command and the division of labor in the Marines assumes a decentralized or top-down hierarchical format.

The Marines are subdivided for administration in battalions and divisions. They affect how the Corps operates. In addition, the Marines think in a somewhat fluid and customizable sub-units. The Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) is the heart of these groupings (Krulak 45). It draws several Marine units into an integrated force that can be in charge of operations. These tasks can be invasions, relief missions, or evacuation. Marine Expeditionary Unit is the smallest part of MAGTF. It has approximately three ships that have weapons, jets, helicopters, and supplies.

In Freedman’s article, Corps Values, Lee (a second lieutenant) receives a mission from a more superior office within the Marines. He is supposed to secure a ship from the aggressive South Vietnamese warriors. He acknowledges that the Marines employ the decentralized form of management under the Rule of Three. The rule creates hierarchies in the organization. Thus, six managerial layers exist from the infantry private to the colonel who is entrusted to command his regiment (Krulak 45).

Since the Marines can entrust mid and low ranked officers to make battle decisions, the Corps are compelled to put emphasis on the skills of those who take these responsibilities. Effective decision-making is installed at lower levels as a requisite for down flow of authority in the organization (Wilson 23). However, this task follows a chain of command.

Colonel Moore’s Influence on His Men

Colonel Moore is in charge of the Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). MEU is the smallest unit of the Corps. Moore has to control the soldiers and the entire ship. Without his charisma and somewhat sense of inspiration, he might fail in his duties.

His role as a Colonel in the Marine is considered to be closely analogous in the unit to a chief executive officer. Therefore, he works as a general who governs the entire MEU by delegating duties. He ensures that the daily managerial practice follows the chain of command.

He has absolute authority in the MEU and his men. However, he does not act like a supreme CEO (Chief Executive Officer) like in many organizations. He identifies with all his men and wears the same uniform that his men put on. He reduces himself to a lower rank to earn their trust and respect. For example, he is not saluted, yet the Marines’ tradition is that he should be saluted. Ideally, Colonel Moore narrows the gap between him and his men and entrusts them with greater roles to gain influence over them for his MEU's efficiency.

Moore’s Leadership Style

In the viewpoint of Du et al. (155), the success of an organization is strongly embedded in the leadership style employed therein. Moore is keen on how he wants to manage his MEU and his men (Du et al. 155). Ideally, his chosen type of leadership is a democratic one. Herein, he is the overall leader who makes the final decision but includes his men in the process.

Democratic leadership is enforced in a team-work strategy. Moore is not a dictator. Instead, he elevates himself to the ranks of his men so that they do not have to salute him but view him as one of them. Consequently, he is free to them, interacts with them, and is approachable by his men (Du et al. 158). Colonel Moore creates a free working environment for his men which is ideal for Democratic leadership. Resultantly, Moore easily influences his unit because of this kind of management.

Democratic leadership employed by Colonel Moore is bound to change when his men get out of control. The major limitation of this leadership style is that it offers the junior members too much freedom.

According to Du et al. (158), globally, corporates are changing their forms of leadership to ones that incorporate even the junior most staff members in the decision-making process. Most corporate environments have a top-down hierarchical structure as depicted by the Marines. The systems are decentralized for efficiency by creating more roles and power in various levels of organization (Du et al., 159). Research reveals that workers, from the senior most to the lowest ranks, feel more appreciated and motivated to work in a decentralized system. Democratic leadership is appealing to contemporary companies and organizations.

Aside from that, Moore’s influence methods are ideal for a corporate environment. When employed, they can solve managerial crisis experienced today. Moore appeals to his MEU forces by reducing themselves to their level. He eradicates the gap between a senior authority and junior staff. He mixes and interacts with them and encourages them to treat him normally.

Quality and Performance in the Marines

The Corps work within the most limited time possible. During the mission, they are required to provide a quality job within the shortest time possible (Krulak 47). They ensure that they do not waste time while adhering to quality in their work. Hence, it takes vast skills to succeed and register positive results.

In Corps Values, they begin by determining the mission's potential strength, weaknesses, and assumptions. They study the principle information. In enhancing quality and performance, planning is a key strategy for the Marines. The Corps uses the End State. It is a significant concept for making swift and risky decisions to save the mission.

In a personal reflection, the Marine is an adaptive organization. It implies that they respond to changes in the environment. For example, the Commandant issue orders to various MEUs. The Colonels give the assignment and instruction to the forces. However, the soldiers are allowed to make their decisions depending on the turn of events in the battlefield.

In conclusion, Corps Values by David Freedman gives an insight on how the Marines operate. It seeks to produce few but skilled soldiers who work with honor and integrity during their missions. The most notable thing is that in spite being a disciplined force, soldiers are allowed to make their decisions making it a unique military unit.

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