Author Topic: Time to "Fix" the USMC?  (Read 1009 times)

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Offline bayonetbrant

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Time to "Fix" the USMC?
« on: October 10, 2013, 07:16:47 AM »
Some senior members of the Corps are instituting some changes

Afterward, the newspaper was invited to Quantico to discuss the brass’ vision with a cadre of senior leaders who were attending the General Officer Symposium. They are
Lt. Gen. John Toolan, the commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force, out of Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Lt. Gen. John Wissler, the commanding general of III MEF, out of Okinawa, Japan
Maj. Gen. Larry Nicholson, the commanding general of 1st Marine Division at Pendleton
Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy, the commanding general of 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, out of Okinawa
and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Mike Barrett.

an excerpt

We started this process probably a year ago. The commandant came out with his Heritage Brief, and he started walking and talking about values and how important they were.
The big push, where the commandant kind of formulated his presentation, was through the commander’s leadership seminars that we held at each of the MEF locations. Myself, General Wissler and others, we got our commanders together, and we said, “OK, post-[Operation Enduring Freedom], we need to get back to our expeditionary roots. We’ve lost a few things along the way. We need to get it back. How do we do that?”
And so, none of this is really new to any of the commanders because most of it is coming directly from them. The commandant kind of just glommed onto these ideas and said, “OK, now I think I understand what’s coming from the field. Here is what I understand. Tell me if it’s correct.” And that was really the basis of his presentation.

I don’t think you can look at this in isolation as just the barracks. I know at I MEF, and certainly at 1st Division where I’m at, we’re looking at it holistically across the spectrum. Number 1, tactics. We’ve been doing a certain sort of tactic in Afghanistan. We’ve been doing [counterinsurgency], and we’ve been doing it very, very well for the last decade, between Iraq and Afghanistan. But, it’s come at the expense of some of our fundamental things. One of the questions I ask all the time is, “Could we do the march to Baghdad today?”

General, when you talk about linking this to tactics and the excellence of our behavior or our performance in Iraq and Afghanistan, we ought to take that as a pat on the back. But, how you live is how you fight, and not just in a [Forward Operating Base] up in Sangin. The guys who lived like pigs in the combat garrison, so to speak, they had an inordinate number of casualties. They were sloppy with the population. There were incidents. ...

It’s all those petty disciplines that add up to combat effectiveness. I was the force generation regiment back at Camp Lejeune for 18 months while I was waiting for everybody to come back from Iraq. And you’d see all those same bad behaviors that were practiced with bad units in garrison, whether it was in Iraq or Afghanistan, were being amplified when they got back to Camp Lejeune. And they felt as though, “Hey as long as I was a good field Marine, it didn’t matter. ... And it was absolutely wrong, because then I redeployed with those guys and saw that the units that were lax with discipline in North Carolina were lax in discipline in certain cities in Afghanistan, and they paid a toll with their Marines. It’s all linked.

One of the pieces was seeking and achieving tactical brilliance by enforcing the standards. By enforcing all standards. All standards, for this very reason: The units that have standards and enforce standards where they live translates to where they work, translates to where they fight. And so, this is just a compilation of feedback that many of the commanding generals gave back to the commandant to then move our Corps forward on the exact same vector, Corps-wide, so that there is no stone unturned.
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