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CHIPS Articles: New Guidance on Leading Marines

New Guidance on Leading Marines
By Lt. Col. Eric Dent, Headquarters Marine Corps - August 7, 2017
ARLINGTON, Va. -- Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller released “Marine Leader Development” in a continuing effort to help Marines achieve personal and professional success. Marine Leader Development (MLD) was announced July 28, in ALMAR 026/17, with a stated purpose of providing a common framework and practical tools for developing Marines and Sailors.

“Every leader has a responsibility to those that they lead to make them better,” said Neller. “I expect all Marines to read it and use it as they help make Marines and Sailors more successful.”

MLD is considered a less-prescriptive approach that builds on consistent interaction between leaders and subordinates. It stresses aspects of coaching and teaching that has been a hallmark of Neller’s approach since becoming the Corps’ top leader in 2015.

Neller stressed that he wants more face-to-face communication between Marines and their leaders. “We need to talk to one another more. There are key times when this interaction is critical, like when a Marine joins a unit, when individual performance is evaluated, when preparing for promotion panels, when a Marine considers re-enlisting, and at the end of the Marine’s service when they transition out of the Corps.”

Neller added that although Marines are well-known for leadership, everyone can improve.

“I have never met anybody who joined the Marine Corps who didn’t do so to improve themselves and to be successful,” said Neller. “And if we are more successful as individuals, our units and Corps will be better too.”

Marine Leader Development replaces the Marine Corps Mentoring Program of 2006, although Neller pointed out that mentoring continues to be important.

“Mentorship evolves. All of us have mentors. Each Marine has a say in his or her mentor, and the chain of command has a part to play as well,” Neller said.

Additionally MLD focuses on the six Fs: fighter, fidelity, fitness, family, finances, and future. These serve as the framework for individual counseling and coaching sessions, as well as unit activities.

The Marine Leader Development order can be viewed at: http://www.marines.mil/News/Publications/MCPEL/Electronic-Library-Display/Article/1261547/mco-150061-canx-mco-150058-and-navmc-dir-150058/

NC - Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert B. Neller discusses the MRZR Tactical Warfighter all-terrain vehicle at Stone Bay, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., March 17, 2016. Neller toured Marine Special Operations Command facilities, observed their equipment, and met with Marine Raiders.  U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Samantha K. Draughon/Released
NC - Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert B. Neller discusses the MRZR Tactical Warfighter all-terrain vehicle at Stone Bay, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., March 17, 2016. Neller toured Marine Special Operations Command facilities, observed their equipment, and met with Marine Raiders. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Samantha K. Draughon/Released
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