Our ranks are few because of the difficulty of our training and the commitment needed to face the difficulties of our missions.
Our nation places its trust and confidence in those who earn our title, as every decision a Marine makes has the potential
to prevent a conflict—or to escalate it. At all times focused, alert and in control, Marines are strategic warriors
with training, judgment and character our entire nation can depend on.
"The Marines of the Chosin Reservoir, of Hue City and of countless other battles through the years did not wait to be reminded of their individual responsibilities. They behaved as Marines always have, and as we expect today's Marines and those of the future to behave—with courage, with aggressiveness and with resolve."
General Charles C. Krulak, 31st Commandant of the Marine Corps
LEADERSHIP AT EVERY LEVEL
Every Marine is a leader and prepared to fulfill the responsibilities of their role, or to step in for a fallen leader and take decisive action to gain control of the situation at hand. In the midst of chaos and uncertainty, there's no time for Marines to wait for orders to be handed down. The Marine Corps ensures even the most junior Marine has the confidence, judgment and authority to make crucial decisions under extreme stress.
DEVOTION TO READINESS
Marines may not be able to predict the next challenge ahead, but they can be ready for it. A Marine may practice putting his gas mask on in complete darkness. A squad of Marines might study a foreign language together. A Platoon Sergeant could use friendly competition to challenge his Marines to be the fastest at changing a magazine, or disassembling and reassembling a machine gun. To be a strategic warrior is to ensure not only personal readiness but the combat readiness of the entire unit.
As America's premiere expeditionary force in readiness, it isn't enough to know how to fight every threat—Marines must know how to interact with different cultures as well. Before deploying abroad, Marines familiarize themselves with the language, customs and traditions, geography, religion, politics and socioeconomic factors of the regions in which they may operate. These considerations are also taken into account at the command level during the planning of operations to prevent avoidable tensions with local populaces.
AN EMPHASIS ON CHARACTER
Marines are entrusted by our nation to both defend its interests and represent its values. For this reason it is imperative that Marines who serve and fight abroad be of extraordinarily good character. Marines are ambassadors of our nation and Corps and must possess the honor and integrity to do what is right, regardless of the circumstances.
THE STRATEGIC WARRIOR MINDSET
Conditions can change quickly on the modern battlefield, and Marines must adapt to meet those conditions with decisive but appropriate action. No two operations are identical, and no Marine prepares for only one type of mission. A situation can deteriorate, a crowd can grow restless and a humanitarian operation can turn into a combat engagement—in an instant. Marines may be called on to provide relief in a combat zone, a show of force in a disaster area or reconnaissance during a rescue operation. Regardless of the mission, Marines are prepared to face down the threats of our time.
EXCEPTIONAL DECISION MAKING
Marines are prepared for anything because they train for a broad spectrum of situations. We develop Marines into leaders by constantly exposing them to training situations that require sound decisions with limited time, resources or information. Marines train to use their judgment, decisiveness and knowledge to respond quickly and appropriately because the worst decision a Marine can make in the midst of an operation is no decision at all.
No Marine is more qualified to make tactical decisions than the small-unit leader on the battlefield. The Marine Corps concept of "Commander's Intent" ensures every Marine has a clear understanding of their commander's desired objective and the latitude to take the best course of action to accomplish it. In the midst of a complex operation, circumstances can change rapidly. When they do, Marines at the tip of the spear have the freedom to respond accordingly.