Roles in the Corps: Leading the Few
The first day that you step in front of that unit, that platoon and all eyes are on you, you at that moment have an understanding that this really means something; that I'm responsible for everything that these folks do or fail to do.
The relationships that we look for between our officers and our enlisted Marines should be exactly what General John A. Lejeune said. It should be a relationship between teacher and scholar; father, son.
Because respect in my mind is earned. You may wear the rank and they may have to salute you, but ultimately the true respect is earned and you get that respect by treating them the way they're supposed to be treated.
Don't let adversity hold you back.
That's the relationship that we strive to foster here at Officer Candidates School so our graduates, when they do become officers in the Marine Corps, can take that ethos back and apply it to their relationships with enlisted Marines.
Once you become an officer of Marines, it's no longer about you as the individual; it's about that Marine you're leading and it's about the Marines that are entrusted to your care.
You owe it to their moms and dads to lead them with integrity and to teach them integrity.
A good leader is one who can sit down, ask questions of his peers and even those under his charge to see how he can improve upon himself and do things better to better accomplish the mission.
One of the first things that officers must understand is that they don't know it all and they can't do it all. So, they have to depend on the ones that have been there for a period of time but at the same time remember that you are responsible for them all. They expect that you know everything. They expect that you're gonna take care of them and you have to deliver on that.
As the officer becomes more experienced himself, he can start to interject more of his ideas about the training and about mission accomplishment.
You can be great at everything, but if you're not a person of integrity and you're not able to be trusted then, you know what, your Marines won't trust you and you won't be an effective leader.
You are a leader first and foremost.
[Officer Candidate 1]:
It's not about you. It's never been about you. It's about those around you that you're supposed to lead.
Unselfishness and just a desire to serve and wanna take care of those under you, that's what's gonna get those guys under you through.
Officers have the responsibility of leading the finest men and women I believe our nation has to offer and those are the enlisted Marines. It's an honor and a privilege but one that weighs heavily on the shoulders of officers.
The greatest honor is to be able to say that I have led Marines. All these other things of, you know, "Hey, I got a nice paycheck" and "Hey, I traveled the world" are secondary to that single thing.
The Marine Corps is about leadership no matter if you're an officer or an enlisted man. The Marine Corps trains leaders to be leaders and become better leaders.
If you understand those basics and you go in with an attitude of not arrogance, but positivity and making sure that you have their best interests in mind, the growth will follow.