Gen Charles C Krulak’s Commandant Planning GuidancePosted on: April 13,2022
31st Commandant’s Planning Guidance, August 1995
This Planning Guidance is the 31st Commandant’s strategic direction for the Marine Corps. As discussed in the reference, it serves as the keystone document for Marine Corps planning and provides a common direction to the Marine Corps Total Force. It is a road map that delineates where the Marine Corps is going and why, what the Marine Corps will do, and, in some instances, how and when prescribed actions are to be implemented. Specific responsibilities in execution of this Planning Guidance will be assigned in the following pages.
The two most important things that the Marine Corps does for the nation are to make Marines and to win battles. The success of my predecessors in accomplishing these tasks has earned the respect and confidence of the American people. That will continue.
a. ALMAR 191/95 outlines the five pillars of my most strongly held beliefs: warfighting, people, core values, education and training, and our naval character. Each will be the subject of future correspondence from me. This document takes the first step in defining how we will translate those beliefs into action. In essence, the CPG serves as the Commandant’s intent for the next four years and beyond.
b. Specific objectives and priorities contained in this document will be used in daytoday decision making. That decision making process must be a participatory one, and our policies must be based on a long-range view with a singular focus on where and what we want the Marine Corps to be in the 21st century. Therefore, all policies will be developed without regard to the tenure of any one Commandant, one administration, or one congressional session. Every plan or program developed in support of this planning guidance must include a divestiture strategy to ensure we do not retain outdated policies, organizations, weapons systems, acquisition strategies, or doctrine.
a. The purpose of my intent is to ensure unity of effort. To that end, I want our institutional objectives to be perfectly clear. In all that we say and do, we must continually return to the strategic concept that makes the Corps a unique institution within our national military establishment. That concept, articulated by Congress and contained in law in Title 10, reflects our very ethos.
“The Marine Corps, within the Department of the Navy, shall be so organized as to include not less than three combat divisions and three air wings, and such other land combat, aviation, and other services as may be organic therein. The Marine Corps shall be organized, trained, and equipped to provide fleet marine forces of combined arms, together with supporting air components, for service with the fleet in the seizure or defense of advanced naval bases and for the conduct of such land operations as may be essential to the prosecution of a naval campaign.
“In addition, the Marine Corps shall provide detachments and organizations for service on armed vessels of the Navy, shall provide security detachments for the protection of naval property at naval stations and bases, and shall perform such other duties as the President may direct. However, these additional duties may not detract from or interfere with the operations for which the Marine Corps is primarily organized.
“The Marine Corps shall develop, in coordination with the Army and the Air Force, those phases of amphibious operations that pertain to the tactics, technique, and equipment used by landing forces.
“The Marine Corps is responsible, in accordance with integrated joint mobilization plans, for the expansion of peacetime components of the Marine Corps to meet the needs of war. “
b. The Congressional Conference Report that supported the final legislation clearly explained the background behind our strategic concept and went on to say that history . . .
“has fully demonstrated the vital need for the existence of a strong force in readiness. Such a force, versatile, fast-moving, and hard-hitting, will constantly have a very powerful impact in relation to minor international disturbances. . . . Such a force can prevent the growth of potentially large conflagrations by prompt and vigorous action during their incipient stages. . . . The nation’s shock troops must be the most ready when the nation generally is least ready. . . . to provide a balanced force in readiness for a naval campaign and, at the same time, a ground and air striking force ready to suppress or contain international disturbances short of large-scale war. “
4. THE FUTURE DIRECTION OF THE MARINE CORPS
The words of the 82nd Congress, so carefully crafted and articulated nearly 45 years ago, provide us with the foundation we need to move into the 21st century. We have long been known as “innovators” and “improvisers.” As part of our ethos and together with our strategic concept, innovation and improvisation serve as the foundation upon which we will continue to build our institutional objectives and translate them into a vision for the Marine Corps of the 21st century.
a. The next century will likely be characterized by crisis and conflict. It will place heavy demands on our nations military services; demands that will require deep reservoirs of military skill, intellect, and innovation. This uncertain horizon creates an even more pressing imperative for a military force that can remain versatile yet act decisively in the face of such uncertainty-a force that can quickly and surely anticipate change and adapt to a new reality. The Marine Corps has always been that versatile, decisive force-and we will continue to be that force.
b. We will be well prepared to handle a variety of missions; trained and equipped to defeat any enemy. The Marine Corps will be recognized, not just in the United States, but globally, as the premier crisis response force ever ready to project the power and influence of the United States from the sea to any foreign shore. Here, crisis is defined as ranging from a military attack against our nation or its interests, to acts of political violence against Americans abroad, to those operations currently falling under the rubric of “Military Operations Other Than War” (MOOTW). In these areas, the Marine Corps will be first on the scene, first to fight, first to quell disturbances, and first to help. The Marine Corps will be the nation’s force of choice-a certain force for an uncertain world. No matter what the crisis or the threat, the nation will have one thought: “Send in the Marines.”
c. Operating forward, in fully capable combined arms teams, the Marine Corps will be America’s legion-on the scene, ever ready to protect the nation’s interests. We will remain fundamentally naval and expeditionary in character, as comfortable on the seas as on the land and in the air. With the Navy, we will be able to go anywhere rapidly and project force across any shore against any foe, sustaining ourselves from sea or land bases.
d. We will continue to be a force rich in history and traditions, ingrained with the highest values of honor, courage, and commitment. We will be a Total Force, active and reserve, able to effectively integrate a full range of capabilities-ours as well as those of other services, agencies, and nations-into a unified and focused instrument of national power. We will continuously exploit the latest technologies, concepts, and methods to enhance the operational effectiveness of our forces. And, as we have always been, we will be an economical force-able to get more from less.
e. This superb armed force will be composed of the world’s finest military professionals- disciplined, motivated, dedicated warriors-stronger, smarter Marines, filled with the values that have served us well throughout our history, and infused with the agility of mind and body that will be required in future conflicts. They will be educated to act intelligently and independently, trained to seek responsibility, required to be accountable, and molded to act with boldness and individual initiative. We will be a learning organization that creates individuals who not only can adapt to changing situations, but who can anticipate and even activate them. We will be self-critical, quick to identify shortcomings, and relentless in our efforts to improve. Our Marines’ moral character, courage, and ethical values will dominate any location or operational area with the unconditional certainty that the Marine Corps is a force for good.
f. The future Marine Corps will give our nation an unbeatable force, composed of highly capable men and women, bound by the unbreakable bond of our unique spirit, possessing a singular focus-to serve the nation as its force of choice.
(1) I will be an active participant in the decision making process at HQMC. To this end, the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps has been asked to develop an executive decision making body soon-within the next 30 days. This organization will include membership at the lieutenant general and general level. It will, with the Director of the Marine Corps Staff (DMCS) as Executive Secretary, incorporate a formalized process that ensures complete staffing prior to, and thorough follow-up after, decisions.
(2) We need to be organized to ensure we are effective in the Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System (PPBS) process as well as in other important deliberations that take place within the Marine Corps, the Department of the Navy, the Joint Staff, with the CJCS and the Combatant Commanders, and in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps has been asked to develop a plan to organize HQMC and MCCDC to be more effective and in a way that saves structure. This needs to be accomplished this early on. We will not be able to get to the future if we cannot get organized to start the journey. This will also require an all hands effort to fully implement our concept-based requirement system and Combat Development Process (CDP) while we come to grips with a more efficient and effective resource allocation process. The initial brief for this organization should be ready for presentation by 15 August 1995, with a brief on the full proposal by 1 October 1995.
(3) The Marine Corps will continue to build on the foundation established by my predecessors. This means being adequately resourced to meet the requirements of the National Military Strategy. It also means a stable force structure. To that end, the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps has been asked to evaluate the merits of consolidating structure sponsorship in such a way that ensures that our manpower, training, and education plans are stabilized and complementary to one another. The initial brief should be ready by 15 August 1995; the study and recommendations should be completed for presentation by 1 January 1996.
(1) Building on my predecessors’ foundation does not mean doing things the old way. It is not an excuse to avoid developing new concepts for organizing, training, and equipping the Marine Corps. We must do everything that is required to safely navigate from the Corps of today to the Corps the nation needs the day after tomorrow.
(2) A key objective of my planning guidance is to encourage-to demand- creativity and innovation to ensure that we retain an adaptive and flexible naval force able to anticipate events and win across the spectrum of conflict. Our institution must not restrict or limit the opportunity of any Marine to think creatively and to develop new ideas. Marines must be seen, respected, and depended upon to innovate and improvise. The development of forces for expeditionary duty in the first part of this century, the development of the Fleet Marine Force and amphibious warfare doctrine in the 1930’s, the push for the development of the helicopter and vertical/short takeoff (V/STOL) technology, and the successes of our Maritime Prepositioning Force program are all representative of innovations that have changed the character of war. These innovations were the result of creative thinking; thinking by sergeants and corporals, captains and lieutenants, generals and colonels; thinking by Marines who, as others have said, “Think beyond the moment, live beyond the day.” That must continue.
(3) “Marine Mail.” To capture this creative thinking, the Director of the Marine Corps Staff (DMCS) will establish a system to collect ideas and forward them to those “who need to know.” This will be different from, but complementary to, the Marine Corps Lessons Learned System. It will be a “mailbox” that will serve as a receptor for the innovative and creative ideas of all of our Marines and civilians from private to general and GS-I to SES. I want to know three things: what aren’t we doing that we should be doing; what are we doing that we should do differently, and, what are we doing that we shouldn’t be doing? The procedure for utilizing “Marine Mail” will be the topic of correspondence to be released within two weeks, and it will be operational by 1 August 1995.
(4) We must not be lulled into complacency because we have always been ready, relevant, and capable. What might be ready, relevant and capable today, may be less so the day after tomorrow. We must anticipate change, adapt to it, and foster it. We will remain relevant only if we are willing to meet future challenges and adapt to new needs.
a. Background. We exist today because the American people expect their Marines to provide them with a lean, ready, and professional fighting force: a force that guarantees success when committed. They have such a force now and are proud of it.
b. Intent. As good as we are today, we will need to be even better tomorrow. We will achieve this through the strength of our innovation, ingenuity, and a willingness to continually adapt to changes across the spectrum of conflict. We must not be afraid of reaching outside of the traditional realms of defense acquisition or technology. Neither should we be totally wed to our current organization or operational outlook. We must, however, above all, keep our focus on being ready when called.
(1) The Marine Corps remains the nation’s naval, combined arms, expeditionary force in readiness. While we stand ready to perform “such other duties as the President may direct,” our reason for being is what it has always been-warfighting. With capabilities inextricably linked to structure, it is vital that our organization be designed with one goal in mind: success on the battlefield.
(2) Marine Corps operational forces will continue to be organized as Marine AirGround Task Forces (MAGTFs), with the Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) as the principal warfighting organization. Necessary combat power will be provided to the committed MEF through global sourcing by the Total Force: one force consisting of Marine Forces, both active and reserve.
(1) Joint. “Jointness” is a key warfighting capability. It is more about headquarters and command elements than it is about the capabilities of any individual unit. With our experience in coordinating the elements of a MAGTF and the “jointness” inherent in our relationship with the Navy, the Marine Corps possesses the resident expertise necessary to coordinate effectively ground, air, and sea forces. Augmenting this expertise, we also have many Marines assigned to joint staffs. DC/S Plans, Policies and Operations must ensure Marines on joint duty are kept current on the priorities of the Commandant and the initiatives of HQMC and MCCDC.
(a) As we continue to develop our joint capabilities, we must also ensure we have the forces the CINCs need. I believe it is the responsibility of the Service Chief to “provide forces” and the responsibility of the Combatant Commanders to “employ forces.” Many of the future discussions regarding force provision, apportionment, and employment will hinge on the strength of the relationship and communication among the Service Headquarters, the Joint Staff, the Combatant Commanders, and Marine Force Commanders. These lines of communications must also be sensitive to PPBS-related activities, the Enhanced JROC, the Joint Warfighting Capability Assessments, and the development of the CINCs Integrated Priority Lists. While DC/S Plans, Policies and Operations is responsible for supporting the Commandant in many of these discussions, for presenting the COMMARFORs concerns, and for articulating the Marine Corps position and rationale to Marine component commanders, this will obviously expand beyond the immediate span of his control. By 1 September 1995, the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps has been asked to develop a strategy which ensures that the lines of communication between the Commandant, HQMC, and the COMMARFORs on this broad range of issues are in place, well understood, and utilized.
(b) The Marine Corps must provide a fully capable, expeditionary, Joint Task Force (JTF) Headquarters organized and equipped to move out on a moment’s notice to meet the uncertainties of a chaotic new world. In concept, this would be the headquarters of choice when the National Command Authorities and the Unified Commanders in Chief are planning to respond to emerging crises anywhere in the world’s littorals. My intent is to establish this capability within MARFORLANT/II MEF. By 30 September 1995, the CG, MCCDC, in conjunction with the COMMARFORLANT, the HQMC staff, and other agencies, will provide a proposal for the establishment of this JTFHQ.
(c) As an integral part of this nation’s forward operating naval expeditionary forces, Marine units are frequently the first force to arrive on-scene during a potential crisis. As such, we must maintain the capability to enable the seamless introduction of follow on joint and combined forces and to provide the command and control framework for the formation of joint task forces. With these concepts and the one expressed in the preceding paragraph in mind, by 1 January 1996, CG, MCCDC, COMMARCORSYSCOM, and the Assistant DC/S for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence, together with the Force Commanders are to explore the development of JTF command and control capabilities in Marine Expeditionary Units which will enable the smooth integration of a follow-on JTFHQ. These capabilities must be built to conform with the Core Operating Environment of the Global Command and Control System.
(2) Strategic. The nation’s ability to project influence and military forces over great distances depends upon adequate strategic mobility forces. Our Marine expeditionary forces must continue to have a number of deployment options including amphibious lift, maritime prepositioning shipping, self-deployment, and strategic airlift.
(a) In a world in which our ability to base forces overseas is declining, the ability to project power and conduct sea-based operations is crucial. I remain concerned about the adequacy of amphibious lift to meet the nation’s crisis response and forward presence requirements. We will work closely with the Chief of Naval Operations and his staff to ensure that there are adequate numbers of the right types of ships, with the right capabilities, to meet national requirements.
(b) The current amphibious ship building program is carefully crafted to assure satisfying an active fleet goal of lifting 2.5 Marine expeditionary brigade equivalents at the earliest feasible date. Any slip in new ship procurement will delay attainment to beyond 2010. In spite of this fiscal “accommodation,” we must remember that this is a programmatic goal driven by constrained resources. The requirement remains 3.0 brigade equivalents. Amphibious ships do not simply enhance deployment options. They provide the world’s only self-sustaining forcible entry capability. They limit the requirement for a support infrastructure ashore, allowing the naval forces to remain at sea indefinitely. And, they provide essential versatility to adapt to the uncertain international landscape we envision in the 21st century. To provide the required presence and deploy highly capable Marine expeditionary forces with an over-the-horizon launch capability, we need to maintain the capability of 12 Amphibious Ready Groups, each built around a large deck, in the active force.
(c) The Marine Corps Maritime Prepositioning Force (MPF) concept provides our nation a unique capability and is key to the rapid deployment of large-scale sustainable Marine forces. MPF flexibility is increased through innovative loading and deployment options. We will continue to examine MPF employment options which support specific mission requirements as well as review other enhancements to MPF. Additionally, we must look further into the future and develop the follow-on concept for MPF that incorporates a broader view of how we provide logistics support to the MAGTF. CG, MCCDC, in conjunction with DC/S Installations and Logistics and other agencies, as part of the supporting concepts initiative tasked in paragraph 6c(3)b below, shall update our MPF employment concept(s).
(d) There is a growing need for a strategic organization-manned, trained, and equipped-to counter the growing biological-chemical (Bio-Chem) terrorist threat. The Marine Corps will have such an organization-centrally located, available to be globally sourced to Marine Force Commanders and the National Command Authorities for duties as the President may direct. This Bio-Chem Unit will be manned with properly skilled and trained personnel, possibly to include civilian experts. It will be equipped with state-of-the-art detection, monitoring, and decontamination equipment, and it will be suited for operations in a wide range of military-civilian contingencies. The CG, MCCDC will develop the concept, doctrine, organization, and tactics, techniques, and procedures for this Bio-Chem Unit by 1 February 1996.
(3) Operational and Tactical. “Forward . . . From the Sea,” (FFTS) is the Navy and Marine Corps White Paper that defines the vision for our expeditionary naval service in the operational and tactical levels of war. With the Navy, we are structuring a fundamentally different naval force to respond to the new and still emerging strategic environment. Those forces must be sufficiently flexible and powerful to satisfy enduring national security requirements.
(a) The Navy and Marine Corps will provide the nation with naval expeditionary forces shaped for joint operations operating forward from the sea and tailored for national needs. For the Navy, this strategic direction represents a fundamental shift away from open-ocean warfighting on the sea toward joint operations conducted from the sea. It also offers the distinct opportunity to integrate further the maritime warfighting capabilities that the Naval Services bring the nation. We are inextricably linked to the Navy and I believe that is good. Our unique maritime character is as important to defining our Marine Corps ethos as is the individual Marine, our recruit and officer training, and our basic tenet of “every Marine a rifleman.” Separately and collectively, these elements are what set us apart from other fighting forces.
(b) The Marine Corps’ contribution to FFTS is “Operational Maneuver From the Sea” (OMFTS)-a philosophy and guide for current and future power projection ashore. OMFTS couples maneuver doctrine with technological advances in speed, mobility, firepower, communications, and navigation to achieve a seamless transition from ship to shore and the rapid movement inland to exploit enemy weaknesses. OMFTS is far more than just “ship to shore” movement. It is a new concept of naval warfare which covers the full spectrum of conflict and is as valuable in MOOTW as it is in Major Regional Contingencies. It is not simply a theoretical construct of the new maritime battlespace, but rather, reflects a fundamental re-orientation toward the littoral regions, complemented by advanced capabilities provided by new equipment. Any remaining deficiencies, whether in doctrine, organization, training, or equipment, must be identified and resolved. We must develop additional supporting concepts and help the Navy do the same. The CG, MCCDC will develop and submit a plan of action and milestones that aggressively address this critical linchpin in our concept-based requirements system by 1 December 1995
(c) The Marine Corps Training, Exercise, and Employment Plan (MCTEEP) has been under development for three years. It is time to bring it to fruition. The MCTEEP must be a tool for the Operations Deputy and the Commandant to use with the CJCS, the Combatant Commanders, and the Joint Staff to manage commitments. The MCTEEP must help our Force Commanders to reduce the tempo of operations. It must be a planning and execution tool, NOT a schedule that is maintained at HQMC. By 1 January 1996, DC/S Plans, Policies and Operations and CG, MCCDC, in conjunction with the Force Commanders, will complete the implementation of MCTEEP.
(d) The requirement for forward presence forces continues. Forward operating MAGTFs will continue to provide the Unified Commanders with a unique crisis response capability. While the Marine Corps will retain the capability to deploy MAGTFs tailored for specific missions of limited duration, the Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) (MEU(SOC)), forged and tested in real-world contingencies, remains the benchmark forward operating Marine force. It is the “jewel” in our crisis response crown and must be kept ready, relevant, and capable. Nevertheless, we must continuously remain willing to take a hard look at both the MEU(SOC) and our overall amphibious requirements. We must preserve those elements of our current organization which have continuing relevance and quickly jettison those which do not. What serves us well today might not be what is needed for tomorrow. We need to keep an eye on the future and on changes in technology and consider what adaptations we may need to make. CG, MCCDC, in conjunction with the Force Commanders and the HQMC staff, COMMARCORSYSCOM, and other agencies will conduct a comprehensive review of the MEU(SOC), the MEF (Fwd), and the MEF to ensure they are correctly structured with the right capabilities to meet the requirements of the combatant commanders. This review is to be completed by 1 February 1996.
(4) Reserves. My personal experience has led me to believe that there is only one Marine Corps-a Total Force Marine Corps. The days of two Marine Corps are gone . . . forever. Our active and reserve components will be broadly and seamlessly integrated, and indivisible as a balanced warfighting force. The full acceptance of this reality is critical to our future.
(a) Equipped and trained to the same standards as their active counterparts, the readiness of the selected Marine Corps Reserve (SMCR) is further enhanced through training and education with the active component. MARFORRES training will be reflected in the MCTEEP, and MARFORRES integration will be a goal and objective of every training event above the battalion/squadron level.
(b) The DC/S Plans, Policies and Operations, DC/S Manpower and Reserve Affairs, CG MCCDC, and COMMARCORSYSCOM will oversee this broad, seamless integration.
(5) Tactical Mobility. One of the keys to achieving decisive action is mobility. Without the ability to move rapidly, forces cannot concentrate to fight and then disperse. To preserve the advantage which speed provides, we must continue to improve our tactical mobility. From the combat load of the individual Marine to major weapons systems, improved battlefield mobility will be a paramount concern. This requires the acquisition of not only lightweight weapons systems, but also of advanced technology mobility assets in quantities sufficient to ensure a mobility advantage on the future battlefield. This will be a clear objective of CG, MCCDC and COMMARCORSYSCOM as they research, develop, and acquire the combat tools and systems for the Marine Corps-with requirements always firmly anchored in our operational concepts.
(6) Command and Control. We must reach and execute effective military decisions faster than our adversaries, in any conflict setting, on any scale. Our command and control processes and systems must reflect our warfighting philosophy. Decision making that focuses on speed and creating tempo, mission control that focuses on low level initiative, simple planning processes and orders writing techniques that are measured by the quality of the intent, all require a command and control system that is both flexible and adaptable. In looking at the command and control processes, we will focus more on people than systems. Processes are what the commander does; systems exist only to support the commander’s needs. No matter how well we understand our warfighting concepts or how well we can perform tactical procedures, if we do not utilize the right command and control processes or build the right systems to support them, we are doomed to failure. By 1 January 1996, the CG, MCCDC, in conjunction with the AC/S Command, Control. Communications, Computers, and Intelligence will develop and publish a doctrinal publication on command and control that institutionalizes this way of thinking about command and control and establishes doctrine that our operating forces can execute.
(7) Ground Combat. We will continue to pursue enhancements which maximize the capabilities of our ground combat forces. The CG, MCCDC shall ensure the CDP reflects this in our MAGTF equipment assessment for POM-98.
(a) We must explore the entire spectrum of technologies that provide and enhance speed, protection, tactical mobility, and lethality-all of which maximize the advantage and effects of maneuver. These include not only advanced technologies for ship to shore movement, but also the technologies which support Marines in the field. Their clothing and individual equipment have a direct and immediate impact on survivability, lethality, and mission accomplishment. Every effort will be made to provide more durable, less bulky, lighter, and more comfortable individual equipment. New combat boots, infantry shelters, and sleeping bags are part of the Individual Combat Clothing and Equipment Program and are examples of what must receive continued emphasis. But we must also give individual Marines a capability they do not currently possess such as “GPS Sensor packs,” digital communications at the lowest levels, fire-and-forget weapon systems capable of taking out the most formidable opponents, improved chemical and biological detection and protection equipment, and non-lethal systems effective across the entire spectrum of conflict. Getting our Marines this new equipment is important and COMMARCORSYSCOM shall develop a plan to make this happen in time to influence the development of POM-98.
(b) We must determine whether the current Ground Combat Element structure and organization meets the needs of the Marine Corps of the future. With advances in technology, weapons systems, training and education and with a future threat that remains unclear, we need to be sure that we are organized to be ready, relevant, and capable in the chaotic world of the 21st century. By 1 June 1996, CG, MCCDC should be ready to answer the question we will ask all elements of the MAGTF: “Are we organized properly?”
(8) Aviation. We must always keep in mind that the specific language in the Congressional Conference Report called for both a ground AND air striking force to be “most ready when the nation … is least ready. . . . to provide a balanced force in readiness. . . .” That will continue.
(a) We will study and determine what the aviation requirements are to support the Marine Corps of the future while maintaining our ability to meet today’s commitments. Marine aviation will remain capable of providing effective support to the MAGTF across the spectrum of conflict. To enhance its expeditionary utility, we will continue to reduce the number of type/model/ series aircraft with a goal of achieving an all short takeoff/vertcal landing (STOVL) aviation component while maintaining state of the art capabilities in air to ground and air to air combat. Aviation modernization initiatives to enhance night and adverse weather effectiveness, to improve aircraft supportability, reliability and maintainability, and to reduce strategic lift dependency remain essential to meeting warfighting requirements. To reach these goals, first, the DC/S Aviation and the DC/S Plans, Policies and Operations will update the Department of the Navy Amphibious Lift and Air Support Requirements Study in light of the current National Military Strategy, the Defense Planning Guidance and OMFTS. Second, with that update completed, by 1 March 1996, DC/S Aviation, DC/S Plans, Policies and Operations, and CG, MCCDC will answer the question, “Are we organized properly?” In these analyses, include the following considerations:
1 With the shift in naval focus from open-ocean operations to operations in the littoral, integration of Marine squadrons into carrier air wings, which has ample historical precedent, will continue to the extent it maximizes naval aviation capabilities.
2 At the same time, we must ensure that the unique capability which Marine tactical aviation provides to the MAGTF-providing support to the ground forces in an expeditionary environment-remains the key signature of Marine Aviation.
(b) The manning levels currently experienced within the Aviation combat element are unacceptable. They degrade both our ability to support MAGTFs and our ability to meet our commitments, and they impact negatively on our Marines’ quality of life. At the same time, critical school seats are going vacant which means that manning shortfalls will not be corrected soon. We must fix this. As a “fast track” element of the Assistant Commandant’s evaluation of structure sponsorship tasked in paragraph 5a(3), DC/S Manpower and Reserve Affairs, DC/S Aviation, and CG, MCCDC will address the recruiting, training, and manning of our aviation force and brief me by 1 November 1995 on what we must do to correct the problem.
(9) Combat Service Support CCSS). Effective self-sustained combat service support is crucial to success on the battlefield. CSS must be capable of anticipating needs and responding with the right support at the right time in order to reduce the amount of materiel that maneuver units carry for themselves.
(a) We must provide flexible, reliable, responsive, and dynamic combat service support capabilities which are as mobile as maneuver forces. DC/S Installations and Logistics, in conjunction with CG, MARCORSYSCOM, will provide a brief no later than 1 December 1995 on a long range plan to increase logistical mobility and reduce our logistical footprint.
(b) CSS manning levels in some critical low-density Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs) are a concern. The DC/S Manpower and Reserve Affairs, in conjunction with the DC/S Installations and Logistics, will examine all CSS MOSs with a goal of consolidating and shaping occupational fields to produce supportable manning and grade progression. This analysis and resultant recommendation will be forwarded for review and approval by 1 January 1996.
(c) Again, we must ask the question: “Are we organized properly?” By 1 March 1996, the CG, MCCDC. in conjunction with the DC/S Installations and Logistics, will provide an answer to this question with regard to CSS.
(10) Bases and Stations. None of this matters if we don’t provide adequate base infrastructure to support our forces. The deterioration of the infrastructure of our bases and stations-which serve as our Marine aircraft carriers from which we launch our expeditionary forces-is becoming untenable. We will refine our method of assessing the shortfalls and then develop a long term master plan for construction, repair, and perpetual maintenance for all our bases. This is an issue which will involve all hands, top to bottom, in our Corps. It must consider all options: public, private, contract, and self-help. If we don’t solve these problems, it matters little how we address the others. We need to focus on this now or suffer the consequences. In conjunction with appropriate members of the HQMC staff, the CG, MCCDC, and the CGs of our bases and stations, and utilizing analyses such as the Base and Station Planning Group Report of September 1993 and the Long Range Planning Group Study (19931994), by 1 April 1996, DC/S Installations and Logistics will develop a proposal for centralized, consistent direction, and oversight of our facilities and installations.
(11) Materiel Management. The functional processes of DC/S Installations and Logistics, the Commander, Marine Corps Logistics Bases, and COMMARCOR-SYSCOM present potential opportunities for collective streamlining, elimination of duplication, and improved efficiency through organizational change to provide fully integrated logistics support to the Marine Corps. By 1 November 1995, the DC/S Installations and Logistics will provide a plan to realize our full potential for responsive materiel management within the Marine Corps. The Materiel Planning Group (MATPG) Report to the Commandant of January 1994 contained valuable insight into current processes and potential process change and should be utilized along with other analysis ongoing at MCCDC in developing the plan. The issue of collocation of the involved organizations is not to be revisited.
7. PREPARING THE FORCE
(1) History has shown that even in an era of diminishing resources, if we stay highly trained and ready, we can survive both as individuals and as an institution. It is imperative that we never be found lacking in our capability or ability to do what is expected or asked. During previous times of fiscal constraints, the Marine Corps has always turned to its training and education systems to keep its warfighting edge. We must do that today. The use of simulation, virtual reality, models, and various warfighting games can make subsequent field training more effective. We will pursue that kind of technology. In the same vein, education must become central to all Marines-not just for a select few, but for all. Education is the foundation for a Marine Corps that can anticipate and adapt to the changing world that we are entering. Training and education must lead to better, more effective, more adaptable Marines.
(2) “Taking care of our Marines” means we will do everything we can to ensure they are equipped mentally and physically for the rigors of combat. To that end, training and education will be a focal point when decisions are made on spending and in the assignment of personnel. It is my view that while different, training and education are inextricably linked. Training is primarily learning by doing. Education denotes study and intellectual development. We will not train without the presence of education; we must not educate without the complementary execution of well-conceived training. I link the two under “Preparing the Force” to convey my vision that success in any mission undertaken by the Corps will flow directly from our ability both to train and educate every Marine.
b. Intent. In the long history of conflict, we have learned that battles are more often won or lost in the minds of the commanders than on the battlefields. First and foremost, our warfighting doctrine is an intellectual process which ultimately attacks our opponent’s decision making and cohesion-his human factors. All Marines must understand that it is the human factors in combat which are decisive. All of our preparations-the school curricula, the Commandant’s reading list, Marine self-study, and all of our lessons learned-must reinforce this focal concept.
(1) Our maneuver doctrine and its maritime application, OMFTS, make great demands upon the men and women of our Corps. Most prominent among these are intellectual agility, individual initiative, rapid decision making, very high quality small unit leadership, moral courage and strength of character, flexibility in staff action and command and control, decentralized execution, and a bias for decisive action.
(2) It is my intent in preparing the force that we account for these demands by creating Marines and their leaders who have superb tactical judgment and are capable of rapid decision making under physical and emotional duress, who possess the technical skills to translate judgments and decisions into relevant orders and staff actions which take advantage of fleeting opportunities, and who possess dominant tactical and military expertise in the execution of orders to achieve victory in combat or success in operations short of war. The essential thing is action; the decision born of thought, the order and preparation for execution, and the execution itself all reflecting profound excellence.
c. Tasks. Preparing the force to win battles is critical. We have limited resources and, therefore, we must get the maximum return on every dollar spent, every Marine assigned to instructional duties, and every minute of instruction. This will require constancy of purpose, stability among faculty and trainers, and an understanding of education and learning theory.
(1) In addition, if we, as a Corps, are to thrive on the decentralized, dynamic battlefield, our leaders must possess a strength of character and the sense of ethics and integrity necessary to make decisions and take actions which will bring about battlefield success. In all we do, in the recruitment, the accession, the training, and the professional military education of our leaders, character development must be a constant. The CG, MCCDC and DC/S Manpower and Reserve Affairs will provide a focus to these activities and develop a plan of action to be briefed to me no later than 1 April 1996 for these concepts and requirements.
(2) I intend to put resources-manpower, money, and material-against these crucial responsibilities. This support will not necessarily reflect net additions, but rather a redirection of current resources into more productive venues. I expect trainers and educators to make maximum use of interactive training and education. Simulation and associated technologies and the use of video tapes or video teleconferencing with live transmission to classrooms across the country, to afloat forces, and to forward deployed forces are only representative examples of what I expect. Further, tactical decision games can be as effective at HQMC as in the operating forces in fostering judgment and decision making by leaders at every level. These games help keep these intellectual skills honed even while away from the fleet. The CG. MCCDC will provide a focus and a plan of action for these concepts and requirements and ask that he brief me on this plan by 1 November 1995.
(3) Commandant’s Warfighting Laboratory. An ongoing program will be established under the CG, MCCDC to serve as the cradle and test bed for the development of enhanced operational concepts, tactics, techniques, procedures, and doctrine which will be progressively introduced into the FMF in concert with new technologies.
(a) This program will serve as the integrating ground for new technologies that we procure or develop with other services. It will provide a focal point for warfighting refinements while allowing me, as the Commandant, to accelerate and direct specific efforts within the process ot change. It will be the centerpiece of operational reform in the Marine Corps and will help ensure that emerging technologies for the individual Marine are brought into service expeditiously and effectively.
(b) This “Warfighting Lab” shall be responsible for development, field testing, and implementation of future operational and functional concepts, and potential doctrinal, organizational, training, educational, and support solutions. Concepts which are validated will be entered into the CDP. The Commandant’s Warfighting Lab, closely linked to the MAGTF Staff Training Program, will be a critical engine to take us towards the 21st century. By 1 August 1995, the CG, MCCDC will provide a plan of action for the establishment of this lab. 1 desire it to be operational by 1 October 1995.
(4) It is my intent that we reach the stage where Marines come to work and spend part of each day talking about warfighting: learning to think, making decisions, and being exposed to tactical and operational issues. My goal is to encourage short discussions that make us think daily about our warfighting philosophy and how we are going to execute it, and I want those discussions to occur regardless of MOS or current assignment or location. I consider this a fundamental leadership responsibility of every commander and staff supervisor. The CG, MCCDC will develop a plan of action by 1 March 1996 to take us there.
(1) Background. The CG, MCCDC is the Commandant’s agent for training in the Marine Corps. All trainers in the Marine Corps look to MCCDC for establishment of the training standards and training management policy necessary to plan and allocate training resources, and to publish both individual and collective training standards.
(a) At every level, from the individual Marine to the MEF, we will train the way we will fight. Officers are the key leaders in combat. However, history has taught us that a heavy leadership burden and a great deal of the fighting rests with Marine SNCOs and NCOs. Therefore, while individual and unit training may be centrally planned, execution will be decentralized to the maximum extent and placed far more in the hands of our SNCOs and NCOs. The role of the officer does not change. The role of our SNCOs and NCOs will be enhanced.
(b) Training must be focused on winning in combat. Wherever possible, training will be progressive and practical in nature. We must make the most of every learning opportunity in garrison before units go to the field. Training must include appropriate background reading, Tactical Decision Games, modeling and simulation-where applicable and available-and exercises and critiques. The latter are a particularly important part of all performance oriented training. These are all critical parts of our training effort.
(a) Efficiency. Vacant school seats are wasteful, inefficient, expensive, and unforgivable. The CG, MCCDC, in conjunction with the DC/S Manpower and Reserve Affairs, the Marine Corps Recruiting Command, and the functional sponsors, with the support of others as required, will lead a consolidated and comprehensive attack to solve this problem. I want a plan-not a study-completed by 1 February 1996.
(b) Standards. Our training standards must closely approximate mission performance standards in combat and will be derived from combat requirements. Standards must account for changes in the security environment, doctrine, and equipment and appear in such a form as to be the principal tool used to determine readiness. Units should not train for the test. They should train for combat using these battle-tried standards as their guide. In all we do, these standards will be considered a baseline for measuring unit combat readiness. Units will train for what we expect to meet on the field of battle, on the field of peacekeeping, or on the field of humanitarian assistance.
(c) MAGTF Staff Training. A major contributor to the preparation of Marine Corps battle staffs is the MAGTF Staff Training Program (MSTP). Operating under the cognizance of the CG, MCCDC, the MSTP prepares and conducts instruction on MAGTF operations for resident schools at MCCDC, for off-site instruction, and for battle staff training with the MAGTFs. The MSTP will continue in this role, ultimately becoming the principal agent within the Marine Corps for instruction and training of MAGTF battle staffs, and where appropriate, the Joint Task Forces built around MEU(SOC) and MEF headquarters. The MSTP will work closely with the Marine Corps University and the Marine Corps Presentation Team to ensure that its efforts are fully integrated with resident and non-resident instruction, with the development of doctrine, and with the public and private articulation of Marine Corps capabilities. The MSTP will represent the leading edge of our warfighting thought, as well as serving as a key mechanism for institutionalizing our lessons learned. The CG, MCCDC will ensure that the positive momentum that exists now in the MSTP increases and that it is tied closely to the Commandants Warfighting Lab. The COMMARFORs will aggressively embrace the tremendous utility and potential that exists now in the MSTP, help make it better, and extend it to all of our MAGTFs.
(d) Combined Arms Exercises (CAX). No unit training is more important to our warfighting capabilities than the CAX program. As a combined arms live-fire training area, the Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC) provides us with a location and opportunity that are of incalculable value to our Corps. My vision is to provide intense, meaningful, live-fire training to infantry battalions at MCAGCC. While the focus is on the infantry battalion, I want the other MAGTF elements to receive equal benefit from this intense training evolution. One way to do that is to network the other MAGTF elements through the Training Exercise Evaluation Control Group to participate in a broader exercise via simulation and interactive video. Using the progressive “crawl, walk, run” approach, this training is vital to learning the techniques and procedures of fire support coordination in a live fire environment. We must remain clear on the basic purpose of this fundamental training. Our ultimate objective is to destroy the enemy’s will to fight. To do this, we will use fire and maneuver to place him on the horns of a dilemma so that if he moves, we will kill him and, alternatively, if he chooses to remain in place, we will still kill him. The ability to put “steel on target” is critical in achieving this intermediate objective. We have much to do to reach this goal, but we are moving in the right direction. What I do not want to see is the piling on of forces and staffs at MCAGCC itself. Use of distributive interactive simulation can provide the same type of training at much less cost. This is a task for CG, MCCDC, the COMMARFORs, and others as necessary to undertake with all the appropriate agencies.
e. Professional Military Education (PME)
(1) Background. The CG, MCCDC has overall responsibility for training and education, but the President of the Marine Corps University (MCU) is the Commandant’s agent for PME.
(a) No development within the Corps in recent years has been more revolutionary than that undertaken in PME. In its many forms, PME has been embraced not only by the officer corps, but significantly, by SNCOs and NCOs, and other ranks as well. PME is the responsibility of every Marine and takes the form of professional reading, symposia participation, formal schools, and sharing experiences gained through actual combat, military operations other than war, and military exercises.
(b) Few military problems are without historical antecedents. Professional study of past military campaigns will strengthen operational proficiency and leadership, stimulate interest in military history and tradition, and provoke thought and discussion. Where before we trained to defeat a specific enemy, we must-now and for the foreseeable future-educate broadly enough to permit Marines at every level to act with confidence and decisiveness across a wide range of situations and circumstances.
(2) Intent. It is my intent that our PME and the focus of Marine self-education should be oriented toward the development of judgment, decision making skills, and an understanding of the human factors in war such as the effects of fear, deprivation, and fatigue. Marines must be broadly educated in unified and combined operations, able to function within the context of our doctrine, and possess the intellectual agility to meet the full spectrum of challenges in the current and projected security environment.
(a) The Marine Corps University will implement my intent regarding PME. It will provide cohesion and focus for our schools through a comprehensive master plan for PME which serves the Marine “from cradle to grave,” encompassing all internal and external education opportunities including fellowships, advanced degree programs, other related programs, and instructional duties with NROTC, the Naval Academy, the Marine Corps University, and other service schools.
(b) Education will be part of the promotion process for both officers and enlisted Marines. PME-either resident or non-resident-must be available for all Marines, both active and reserve. I want to reinforce the link between PME and advancement in grade and responsibility in our Corps, because education is key in furthering the development of our best Marines. It is imperative that those being considered for the responsibilities of the next senior grade have the requisite foundation of knowledge to ensure continued success. By 1 March 1996, the DC/S Manpower and Reserve Affairs, in conjunction with the CG, MCCDC and the President, MCU shall develop a plan which ensures that the PME program and its support requirements are sufficient to provide the opportunity for all Marines to acquire this essential educational foundation prior to advancement in grade and responsibility.
(c) The President, MCU will continue to integrate the curricula of our schools and continue to coordinate the educational requirements of Marines, both officer and enlisted, serving in the operating forces and the support establishment.
(d) Professional reading is an important aspect of PME. I strongly support efforts underway by CG, MCCDC to rejuvenate and revise our professional reading program. This must be a matter of some urgency. The CG, MCCDC, in conjunction with the Director of Public Affairs, will include a plan to reintroduce this important program to the Marine Corps.
(e) I strongly support the Commanders’ Course and its associated workshop for the spouses of our commanders. The President, MCU will continue to improve and enhance this critical program.
a. Background. Doctrine represents the fundamental teachings of a profession; yet, our doctrine development is fragmented.
b. Intent. At present, our concepts are not as well-linked to tactics, techniques, and procedures as they must be. Doctrine is that link and it must be developed in a timely manner.
c. Tasks. The President, MCU will be my lead agent for ensuring that concept and doctrine development are synchronized. That means we need to revise the relationship between the MCU and the Doctrine Division at MCCDC. By 1 September 1995, the CG, MCCDC, in conjunction with DC/S Manpower and Reserve Affairs, is to provide a solution to this and the following requirements:
(1) We will participate in, fully support, and help shape the efforts of the Naval Doctrine Command. We must also maintain an active role in the joint and combined doctrinal publication process to ensure the representation of Marine Corps interests.
(2) We must ensure that those chosen to write doctrine are students of, and expert practitioners of, our profession. They must be Marines who have had sufficient experience to apply new and emerging concepts.
(3) Proponency. CG, MCCDC, with the President MCU in the lead, will delineate functional proponents for the preparation of our doctrine. These proponents will be those Marine Corps agencies, or those Marine Corps elements attached to other service agencies, most closely connected to developments taking place with tactics, techniques, and procedures. These proponents must have clear connections to concept development at MCCDC and to evolutions in functional applications of those concepts in the field. Centralized management by CG, MCCDC is essential to ensure that those with the expertise best suited to maintain doctrine have the tools and the charter to do so. The goal is to keep our doctrine viable and current.
a. Background Through the acquisition process, the Marine Corps procures equipment and combat systems to support the warfighting requirements that are identified and validated through the CDP. The CDP, among other things, determines operational requirements for new equipment and, in effect, drives the Marine Corps acquisition process.
b. Intent. The acquisition process, while constrained by the fiscal environment, must be responsive to the needs of the Marine Forces and must be tied tightly to the concept based requirements system. To ensure its continued success, we must fine tune the relationships and communications between the responsible agencies. Our strategy must ensure the procurement of those items most critical to effective modernization of the Marine Corps equipment inventory. The goal is to define a long range, strategic approach to acquisition and the modernization of the Marine Corps.
c. Tasks. By 1 July 1996, the CG, MCCDC, in conjunction with COMMARCORSYSCOM and other appropriate agencies, will develop a comprehensive plan that inculcates modeling and simulation into our concept based requirements system in a manner that facilitates well-planned investments while retaining the capability to react rapidly to unforeseen requirements.
(1) The CG, MCCDC is now and will continue to be responsible for the implementation, execution, and management of the CDP including coordination with those HQMC agencies that contribute to combat development and Marine Force Commands on matters pertaining to combat development.
(2) The Marine Corps Systems Command (MARCORSYSCOM) serves as the sole organization responsible for the execution of acquisition program management during research and development (R&D), procurement, and life cycle management of all ground tactical weapon systems and equipment. The COMMARCORSYSCOM will coordinate with the CG, MCCDC to ensure that all acquisition programs are developed to fulfill requirements validated by the CDP.
(3) Just as everything else starts with the individual Marine, so does acquisition. I want a concept for equipping the rifleman for the 21st century that ensures he will be able to fight and win. We will start our acquisition process for our individual Marines by studying the one-time issue of “782 gear.” I am convinced there is a better way to provide our Marines with the required personal equipment at less cost to the Corps and our unit commanders. I know we have studied one time issue of “782 gear” and centralized issue points, but in each case, these have been all or nothing considerations done in the context of our current procedures. The DC/S Installations and Logistics is to examine alternatives that consider changing the process as well as the procedures. We may find that certain items should become issue items vice organizational property, some could be one time issue or handled at central issue points, and some could become consumable items. By 1 January 1996, OC/S Installations and Logistics will develop a proposal that achieves the objective to implement the best policies at the least cost.
(4) The COMMARCORSYSCOM will evaluate how we can improve the basic equipment of our Marines, establish a rapid procurement profile to get the right gear in the hands of our Marines, and provide a proposal by 1 October 1995.
(5) We must update and resolve the management of our Tables of Equipment and resultant equipment distribution so we can better understand our materiel readiness and related acquisition requirements. The DC/S Installations and Logistics, in conjunction with the CG, MCCDC and the functional sponsors, will forward a plan by 1 January 1996 which addresses this critical management issue.
(6) Service unique programs should be pursued only when required to support Marine Corps specific operational requirements. Wherever practical, we should pursue multi-purpose equipment that increases our flexibility. The COMMARCORSYSCOM shall pursue the development and procurement of multi-purpose systems as we are doing with the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement Program and our multi-mission aviation platforms.
10. LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS
a. Background. Our major goal each fiscal year is to ensure congressional support of all Marine Corps programs in the Department of Defense and President’s budget. Marine Corps actions are coordinated through the HQMC Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA). Legislative initiatives are normally focused in three areas: orientation programs for Members and their staffs, legislative liaison involving crucial programs, and constituent issues.
b. Intent. Our success with the Congress is the direct result of our credibility and the effectiveness of our interaction with the members and staffs. Characteristically open, honest, and candid, this effectiveness has always been enhanced by allowing the individual Marine-the lieutenant and the lance corporal-to speak about and for their Corps and by encouraging Members to observe Marines doing what Marines do. That will not change.
(1) The Headquarters will have a legislative campaign plan that ensures coordination between Public Affairs and all general officers and which consistently reiterates and reinforces our various legislative positions. This plan will be updated annually to coincide with the legislative sessions and will identify key issues, audiences, and internal and external communication means to be used throughout the Marine Corps. The Director, OLA will develop a plan by 1 December 1995.
(2) The ongoing effort to educate members and staffs about our roles and capabilities must consist not only of briefings, but on-site visits to field exercises and base facilities. Active participation and observation by Members and their staffs are vital to their understanding the needs of the Corps. Director OLA, in conjunction with DC/S Plans, Policies and Operations, and with input from the Dir, PA, will be responsible for incorporating this in the legislative campaign plan.
(3) Our assistance to Congress on constituent and other issues is important. All commanders must remain aware of the requirement for prompt, accurate, and concise replies to legislative inquiries coordinated through the Director, OLA.
11. PUBLIC AFFAIRS
a. Background. The media is an increasingly important part of our national fabric and our democratic process.
b. Intent. Our policy is clear: honesty, openness, and accessibility to the maximum extent possible consistent with the demands of national security. We will take full advantage of the variety of both internal (personal visits, awards, Marine Corps Reserve organizations, Marine Corps League, and the Navy League) and external (press conferences, interviews, editorial boards, public speaking, and articles) communication opportunities. As with our legislative initiatives, our best spokesmen and women are, and will continue to be, individual Marines demonstrating their capabilities and speaking for and about their Corps. Our goal is to provide an informed perspective concerning Marine Corps capabilities, programs, and intentions to develop a foundation of public understanding and support for our requirements.
(1) Our Public Affairs efforts must not, and will not, be limited to the Washington, D.C. area. The Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, working closely with OLA, MARFORRES, and PA, will to develop plans to expand our existing programs throughout the country utilizing the recruiting and reserve infrastructure to re-invigorate “grass roots” support for the Marine Corps. The POA&M to reach this goal should be ready by 1 January 1996.
(2) The Headquarters and every major subordinate command will have a media campaign plan that ensures coordination between Public Affairs, OLA, and all general officers to consistently reiterate and reinforce our capabilities and objectives. This plan, which will be used throughout the Total Force Marine Corps, will be updated quarterly and will identify key issues, audiences, and selected media to ensure that we convey an accurate and consistent message.
(3) The capability to permit and support news media coverage must be planned at all levels of activities. We must be prepared to meet, brief, escort, transport, and host media personnel to ensure coverage opportunities and accurate content. All Marines represent the Marine Corps and must be prepared for opportunities to tell our story. Therefore, public affairs and media interview training initiatives will be developed at every major subordinate command. A progress report on these initiatives should be presented by 1 January 1996, coordinated by the Dir PA.
(4) The whole dimension of public information about the Marine Corps-using both print and electronic media-will be coordinated by the Director, Public Affairs. This will include the coordination of speakers, public appearances, topic selection, and presentation. As well, Public Affairs will support my speakers bureau with materials calculated to make the greatest impact for distribution at the site (for example, draft remarks given by other members of the speakers bureau on related subjects, multiple copies of Marine Corps informational documents, and advertising and recruiting materials).
a. Background. I have left my guidance for personnel issues to the end for a specific reason: everything starts and ends with the individual Marine. The principal challenge facing the Marine Corps today lies in continuing to fulfill its charter as an expeditionary force in readiness with a leaner force structure and with fewer Marines. Because Marines are the centerpiece of the Corps, how we recruit them, train them, instill in them our core values and a sense of integrity and accountability, equip them to do their jobs, and treat them with dignity, care, and concern must be our principal emphasis.
b. Intent. Our ability to win battles boils down, as it always has, to our Marines. The most important thing we do in the Marine Corps is make Marines. The individual Marine IS the Corps.
(1) Because Marines are our most precious asset, we will protect them through fair, scrupulous, and unbiased treatment as individuals-caring for them, teaching them, and leading them. I see it as the obligation of each member of the chain of command, from top to bottom, to ensure that this sense of fairness is constant and genuine. I expect commanders to take prompt and vigorous action wherever any violation of this obligation is discovered. Simply stated, I expect every Marine to treat every other Marine with dignity.
(2) Leadership is a core competency-in our officers, in our SNCOs, and in our NCOs. The 30th Commandant’s capstone leadership manual, FMFM 1-0, “Leading Marines,” provides superb guidance for us all in this area.
(3) I expect Marines to epitomize that which is good about our nation and to personify the ideals upon which it was founded. I do not intend for “honor, courage, and commitment” to be just words; I expect them to frame the way we live and act as Marines. There is no room in the Marine Corps for situational ethics or situational morality; those found wanting will be held accountable.
(4) I want to be absolutely clear that, outside the areas of morality and ethics, Marines can make mistakes as long as they learn from those mistakes and move on to accomplish their mission. In areas net involving character, we must continue to work to remove the last vestiges of a “zero defects” mentality. We must be allowed to err in peacetime to ensure we do not err in combat. We will not be able to survive if we do otherwise.
(5) A sense of fairness is key to our manpower processes-recruiting, classification, assignment, promotion, education, reenlistment, and, eventually, retirement. I am committed to making these processes work for each Marine, as well as the institution. DC/S Manpower and Reserve Affairs is tasked with continually reviewing these processes to ensure fairness in all areas.
(6) Taking care of Our Own. This has long been a hallmark of our Corps, and, as has been said before, the best way to take care of our Marines is to bring them back alive from combat. Therefore, funding equipment, readiness, and training that will enable us to succeed on the battlefield is the first way that we take care of our own. “Taking care of our own” also means seeing to the well-being of our Marine families and of our Marines when they are “back home.” Adequate housing and MWR facilities will be a key factor in the earlier tasking for centralized oversight of facilities and installations. As we work toward an overall improvement in housing, our junior Marines will be our first concern.
(a) I support the Key Volunteer Program as an essential element in ensuring the well-being of our Marines and their families. Family Service Centers will continue to be supported as the main mechanisms through which a variety of programs will be provided to our single and married Marines. For medical services and child care, we will examine establishing priorities for service and care based on genuine need, with special consideration again going to junior Marines.
(b) Taking care of our own also includes recognizing the men and women who serve honorably in our units. When our Marines move on, whether to a new duty station, a discharge back to civilian life, or to retirement, I expect supervisors and commanders at all levels to spend as least as much effort thanking those who have rendered faithful service as they do welcoming “new Marines” to their organizations.
(7) Marines have always been physically and mentally tough. We must keep squarely in our sights the fact that these traits can be decisive in combat.
c. Manpower Management Policies
(1) Background. Manpower actions are managed to ensure the readiness of our units while limiting the adverse impact on individual Marines.
(2) Intent. Manpower management requires a personal touch as we continue to recruit, train, assign, and retain the right men and women. One of our goals is the reduction of non-EAS attrition. Other goals, including the current campaigns focused on increasing diversity within the officer corps and revising women Marine assignment policies, will remain a priority.
(a) If we are going to recruit the right people-the lifeblood of our Corps-we must provide those who recruit them with all the resources they need. Our recruiters are truly at the forefront of making Marines, and they are there every day, 365 days a year. I recognize how important their mission is to the future of the Corps and they deserve rewards commensurate with their sacrifice and success. Aside from ensuring that they have adequate professional resources to accomplish their mission, we must provide our enlisted recruiters with an increased opportunity for meritorious promotion. Recruiting Station Commanding Officers, Executive Officers, Operations Officers, and Officer Selection Officers will have a choice of school or duty station upon completion of a successful tour in recruiting. The DC/S Manpower and Reserve Affairs will implement this policy immediately and will develop a set of proposals which recognize and reward the critical contributions and sacrifices the recruiters and their families make to their Corps.
(b) Recruiters are, of course, only the first Marines that our new enlistees contact, I am mindful of the vital role played by our Drill Instructors as they help civilians transition into our Corps. Their role in imbuing recruits and officer candidates with what it means to be a Marine is central to a vibrant and healthy Marine Corps. DC/S Manpower and Reserve Affairs shall ensure that the sacrifices of our Drill Instructors are similarly recognized alongside our recruiters.
(c) The needs of the Corps will continue to drive our recruitment and selection process. Our objective will always be to provide opportunities for all members of our society who wish to join our ranks and enable them to compete on an equal footing. Our proud history and tradition has shown that young men and women can meet our demanding standards. Therefore, DC/S Manpower and Reserve Affairs will develop programs to help prospective applicants meet enlistment standards, young Marines to meet non-commissioned officer standards, and undergraduates to meet commissioning standards.
(d) Non-EAS attrition is a sea anchor on a Marine Corps moving at battle speed. Every year we lose one-third of our first term force before they complete their first enlistment. The drag this has on our recruiters, our entry level training pipeline, and our entire manpower management process has gone on too long. It is a drain on our personnel and fiscal resources that we will no longer accept. The DC/S Manpower and Reserve Affairs will spearhead a comprehensive effort that includes the FMF and supporting establishment to develop a plan which reduce non-EAS attrition. I do not want another study. I want a plan. This effort must incorporate a new look at everything from our entry level training process, to how we bring Marines on board when they check-in to a unit, to who leads and how we lead our young Marines, to the creation of a “learning organization” that underscores how we “take care of our own.” The results of this effort, and those listed in the preceding paragraphs, are to be briefed by 1 January 1996.
(e) We are about to transition to an entirely reserve officer accession and commissioning program. This means that within 2 to 4 years, we will select 100 percent of our future career officer corps through the augmentation process. This will be a critical transition, one that we must accomplish -correctly. The DC/S Manpower and Reserve Affairs will develop a selection process that properly defines and shapes the Marine Corps officer corps and present a “first look” briefing on the progress of this effort prior to the 1995 General Officer Symposium.
(f) Command. Nothing is more important than command. Our Command Screening Program is designed to ensure that Marines and Marine units are led by the best qualified and available officers in the Corps. That is where I expect them to serve because our Marines deserve nothing less. Those officers who are not afforded an opportunity to command still have an important role to play in our Corps. I recognize the deleterious effect that the current program may have on individuals and, by extension, on our Corps. I expect that our assignment and promotion system will recognize the contributions and the sacrifices every Marine makes to ensure the security of our nation. With that in mind, the DC/S Manpower and Reserve Affairs will look at how we can optimize this critically important process. In this effort, we must ensure we establish the right relationship between selection for command and selection for PME. This is a discussion item for the 1995 General Officer Symposium.
(g) Unit Cohesion. Four-to-five year tours in single geographical areas minimize the turbulence in both command and staff billets and facilitate the assignment of Marines to split tours in an FMF unit and with the supporting establishment, are my goals. This stabilization and cross-pollination will improve support to both and will enhance unit cohesion. Longer tours would also provide less turbulence for Marine families and minimize the number of geographical bachelors. The DC/S Manpower and Reserve Affairs will evaluate the impact of changing these assignment policies and provide a recommendation prior to the 1995 General Officer Symposium.
(h) Manning. We must come to grips with the manning problems experienced in the operating forces. Presently, fleet and operational commands are manned on a “pro share” basis. We know what our mission is: responding to crises and being prepared to win when we get there. We will make our operational forces that accomplish this mission the focus of our effort. To do that, we must consider more than just a change in staffing precedence. We must conduct a zero-based review of our excepted and priority billets that examines our manning requirements from a long-term perspective. The DC/S Manpower and Reserve Affairs will evaluate the impact of changing our staffing precedence and develop a comprehensive solution to these problems for discussion at the 1995 General Officer Symposium.
(i) Fitness Reports. There are shortcomings in our current Performance Evaluation System. There also is a growing lack of faith of our Marines in the system’s ability to accurately identify their skills and potential. This is the focus of an on-going study. The DC/S Manpower and Reserve Affairs will take the findings of this study and, by 1 January 1996, develop a plan to fix this problem.
(j) None of the foregoing will interfere with the most effective use of our Marines. We will get back in the business of “managing” the assignments of our Marines rather than just “monitoring” them and ensure that, if necessary for the good of the Corps, we take the extraordinary steps necessary to solve tough problems. The institution and the individual Marine deserve no less.
(k) Civilian Employees. Our civilian employees, like their active-duty counterparts, are subject to mandated reductions. A recent study identified significant shortages in civilian manning and, like the operating forces, no apparent decrease in commitments. This is true in areas such as environmental and child care programs. We will carefully manage when and where civilian manpower reductions occur to ensure continued supporting establishment support to tenant commands. By 1 July 1996, DC/S Manpower and Reserve Affairs will ensure we:
1. Make the civilian manpower plan fully responsive to the operating forces.
2 Focus our civilian assets on core functions using consolidation and contracted support where cost effective.
3 Develop strategies to streamline management, to monitor career patterns, and to ensure equal opportunity for all employees.
4 Develop opportunities for civilian training and career development. We will do for our civilian employees what we do for our Marines.
13. SUMMARY GUIDANCE
a. This is a comprehensive document. It must be so in order to adequately frame the actions needed to bring the future direction of the Corps to fruition. I do have priorities-a focus of action. These are:
(1) Securing the adequate resources needed to sustain the Marine Corps’ warfighting capability. This means developing and implementing an optimal organization that enhances the effectiveness of HQMC and MCCDC in the PPBS and other deliberative processes within the Department of Defense.
(2) Ensuring that our manpower management processes and policies are fair to our Marines and to the Marine Corps in which they serve-and that they are understood to be so. While doing this, we must look for new, more effective ways to manage our structure and man our units. It also means we must reduce non-EAS attrition.
(3) Making our education and training processes and institutions technologically innovative, challenging, and fun. While doing this, we must not forget that our maneuver doctrine is also a way of thinking that can help us derive imaginative solutions to the challenges we face at our bases and stations and in our administrative headquarters as often as it does to tactical and operational tasks and missions. Using our maneuver warfare doctrine in a wide range of practical applications will help keep our warfighting edge.
(4) Establishing the Commandants Warfighting Lab as the crucible for operational and technological innovation for the Marine Corps.
(5) Establishing a CONUS-based, world class JTFHQ capability and developing JTF command and control capabilities for our MEU(SOC)s.
While I will be working these issues personally, my interest will not diminish in the other important initiatives I have discussed. From time to time, I will update these priorities.
b. This guidance provides a sense of what is intended to be accomplished within the Marine Corps. In some cases, it details specific actions and due dates. These taskings are intended to provide a general sense for relative priorities. I fully recognize and expect the Commanders, Deputy Chiefs of Staff, Directors, and others requiring action in the CPG to evaluate taskings for interrelationships, appropriate sequencing and timing. Adjustments will be authorized as necessary to ensure a logical and reasonable progression in our collective efforts. Where required, notify the Director of the Marine Corps Staff of necessary adjustments to specific taskings.
c. Within 30 days, the Director of the Marine Corps Staff will develop a plan of action and milestones reflecting this guidance with the necessary reports and progress checks. There are, of course, other required actions found in other plans, studies, and Marine Corps orders or publications. Implementing actions for those will occur in the normal course of events and will take place at all Marine Forces and supporting units, organizations, and activities. all Marines need to understand what needs to be done. When they do, I expect they will actively contribute to the solutions. Through a Corps wide-effort, we will continue to make Marines and win the nation’s battles.
d. This is our opportunity, collectively, to move forward and build on the foundation established by my predecessors. We will continually survey the horizon to see if we are where we expected to be and re-evaluate where we are headed. We will move out smartly to maintain our momentum while examining every facet of our Corps-from doctrine to equipment to personnel-to ensure we are as ready tomorrow as we are today. The American people want a Corps of Marines who will accomplish any task, do their duty, fight, and win. We owe them nothing less.
In the final analysis, my guidance simply is to be prepared to fight, on the shortest notice, under any circumstances of weather or resistance, in conflicts large or small. be prepared to integrate Marine combat power smoothly into the overall matrix of other U.S. services or other nations. Be prepared, in conjunction with the U.S. Navy, to project power from the sea for as far and as long as necessary. Be ever mindful of technological opportunities to enhance combat proficiency and to promote logistic economy. Be also mindful of the deep meaning in Title 10 of the U.S. Code of the requirement that Marines shall be prepared to discharge “such other duties as the President may direct,” whatever those duties may be. But, most of all, be prepared to fight and win.