Leadership Principles USMC: How to Be a Marine Leader

leadership principles usmc

The Commander’s Leadership Handbook, a general manual written for commanders and aspiring commanders of the rank of Captain through Colonel, was just released by Robert B. Neller, General, USMC Commandant of the Marine Corps.

Leadership is an essential skill for an effective commander, “leadership is the art of getting things done through people.” Reading, studying, observing, and getting hands-on experience are all ways to pick up leadership skills. It is the most vital component of combat power on the battlefield and, as a result, your top priority in times of peace. Your objective is to lead competently and confidently and to help your subordinates become leaders as well.

How to Be a Marine Leader

To become a leader in the USMC, you must first understand why you are there. As a member of the USMC, you are included in the mission of the USMC, which is to defend your home and nation. Acquire the ability to tell purpose from the drive. Despite the fact that you may have enlisted in the USMC to defend your loved ones or advance personally, your purpose is an integral part of the marine corps leadership principle.

Always stay motivated

An expression of gratitude, honor, or loyalty, similar to the World War I-era Marine Corps Challenge Coin. It is a symbol of countless hours of sacrifice. With this eye-catching coin, you can keep yourself inspired at all times while displaying your pride in being a Marine. These difficult coins should make priceless souvenirs because they bring back such special memories. Each generation is continually reminded of the value of military service by personalized graphics and family heirlooms. Giving personalized challenge commemorative coins as a USMC commander can boost morale and promote honorable service. It’s a fantastic way to honor each soldier’s unique accomplishments and valiant actions. This is a fantastic achievement sign.

Learning the USMC’s 11 leadership tenets and 14 leadership characteristics is the next step in developing your leadership abilities. The qualities and values listed above are what makes a good leader. You should follow them as a guide and put your attention there if you want to get better.

The 11 Marine Corps Leadership Principles

leadership principles usmc

The USMC’s 11 leadership principles should be known to every Marine, and they should all work to uphold them. Both good leadership and good Marines are characterized by these traits. It’s imperative that you and your fellow marines study and put these ethics into practice. The USMC cultivates these leadership skills.

1. Be Technically and Tactically Proficient

Both a good leader and a good Marine possess craft knowledge. To be able to devote more of your energy to lead, you must possess the knowledge and leadership abilities that come naturally. Look for information, stay current, and keep up your training. Nobody will follow an inept or unskilled leader.

2. Know Yourself and Seek Self-improvement

It takes growth and change to be a leader. You must be aware of your assets and areas for development. A good leader is adaptable, diligent, and aware of their limitations. You can help any subordinate by recognizing your own positive and negative traits and working to improve them.

3. Know Your Marines and Look Out for Their Welfare

More than just giving orders to the troops, leadership involves looking after them. Through a genuine interest in the people you lead, you can establish a personal connection with them, which will promote effective group communication and order execution. Marine Corps’ core values will be strengthened. It is impossible to lead and the mission won’t be completed if your team doesn’t like you because they will be reluctant to listen.

4. Keep Your Marines Informed

Maintaining communication with your team is part of taking care of them, much like the aforementioned. A team that blindly follows will never be ready and will be unable to decide when it is necessary. You must give every team member the same opportunities you do in order to achieve maximum efficiency and to foster and uphold trust within your group. They will be ill-prepared for any task given to them if they are uninformed, which will reflect poorly on both your leadership abilities and their abilities.

5. Set the Example

Setting an example is one of a good leader’s core qualities according to the marine corps. People follow you because they admire your image and your moral standards. A good leader must serve as an example for those they supervise. Setting an example for your team will help them understand the standard you want them to reach and the increasing level of responsibility. Your actions highlight the abilities, character traits, and priorities you want on your team.

6. Ensure the Task is Understood, Supervised, and Accomplished

Making sure your team is capable of completing each task that has been assigned to them is your responsibility as an effective leader. By allowing them to grow, you can prepare your team for success. By doing this, you and your team will gain each other’s trust as a marine leader. To ensure the success of your team, communicate clearly, establish clear expectations, and coach as needed.

7. Train Your Marines as a Team

Growth on an individual and personal level is great, but since you are the leader, train them as a team to show off your leadership style. Your Marines must be able to work as a cohesive team. To promote dependability among fellow marines, and improve teamwork and communication among members. While everyone is capable of working alone, collaborating with others takes time and practice. Teach them to rely on each other as much as they do on themselves.

8. Make Sound and Timely Decisions

One of the most vital abilities a Marine leader can have is thinking under pressure. You need to be able to reason quickly and effectively for the benefit of both you and your team.

If you have no choice but to improvise, it’s okay to think on the spot, but it’s always preferable to make decisions after doing your research. Any decision must be made as soon as possible and with the utmost care to ensure that your team doesn’t get lost and is kept safe. What is the secret to making wise choices? Be logical and productive.

9. Develop a Sense of Responsibility in Your Subordinates

You shouldn’t allow others to depend on you just because you’re the leader. You must build up your team in order for them to be able to complete the mission successfully, but in the way that you demonstrated so that they can make wise decisions when necessary. The best way to ensure that your team takes ownership of their actions—both positive and negative—is to instill a sense of responsibility in them.

10. Seek Responsibility and Take Responsibility for Your Actions

You must act responsibly and be accountable to yourself, just as a good leader sets an example for others to follow. You must act as a responsible leader to make sure that your team upholds the marine corps’ core values. Accountability is a great way to make sure you abide by your own rules because the team will be eager to take lessons from your behavior.

11. Employ Your Unit in Accordance With Its Capabilities

You are well-acquainted with every marine on your team. You are aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Their capabilities and weaknesses are known to you. Put them in situations for which they are a good fit using this knowledge. Create a winning environment for your team, not a losing one. Failure is for training when they are trying to get better. By getting to know them, you can assemble a powerful team and convey genuine interest. You must make adjustments for your team just as you are aware of your own capabilities and do so.

The 14 Marine Corps Leadership Traits

The Marines’ 14 leadership traits and leadership principles both change over time. Developing the 14 leadership principles of the USMC is just as important as adhering to the USMC’s 11 guiding principles for leadership. It can be challenging to distinguish between them given all the characteristics and guiding principles. The abbreviation JJDIDTIEBUCKLE makes it simple to remember the 14 USMC leadership qualities. It stands for:

1. Justice

Being just means treating everyone equally and consistently. You must accept responsibility for your actions, both good and bad if you want to be an effective leader. Just rewards and penalties must follow predetermined guidelines.

2. Judgment

To make quick decisions that are well-informed, you must improve your decision-making abilities. You must act on the decision you believe to be right because your decisions could have drastic consequences. It may mean the difference between keeping your team safe and failing, so this quality is crucial for a good leader.

3. Dependability

A trustworthy leader can always be relied upon. Your troops still need you even though they shouldn’t be dependent on you. Letting your team submit to you will help you stand out as a strong leader. As a result of learning from the best, their morale will soar and they will be better equipped to make wise decisions. You must always be prepared for this duty and have the tools necessary to handle any circumstance.

4. Initiative

One need not explain this quality. To be a leader, you must possess the capacity to take the initiative, make the decision, and issue the order. Before anything else, a person’s ability to take charge and exercise initiative is what distinguishes them as a leader.

5. Decisiveness

Judgment and decisiveness go together. It is the capacity to make decisions quickly. You must act quickly and rationally when a challenge arises. Nobody appreciates a leader who is careless and insecure.

6. Tact

The ability to adapt your communication style to a situation is known as tact. You need to understand when to put efficiency ahead of delicacy and vice versa. Every action has a proper time and place, and you should possess the moral principles required to decide how to respond in any given circumstance. Choosing the most effective communication technique is being tactful.

7. Integrity

A necessary quality for responsible leaders is integrity. To be honest and responsible is to have integrity. Your team’s actions are influenced by yours. Both an intrapersonal and interpersonal foundation of trust must be built. If your team knows you hold yourself to the same high standards you do, they will respect you.

8. Enthusiasm

An often-overlooked quality that is essential to a successful leader is enthusiasm. Enthusiasm demonstrates your anticipation of completing any task you have been given. If you are passionate about your cause, your team will be as well. An excellent quality to possess is enthusiasm because it demonstrates your caring and strengthens your willpower. Nothing can stop you if you want something bad enough.

9. Bearing

A bearing entails a purpose. You must be aware of your needs and wants and work to fulfill them. Your motivation should come from your purpose, genuine interest, and drive, but you must be able to channel that enthusiasm. Simply supporting a cause is insufficient; you must make it your goal.

10. Unselfishness

It is crucial to note that selflessness is different from being unselfish in this situation. Instead of being selfless, you should try to avoid being selfish. In your capacity as a leader, you serve your group rather than yourself. While you don’t have to completely abandon yourself, you do need to be aware of where your priorities should be.

11. Courage

The hardest quality on this list to master is probably courage. Courage is not dependable. You might discover that in one circumstance you have courage and not in another. To be brave, one must exercise great awareness and perseverance. It is difficult to develop the capacity to act for an external cause while putting your own comfort and potential safety on hold. Courage isn’t about being brave; it’s about committing and completing a task regardless of fear

12. Knowledge

A leader has good information. To lead effectively, you must be familiar with yourself, your group, and all the available data. You cannot lead while being blind, just as you wouldn’t want your team to follow you while being blind. In any circumstance, knowledge is your most powerful tool.

13. Loyalty

You must have loyalty to the cause, the Marines as a whole, your group, and your personal convictions in order to be a good leader. One of the best qualities a person can have is loyalty, which most leaders frequently lack. There is a world of difference between loyalty and trust.

14. Endurance

Finally, you need to be able to endure—physically, mentally, emotionally, and most importantly, with your will. With enough willpower, you can overcome anything. Being a Marine is difficult, and being a Marine leader is even harder, but if you can persevere, you will succeed.

leadership principles usmc

The Importance of the Marine Leadership Principles

It is difficult to be a leader in the USMC. Drive and commitment are necessary. You must be prepared to give the role your all. To become a great leader, you must be open to personal growth and change.

Setting an example for others to follow is an essential part of being a great leader. Being the best version of yourself while inspiring others to follow suit is what it’s all about. To aid Marines in their quest to develop into outstanding leaders, the USMC has established a set of leadership values and characteristics. These values serve as the moral cornerstone of being a Marine.

The USMC Core Values Are:

  • Honor
  • Courage
  • Commitment

Three Elements of Leadership USMC

Marine Corps Leadership: Values, Ethics, and Qualities

In Review

Anyone looking to join the Marines must possess both the 14 USMC leadership qualities and the 11 USMC leadership principles. While not everyone has what it takes to be a leader, we can all work to develop these traits. Knowing oneself and one’s group, communicating, and listening are all necessary for effective leadership. Being a good person and inspiring others to do the same are key components.

The leadership tenets of the United States Marine Corps center on improving oneself and every Marine individually while using effectiveness and efficiency.