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2nd Marine Division

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Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Commandant of the Marine Corps challenges NCOs at Lejeune

By Lance Cpl. Scott W. Whiting | 2nd Marine Division | September 17, 2013

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Sergeant Maj. Micheal Barrett, sergeant major of the Marine Corps, talks to non-commissioned officers with 2nd Marine Division about the importance of small unit leadership Sept. 17, 2013, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. General James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, also visited and discussed the important role NCOs play in the Marine Corps.

Sergeant Maj. Micheal Barrett, sergeant major of the Marine Corps, talks to non-commissioned officers with 2nd Marine Division about the importance of small unit leadership Sept. 17, 2013, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. General James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, also visited and discussed the important role NCOs play in the Marine Corps. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Scott W. Whiting)


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Sergeant Maj. Micheal Barrett, sergeant major of the Marine Corps, talks to non-commissioned officers with 2nd Marine Division about the importance of small unit leadership Sept. 17, 2013, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. He and Gen. James Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps, visited Camp Lejeune specifically to speak with the division’s NCOs about taking charge of their Marines and returning to fundamental leadership.

Sergeant Maj. Micheal Barrett, sergeant major of the Marine Corps, talks to non-commissioned officers with 2nd Marine Division about the importance of small unit leadership Sept. 17, 2013, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. He and Gen. James Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps, visited Camp Lejeune specifically to speak with the division’s NCOs about taking charge of their Marines and returning to fundamental leadership. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Scott W. Whiting)


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General James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, speaks with non-commissioned officers in 2nd Marine Division, Sept. 17, 2013, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. His talk included thoughts on the budget cuts the Marine Corps is facing, and how he plans to adapt to having less spending money. He said that even with the limited amount of money available to Corps, we will continue to fulfill our mission as amphibious warfighters.

General James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, speaks with non-commissioned officers in 2nd Marine Division, Sept. 17, 2013, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. His talk included thoughts on the budget cuts the Marine Corps is facing, and how he plans to adapt to having less spending money. He said that even with the limited amount of money available to Corps, we will continue to fulfill our mission as amphibious warfighters. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Scott W. Whiting)


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General James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, visits Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Sept. 17, 2013, to speak with non-commissioned officers in the 2nd Marine Division about small unit leadership. Amos and Sgt. Maj. Micheal Barrett, sergeant major of the Marine Corps, spoke to the NCOs to motivate them to lead their Marines in garrison like they would in a deployed environment.

General James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, visits Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Sept. 17, 2013, to speak with non-commissioned officers in the 2nd Marine Division about small unit leadership. Amos and Sgt. Maj. Micheal Barrett, sergeant major of the Marine Corps, spoke to the NCOs to motivate them to lead their Marines in garrison like they would in a deployed environment. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Scott W. Whiting)


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General James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, speaks with non-commissioned officers in 2nd Marine Division, Sept. 17, 2013, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. His talk included thoughts on the budget cuts the Marine Corps is facing and how he plans to adapt to having less spending money.

General James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, speaks with non-commissioned officers in 2nd Marine Division, Sept. 17, 2013, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. His talk included thoughts on the budget cuts the Marine Corps is facing and how he plans to adapt to having less spending money. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Scott W. Whiting)


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MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --

Out of approximately 178,000 active-duty Marines, 83 percent of them are sergeants and below. This statistic demonstrates the importance the Marine Corps places on small unit leadership.

In order to discuss that vital subject in depth with Marines, Gen. James Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps, visited Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune with Sgt. Maj. Micheal Barrett, sergeant major of the Marine Corps, Sept. 17, 2013.

The audience was exclusively comprised of corporals and sergeants with 2nd Marine Division. During the meeting, Amos and Barrett stressed some of the reasons small unit leadership needs to occur on a daily basis.

“We need you to help us get back to fundamental, well-disciplined leadership,” said Amos, speaking to the room of non-commissioned officers. “I’m talking about fundamentals, principles and standards in your leadership. If you see something wrong, correct it.”

Amos referenced the issue the Corps is having with sexual assaults as an example of something to look out for and stop before it happens.

“I don’t worry one second about what’s happening in Afghanistan,” Amos said. “That doesn’t mean I don’t care, but that I’m so confident in our training. I don’t worry about a corporal leading a patrol. But when we come back, we forget about the junior Marines.”

Barrett reiterated that statement.

“I’ve never seen a Marine fail in combat,” he said. “Where we sometimes fall short is in the garrison environment.”

The NCOs in attendance were also reminded of why they joined. Amos pointed out most of the Marines there were probably in 5th or 6th grade when the 9/11 attacks took place, and that everyone in the military volunteered to join and fight.

“There was no draft or military service requirement,” Amos said. “You all saw the attacks on our nation and wanted to be a part of the fight.”

He said the fight in garrison is just as important as the fight overseas.

Budget cuts were also discussed in the meeting with the commandant. He described in detail how much the Marine Corps has to spend and how we have to make due with less money.

“I don’t like (the budget cuts),” Amos said. “But it wasn’t up to me. However, we are going to adapt and overcome as we always do. That’s what makes us Marines.”

Before wrapping up the visit, Amos challenged the NCOs of 2nd Marine Division to read “Leading Marines,” a publication on the importance of leadership, and “Sustaining the Transformation” by the week after next.

“I know we can handle ourselves while we’re deployed,” Amos said. “But we need to get back to handling ourselves when we are back in the rear.”


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1 Comments


  • ERR Marine 200 days ago
    Concur with much of what has been said. The key to NCO's success in what is being asked of them is for SNCO's and Officers to give some back bone in supporting these NCO's when correctons require their support.

    If no backing is provided things will not get better. To much compromising of our standards as of lately. Much of what I see reminds me of the 3 block war. The transition from one block to the next needs to be seemless. We are the most professional military service in our country. Our citizens expect nonthing less. Get on board.

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