MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
There are many life education opportunities available to Marines, from classes on financial management to marriage enrichment courses, and leadership is continuously looking for better programs to help Marines improve in every facet of their lives.
December 2-6 2013, 2nd Marine Division experimented with “Marine 360,” a leadership course for Marines developed for Marines from an Army course called “Soldier 360.”
“Soldier 360” is a week-long course covering many facets of life, including physical, mental and emotional health. The course involves engaging classes that work well with interaction from the audience. The constant back-and-forth between service member and instructor keeps the patrons’ attention. While originally aimed at soldiers, the lessons can be applied to any branch of the military.
After sending a few senior Marines through the course at Fort Bragg, Division leaders decided the class was something beneficial and could help Marines. The USO of North Carolina, Jacksonville Center, sponsored the first ever 360 course for Marines.
“We built a program that looks at the whole person,” said Dr. Glen Wurglitz, a neuropsychologist who is part of the 360 team. “What we’re looking for is health, in terms of physical, emotional, cognitive, behavioral, spiritual, financial and sexual health.”
Wurglitz stressed the week-long program is a leaders’ course, not a treatment course. The people attending may not have any issues, but could be looking for a way to better their life. He also explained everything they teach is science based, as opposed to opinions.
“On day one, we explain the science of stress, and how people can deal with it,” Wurglitz said. “The rest of the week is experiencing better self-care. As people learn to better themselves, then they can lead others to do the same.”
The course is also more than just classes. There are many different hands-on practical applications. Patrons participate in yoga, acupuncture, learn proper running technique and practice it, and they have the opportunity to experience hypnosis for therapy purposes.
Sergeant Jeff Stimple, a Marine with 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, said he thoroughly enjoyed the leaders’ course.
“They cover pretty much everything,” Stimple said. “Everything from (physical training) to yoga positions. We talked about how the body is affected by its environment. I’ll probably plan a sit-down with some of my Marines and teach what I learned, and I’ll also look to apply some of these principles as I see fit.”
The course is very flexible, and Wurglitz said it is tailored to each group. If participants need extra attention in a certain area, they will spend more time there instead of moving on to the next topic.
“One person who was in one of my classes told me after ‘I learned I could be happy again,’” Wurlgliz said. “A spouse told me ‘you gave me back the man I married.’ That’s when you know the course is effective and makes a difference.”