DECEMBER 02, 2014, WASHINGTON – Read MARADMIN 521/14. When you open it, you may decide that it?s too long and may not read it ? so let me summarize the nearly 2,200 words that are contained in this 8 page effort. Lance Corporals, Corporals, Sergeants, and Staff Sergeants are now all required to complete resident or blended seminar education [tied to promotion ? if you do not attend, you will not get promoted. Don?t look at this as a radical change, instead we are evolving and getting ready to meet the next set of challenges that await us ? We are investing in our most precious asset ? the character, strength, intellect and skill of the individual Marine.]. Gunnery Sergeants through Master Gunnery Sergeant/Sergeant Major will continue to attend resident PME/seminars.
So, why are we doing this? Simply answered — because the world is not getting any nicer, it is unstable and increasingly more complex and our Marines will be handling multiple tasks in chaotic environments, making critical decisions at the point of friction [not to intimate you haven?t been, but we need you to continue to develop ? strong educated leaders]. Look at the state of things through my eyes ? issues and challenges impacting the Corps/world today:
* Drugs, alcohol, domestic violence, criminal mischief, sexual misconduct, operational stress, force preservation, hazing, suicide [poor life choices, and usually all preventable]. Resident EPME teaches you problem analysis decision making [prevention/mitigation, identification, intervention, reintegration and maintenance]. If this sounds foreign to you, the new LCpl ethics-leadership seminar will grow you.
* Sustained instability in the Middle East, continued threats from violent extremists, strained relations, and rising and increasingly confrontational regions, Ebola in Africa, our own border security ? I could go on, just watch the news or read the paper [no shortage of work for us].
* Drawing down and fiscal uncertainty ? while keeping the Corps balanced across the pillars of institutional readiness [recruiting and retaining high quality people, unit readiness, equipment modernization, infrastructure sustainment, and providing capability and capacity to meet Combatant Commander?s requirements]; we may have less, but it doesn’t mean we?ll be doing less, nor will America accept anything but the very best from her Marine Corps.
As we look ahead, we see a world of increasing instability and conflict, characterized by poverty, competition for resources, urbanization, overpopulation and extremism. Failed states or those that cannot adequately govern their territory can become safe havens for terrorist, insurgent and criminal groups that threaten the U.S. and our allies.
We do not know when, where, who we will fight or help next, but we must be ready to leave tonight, and upon our arrival, not only must we win a fight [if that?s what?s waiting for us], but more so we need every Marine to have the cognitive abilities to contain a crisis, plug a gap, hold the line [de-escalate a volatile situation without firing a shot] or save a life. You all should be jumping up and down on your leadership?s desk or beating down their door for your school seat ? get ready for the next challenge ? it?s right around the corner.
If you think education [resident EPME] is time consuming ? try ignorance!